Council for Nuclear Fuel Cycle by alicejenny


									                                              ISSN 0919-9748

                      Winter 2005          No.48

  Abolition of Nuclear Weapons Could Be
  Initiated Now through Calm Reflection

  Post Arafat: Palestinian Situation and
  Middle East Oil Problems

  Nuclear Power Station, Wind Power and
  Hot Springs

Council for Nuclear Fuel Cycle

           Winter 2005 No.48                         • Opinion
 Council for Nuclear Fuel Cycle
                                                   1 Abolition of Nuclear Weapons Could Be Initiated Now
                                                      through Calm Reflection
           TBR Bldg. 303,                                - 60th Anniversary of Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -
  2-10-2, Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku,
       Tokyo 100-0014, Japan                         • Interview
        TEL : 81-3-3591-2081                       2 Nuclear Power Station, Wind Power and Hot Springs
        FAX : 81-3-3591-2088
                                                             Interview with Mayor        Kiyokichi Nakamoto of Ikata Town, Ehime Pref.
   Web Site
                                                     • Lecture
                                                   8 Post Arafat: Palestinian Situation and Middle East Oil
              Publisher                               Problems
           Jun-ichi Nishizawa                             Hirokazu Oikawa
           Executive Editor                          • Pluto 46
             Shigeru Goto
                                                  22 Smell of Old Books
         Editorial Office                                    Shigeru Goto
   Council for Nuclear Fuel Cycle
                                                     • Info-Clip
                                                  21 Major Step toward Commercial Operation
                                                         - Uranium Testing Conducted at Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant -
     CNFC Members of the Board                    24 Commercial Operation Starts at No. 5 Hamaoka NPS
 NISHIZAWA, Jun-ichi
   President, Iwate Prefectural University
   Former President, Tohoku University
Acting Chairman
   Member of the House of Representatives
 GOTO, Shigeru
  Former Member of the House of Representatives
 IMAI, Ryukichi
  Former Ambassador Extraordinary &
  Conference on Disarmament (Geneva)
  Professor, Kyorin University
  Member of the House of Representatives
 OHATA, Akihiro
  Member of the House of Representatives
 OSHIMA, Tadamori
  Member of the House of Representatives
 TANABU, Masami
  Member of the House of Councilors
  Member of the House of Representatives

                                                      Cover : Wasabi Fields in Azumino, Nagano Prefecture
                                                      In these wasabi (horseradish) fields, where the snow from the Japanese
                                                      Northern Alps flows as spring water, the water temperature is around 13
                                                      degrees centigrade all year around. Wasabi is a Japanese plant that is very
                                                      difficult to grow, having to make a shade in the summer to keep them cool and
                                                      in the winter to avoid the cold wind. To even put it on the market as a product
                                                      it takes more than two years, but it surely is a supporting ingredient that is
  Date of Issue : February 17, 2005                   necessary for sushi. The clean water and clean air needed for wasabi is also
                                                      necessary for human beings.
         Designed by QB System Co., Ltd.
     Printed by ASAHI BUSINESS CO., LTD.
           Abolition of Nuclear Weapons Could Be Initiated
                     Now through Calm Reflection
             - 60th Anniversary of Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -

