Bid to rid the world of nuclear energy

THE ANGLICAN Church in Japan is to spearhead an international campaign to rid the world of nuclear energy.

A conference next May will welcome delegates from across the Anglican Communion to Fukushima to promote the campaign.

After the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011 there were a number of explosions in the town’s coastal nuclear power station, leading to widespread radioactive contamination with serious health and environmental effects.

With more than 15,000 people killed in the disaster it led to a political backlash to nuclear power worldwide. The Swiss Cabinet called for the decommissioning of the country’s five nuclear reactors, Italy shelved plans to build new plants and Germany took steps to phase out the reactors.

Now the Anglican Church in Japan, the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK) – is to host an International Forum for a Nuclear-Free World.

While it will be held in Sendai, delegates will visit Fukushima. The organizers are expecting Anglicans from South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, the US, Canada, and the UK to attend.

“All are united in the hope for a world free from nuclear hazards and threats,” the NSKK’s Executive Committee said in a statement.

“Already, eight years have passed since that fateful day in March 2011 when a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, devastating numerous communities in the north-eastern part of the country”, the statement said.

“Today, rebuilding work continues in many of those communities, allowing residents to return and reclaim their hometowns.

“As members of the Executive Committee of the International Forum for a Nuclear-Free World, we are deeply grateful for all the aid and assistance provided by so many to facilitate this. The Anglican Communion in Japan has also been active, helping and walking together with those affected by the disaster.”

The Japanese Church’s General Synod has already passed a motion calling for a ‘world free of nuclear power’ and has been taking action to reach its objectives.

The forum in May will hear from Professor Miranda Schreurs, a key figure in the German government’s shift to free the country of nuclear power.

The executive committee statement said: “We earnestly hope this Forum will launch major, lasting initiatives across national and other borders for ‘a world free from nuclear power’.”