For Reporting on Fukushima, a 10-Year Jail Sentence
Posted on January 6, 2014
Fears surrounding Fukushima’s nuclear meltdown have escalated a notch higher with Japan’s new States Secrets Act. The new stipulates that anyone who reports on the country’s worst nuclear disaster may face 10 years in jail.
Already, a Japanese professor was placed under 20-day custody, accused of showing open defiance against the incineration of Fukushima’s radioactive waste in the open air.
Since the new law’s enforcement began, Prime Minister Abe has come under public criticism. According to the Times of India, the Japanese leader’s popularity has dropped since the new enactment.
Japanese legislator Taro Yamamoto said that the law could lead to the reestablishment of a “fascist state” in Japan. Even the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said Japan’s actions are reminiscent of the country’s “conspiracy” acts prior to the Pearl Harbor attack.
Although individual reporters are now banned from sharing their stories surrounding the nuclear meltdown, members of the international media have already taken the lead in reporting almost all facets of the disaster. Also, Fukushima’s radioactive fallout has already been detected on the Alaskan coast and could slowly drift along the Mexican and Canadian coasts as well. Now, scientists’ major concerns are the radioactive materials’ long-term effects on the ocean’s ecosystem.
At this point, Japan’s new State Secrets Act may control local concerns surrounding Fukushima’s beleaguered nuclear reactors, but it seems it can no longer contain the radioactive materials that have gone beyond the country’s borders.