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Confused and often conflicting reports out of Fukushima 1 nuclear plant cannot be solely the result of tsunami-caused breakdowns, bungling or miscommunication. Inexplicable delays and half-baked explanations from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) seem to be driven by some unspoken factor.
The smoke and mirrors at Fukushima 1 seem to obscure a steady purpose, an iron will and a grim task unknown to outsiders. The most logical explanation: The nuclear industry and government agencies are scrambling to prevent the discovery of atomic-bomb research facilities hidden inside Japan's civilian nuclear power plants.
A secret nuclear weapons program is a ghost in the machine, detectable only when the system of information control momentarily lapses or breaks down. A close look must be taken at the gap between the official account and unexpected events.
On nuclear plants… Go to site for more info
Cut Off From Communications
The substance of undisclosed talks between Tokyo and Washington can be surmised from disruptions to my recent phone calls to a Japanese journalist colleague. While inside the radioactive hot zone, his roaming number was disconnected, along with the mobiles of nuclear workers at Fukushima 1 who are denied phone access to the outside world. The service suspension is not due to design flaws. When helping to prepare the Tohoku crisis response plan in 1996, my effort was directed at ensuring that mobile base stations have back-up power with fast recharge.
A subsequent phone call when my colleague returned to Tokyo went dead when I mentioned "GE.” That incident occurred on the day that GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt landed in Tokyo with a pledge to rebuild the Fukushima 1 nuclear plant. Such apparent eavesdropping is only possible if national phone carrier NTT is cooperating with the signals-intercepts program of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
In and of itself, a nuclear deterrence capability would be neither objectionable nor illegal— in the unlikely event that the majority of Japanese voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to Article 9. Legalized possession would require safety inspections, strict controls and transparency of the sort that could have hastened the Fukushima emergency response. Covert weapons development, in contrast, is rife with problems. In the event of an emergency, like the one happening at this moment, secrecy must be enforced at all cost— even if it means countless more hibakusha, or nuclear victims.
Instead of enabling a regional deterrence system and a return to great-power status, the Manchurian deal planted the time bombs now spewing radiation around the world. The nihilism at the heart of this nuclear threat to humanity lies not inside Fukushima 1, but within the national security mindset. The specter of self-destruction can be ended only with the abrogation of the U.S.-Japan security treaty, the root cause of the secrecy that fatally delayed the nuclear workers' fight against meltdown.
Yoichi Shimatsu who is Editor-at-large with the 4th Media is a Hong Kong–based environmental writer. He is the former editor of the Japan Times Weekly. This article is first appeared in the New American Media.