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End nuclear power now, say bishops

'Tragedy' of Fukushima proves need for other means of producing energy

  • ucanews.com reporter, Sendai
  • Japan
  • November 10, 2011
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Catholic bishops in Japan said today they want an immediate end to nuclear power generation.

During a press conference at Motoderakoji Cathedral in Sendai City, they launched a document entitled End Nuclear Energy Now: Coming to terms with the tragic disaster of the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

Five bishops were present in person as representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan (CBCJ). They addressed their message to “all those living in Japan.”

In 2001, the CBCJ issued a publication which touched on the same subject. They wrote of nuclear power plants: “In order to avoid tragedy, we must develop safe alternative means of producing energy.”

Today's document points out that the “tragedy” referred to in the 2001 message “has truly come about in the form of the incident at Fukushima Daiichi.”

The bishops acknowledged that, if nuclear energy were to be abolished, Japan would be left with an energy deficit, and that the problem of CO2 would still need to be addressed. But they insisted that humans have a responsibility to protect “nature and all life, which are God’s creatures,” and to pass a safe environment on to future generations.

There are 54 nuclear power stations in Japan. According to the new document, every one of those “holds within itself the danger of another enormous accident like [Fukushima Daiichi].”

Japan has “a culture, national wisdom, and tradition of living in harmony with nature,” and its Shinto and Buddhist religions are also infused with a similar mentality. And “in Christianity, we also have the mentality of noble poverty.”

The bishops want their countrymen to change their lives fundamentally, if necessary: “The essential thing is to adapt our lifestyle, which is excessively dependent on nuclear energy; to turn that lifestyle around in its whole way of being.”
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