   It has been reported that more than 240,000      of nuclear weapons, unless we abolish them          weapons. Great Britain and France are coun-
people have lost their lives through the tidal      totally, there is no meaning to any nuclear         tries that could most quickly make the bold
wave and other consequences of the earth-           bombing countermeasures.                            decision to abolish their nuclear weapons
quake, the magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter             The second term of the Bush administra-          among the nuclear weapons states. The
scale off the cost of Sumatra Island on             tion started from January 20. Policy to pro-        antagonism between the eastern and western
December 26 of last year. However, casual-          tect the image of the U.S. as strong and at         Europe is far in the past. What is the reason
ties continue to increase even now. We pray         the top, even by continuing preemptive              that UK and France still possess nuclear
for divine aid to the victims and their families.   action will continue for another four years.        weapons? There is none whatsoever.
   Casualties from the tsunami include man-         The possibility that this America would                 I ask for Prime Minister Blair and
made calamities of "didn't know, didn't care,       abolish nuclear weapons, especially under           President Chirac to announce their abolition
didn't take precautions," but the death of          the Bush administration is not "close to 0%"        of nuclear weapons within this year. How
more than 240,000 people goes beyond ver-           but is clearly 0%. The arms reduction talks         about at the NPT Review Conference in
bal expression. I think that many Japanese          between the U.S. and Russia has, some way           May? Could you not make this decision for
people recalled the number of victims in            or other, progressed to a certain extent.           nuclear abolition for the sake of Great
Hiroshima and Nagasaki when they heard              Their more than 30,000 warheads have                Britain, France, the world as a whole, and
this number.                                        become several thousand in each country,            for the human race while you are in power?
   In the statement of claim data that              so it looks as is the arms reduction is indeed      I aspire that you would make a bold deci-
Hiroshima and Nagasaki Cities submitted to          progressing. However, the main reason for           sion that would go down in history. Such a
the U.N. Secretary-General in 1976, it was          this is the breakdown in the balance of the         decision would make people reevaluate the
estimated that approximately 200,000 peo-           cold war and of nuclear weapons through             value of nuclear weapons, which have
ple in Hiroshima and more than 100,000              the collapse of national economy, and defi-         become mystified, and make known to the
people in Nagasaki died by the end of 1950.         nitely not through any conscious effort to          folly of developing and possessing weapons
In addition, in these both cities, several tens     abolish weapons of mass destruction.                that cannot be used for humanitarian pur-
of thousands of Koreans and North Koreans,                                                              poses. And if the U.S., Russia, China, and
several hundred Chinese and several hun-               This year is the 60th anniversary of the         India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea are
dred allied forces prisoners as well as dozens      nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and                    made of people with common sense, then I
of foreign nationals also suffered from the         Nagasaki. The Review Conference for the             am convinced that the decision of Great
nuclear bombings. The ratios of the causes          Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will         Britain and France will lead them toward
of death within a 1.2 km radius of the blast        be held in this May. However, with regard to        nuclear abolition as well. All around the
center were 20% from blast wounds, 60% of           the content of deliberation, there is still no      world, people will celebrate the presentation
burns from heat waves and secondary fires,          agreement. Through the unlimited extension          of the Nobel Peace Prize to you.
and 20% from radiation injury.                      of this treaty resolved in 1995, it could be that       It is possible to expose the whole earth
                                                    the people's understanding of the importance        with tidal waves of bomb blasts, heat waves
   Injury from tsunami can be held at a min-        of this treaty has decreased. In order to main-     and radiation many times over with the over
imum through the positive support toward            tain the treaty and bring peace to the world, it    ten thousand nuclear weapons that are in
disaster prevention countermeasures by              is necessary for nuclear weapons states to          present possession. When this happens, will
countries advanced in this area such as             speedily conduct their own nuclear arms             anyone survive? I hope for the abolition of
Japan, and preparation toward tsunami by            reduction to accomplish nuclear abolition.          nuclear weapons at the earliest possible date.
the next earthquake. That is what we in                We cannot abolish earthquakes, but it is
Japan have done. However, with the case             up to human beings to abolish nuclear                                                      Editor

                                                                                                         Plutonium No.48          Winter 2005        1


                                              Ikata Town

    Nuclear Power Station, Wind Power and Hot Springs
                 Interview with Mayor Kiyokichi Nakamoto of Ikata Town, Ehime Pref.

                                                                                         areas that there is no suitable land
   At the foot base of the longest and narrowest peninsula in Japan, Sada-misaki         there, so we thought that a nuclear
Peninsula, there is a town called Ikata-cho. Here, Ikata nuclear power station, which    power plant might be possible, and
is the exclusive one in the Shikoku region, is in operation. In fiscal year 2003, the    we started an invitation campaign.
Ikata nuclear power station generated 51% of the total electricity of Shikoku Electric      At that time, Shikoku Electric
Power Co., Inc. Ikata-cho is the town that has developed around the plant. We had a      Power Co., Inc. conducted geological
time to converse with Mayor Nakamoto.                                        (Editor)    survey in a town called Tsushima-
                                                                                         cho, which was called Iwamatsu-cho
                                                                                         at that time, and is now located in
                                                                                         the south of Uwajima. However, the
Wish to Have School Buildings                junior high schools, there were six         bedrock was unstable, and moreover,
Reinforced                                   nursery schools, five elementary            residents in the community cam-
                                             schools and two junior high schools,        paigned strongly against the con-
   -- I believe that you have done a lot     but all of them consisted of wooden         struction plan, so the electric power
so far toward the building of the            buildings. This area has always             company was looking for a suitable
nuclear power station in Ikata-cho.          been hit by typhoons, so the lifespan       location. In that situation, Gamoda-
How would you evaluate the relation-         of the facilities tends to be short.        misaki in Tokushima Prefecture and
ship between Ikata-cho and the               Every year, we have had to renovate         Ikata-cho both launched invitation
nuclear power station?                       two or three buildings. The finances        campaigns. As a result, the company
Mayor Nakamoto: What triggered our           of the town cannot sustain this, and I      decided that Ikata-cho was suitable.
invitation to build a nuclear power          thought that if we were to build rein-      At the time of the invitation to build
plant in Ikata-cho was that the              forced buildings, at least, it might        the Ikata nuclear power plant, the
financial capacity of the town was           lead to a longer lifespan and a better      safety problems of nuclear power
too fragile at that time, and so we          financial situation, to a certain           plants were not yet a social issue,
were trying to establish a financial         degree. For that purpose, even              and therefore we had the sense that
base, somehow. At that time, in              though we attempted to attract              nuclear power plant was a manufac-
Ikata-cho, with regard to educational        enterprises, the region has such a          turing facility, the same as any gen-
facilities, from preschool education to      steep incline in the remote rural           eral industry.

