Refugees and Responsibility

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by Akio Matsumura

In his welcoming remarks at the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon drew attention to the plight of refugees fleeing Syria and the political and humanitarian challenges of and responsibilities for Europe’s leaders and citizens as more and more people seek safe haven. More than 4 million have fled Syria since 2011, and that number grows as you include… Continue reading

Understanding the Nuclear Challenge and Three Other Security Threats

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Akio Matsumura

The way we wage war is changing. Cyber war’s secret infiltrations. The Islamic State’s conquering of vast swaths of land and resources. The UN and the other political entities we developed in the 20th century were not meant to handle such problems and will likely fail to do so. The incremental reforms have not kept up with the pace of changes led by technology… Continue reading

New Type of Confrontation and the 25th Anniversary of the Moscow Global Forum

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The violent attacks in Paris that resulted in seventeen deaths last week and prompted millions to march for unity in the Paris streets are symptomatic of the new type of confrontation that has disrupted lives, politics, and economic systems. Stark differences in religion, culture, and the way we seek to live our lives has… Continue reading

Japan’s Nuclear Water Woes

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Almost four years ago, we switched our focus on this website from international security to the unknown issues at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants – the potential consequences of a larger accident there were impossible to ignore. We covered the meltdowns themselves, the unimagined consequences of an accident with the cooling pool of Reactor No. 4, the ice walls, and the potential for radiation to… Continue reading

Abnormalities, Deformities, and Resilience: New Research on Radiation and Wildlife in Chernobyl and Fukushima

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Dear Akio,

Thank you for the opportunity to share a brief summary of my research activities in Ukraine, Belarus and Japan, as well as my vision for future studies in these regions. My goal for the coming year is to further strengthen our ongoing multinational collaborative, continue our ongoing research efforts in both Fukushima and Chernobyl, and obtain support to coordinate and initiate

Landmark Court Ruling Puts Safety First in Japan, Olympics Should Do the Same

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by Akio Matsumura

A district court in Japan has ruled that the two Oi nuclear reactors cannot be restarted by the Kansai Electric Power Company, citing structural deficiencies . The Fukui District Court said in its ruling, according to an editorial in the Mainichi Shimbun:

“Individuals’ personal right to protect their lives and livelihoods… Continue reading

Unwelcome Science: Japan Ignores UN Rapporteur’s Call for Better Fukushima Health Measures

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Akio Matsumura

“Why don’t we have a urine analysis, why don’t we have a blood analysis? Let’s err on the side of caution.”
UN Special Rapporteur Anand Grover, who visited Fukushima in 2012, spoke in Tokyo this month about the continued lack of appropriate health research surrounding Fukushima and related health issues… Continue reading

Fukushima: Three Years Later

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Toshio Nishi

As Japan teeters on the brink of nuclear disaster, has it learned any lessons at all?

When the worst earthquake in Japan’s history pulverized its northern coastline in 2011, walls of black saltwater from the deep Pacific surged over four of six nuclear reactors located on the Fukushima coast. Though they were supposedly designed to withstand the worst quake imaginable along the Ring… Continue reading