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Japan

Antinuclear solidarity, financial solidarity...

Monday 28 March 2011, by Danielle Sabai, Pierre Rousset

Unlike France, Japan is not a military nuclear power, and its population suffered the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki - the most serious of war crimes. However, in the post-war period, it has been like France the victim of a pro-nuclear consensus among the elites that has marginalized and prohibited any form of democratic choice over the issue. Japan has, like France, been held hostage by the nuclear industry.

Chernobyl showed in 1986 what happens when a nuclear state is in crisis. Today, Fukushima shows where the thousand small and big lies of nuclear management lead on the day the unexpected happens. However, all states one time or another face crises, and the unexpected is inevitable. If we do not put the kibosh on the nuclear industry, Chernobyl and Fukushima are our future.

Faced with such a test, international solidarity is a common struggle against a common danger, to break the grip of the elite pro-nuclear consensus. That is what our Japanese comrades argue in a separate appeal.

Millions of people living in areas affected by the earthquake, the tsunami disaster and Fukushima are surviving in extremely precarious conditions. In this too, they need our support. Major NGOs in France have ruled there was no need to raise funds for solidarity; Japan is a rich country. Financial assistance would only be justified as a remedy for third world failed states. They have apparently learned nothing from the social drama of New Orleans, whcih was hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Even in “developed” countries, the poorest are the least rescued, and workers must pay the bill for the crisis. Who can leave the risk areas or receive fuel or medicine? Who will be able to find a job tomorrow among those whose businesses have been destroyed - and under what conditions?

We want to send a little material assistance in a situation where the needs are immense. We want this aid to go primarily to “those from below”. We want these contributions to help to strengthen activists and social movements so they can play a role in the crisis and defend the interests of the powerless during the time of reconstruction. In this way we want to link emergency humanitarian action with the ongoing social struggle.

With this in mind the association Europe Solidaire Sans Frontiers has launched an international appeal for financial solidarity. The ESSF has links with various groups in Japan. For now, the money collected will be sent primarily to an independent trade union coordination active in the particularly affected region of Miyagi / Sendai and Fukushima: the Zenrokyo (National Trade Unions Council, NTUC). This particular centre has established links in France with Solidaires (in particular South-PTT, for its postal federation). We want to work with other initiatives engaged in the same type of work, with Via Campesina and Attac, for example.

Pierre Rousset, Danielle Sabai

You can send donations via Europe solidaire sans frontières (ESSF), Europe in Solidarity Without Borders:

Cheques

cheques to ESSF in euros only to be sent to:

ESSF 2, rue Richard-Lenoir

93100 Montreuil

France

Bank Account:

Crédit lyonnais

Agence de la Croix-de-Chavaux (00525)

10 boulevard Chanzy

93100 Montreuil

France

ESSF, account number 445757C

International bank account details :

IBAN : FR85 3000 2005 2500 0044 5757 C12

BIC / SWIFT : CRLYFRPP

Account holder : ESSF