2   Plutonium No.48 Winter 2005

   When former Prime Minister
Keizo Obuchi visited the Ikata
nuclear power station, I explained to
him, "This is nuclear power station
for which we had to undertake a
campaign to have it located here.
For those of us who carried out the
campaign at that time, we shared
the same goal: to secure the safety of
the power plant, and to ensure its
safe and stable operation. Those
responsibilities are also ours."
   The invitation to build the nuclear   from a worldwide perspective, it was     an incident leading to the destruction
power plant was initiated before the     an excellent power plant with high       of the living environment for resi-
accidents of Three Mile Island and       availability factors. When a steam       dents, by contaminating the sur-
Chernobyl. I think that, looking         generator was being manufactured         rounding environment with radioac-
back at the experience, the financial    for the unit No.2 reactor, I had a       tivity; I think that is pretty good.
effects of this power plant have been    chance to visit Kobe Shipyard &
                                                                                  Sister City Relationship with an
fully achieved, as far as our initial    Machinery Works of Mitsubishi
                                                                                  American Town with Nuclear Power
purposes for the development of the      Heavy Industries, Ltd, and I asked
area are concerned. Our town has         the manager, "The nuclear power
been able to undertake infrastruc-       plant in Ikata-cho has very good per-       -- I'm sure that people in your town
ture development to a certain degree,    formance among the power plants          have received various types of edu-
and compared to neighboring cities       that your company has sold. What         cation. For example, at elementary
and towns, we are keeping the elec-      do you think the reason is?" The         schools, and junior and senior high
tricity charges for residents low. In    manager replied, "Shikoku Electric       schools, especially in the case of ele-
that sense, I think the initial objec-   Power Company is the largest of the      mentary and junior high school stu-
tive has been accomplished.              local corporations among the four        dents, are they provided a specific
                                         Shikoku prefectures, so I guess the      education on nuclear energy that
Ikata Nuclear Power Station Is a
                                         top class personnel among the four       makes the most of the distinctive fea-
Valuable Asset
                                         Shikoku prefectures are gathered         tures of Ikata-cho?
   -- I suppose Ikata-cho and the        there. They must be keenly aware         Mayor Nakamoto: We have a facility
nuclear power station will proceed as    that this is a valuable asset for        called the Nuclear Information Center
parties sharing a common interest        them." It showed very good perform-      that was financed by Ehime
from now on. What do the people of       ance until that time.                    Prefecture, Ikata-cho and Shikoku
the town think of the nuclear power         Later, after the unit No.3 reactor    Electric Power Company, and as one of
station?                                 started operation, a steam pressure      its yearly activities, they invite chil-
Mayor Nakamoto: Local residents have     relief valve of different standard was   dren on site to hold a sketching con-
been associated with the nuclear         used, causing a malfunction. At that     test. Not only children from Ikata-cho,
power station for a long time, and       time, the people who lived near the      but children of neighboring Honai-cho
even though the station has had          station phoned me and I rushed to the    and Seto-cho, participate together in
some troubles, we have never experi-     station. Without going inside the sta-   the sketching contest, and we judge
enced trouble leading to the pollution   tion, I went nearby and heard a really   and give prizes to them. However,
of the environment. After the unit 1     horrible thundering noise as if a jet    regarding science and basics of nuclear
reactor started operation, we initial-   engine was on. Even though this          energy such as uranium, we do not
ly received a high evaluation, that      kind of thing happened, we never had     provide education specific to Ikata-cho.

                                                                                   Plutonium No.48      Winter 2005      3
   However, what Ikata-cho pro-           also inland, so in winter, it gets very    of the district are working.
motes specifically regarding educa-       cold, but it is a secure and quiet         Moreover, our town financed 49% in
tion is to have a sister city relation-   town. There is good communication          setting up of a company called
ship with Red Wing, Minnesota,            among people in the town. We               "Create Ikata" of the third party cor-
U.S. In this town, Northern State         thought it would be all right to estab-    poration, to which the Ikata Service,
Power Company owns the Prairie            lish a sister city relationship and        town fishermen's union, agricultural
Island Nuclear Power Plant. Ikata-        send our children there, and we            union and commerce and industry
cho has been sending 10 junior high       decided to exchange students after         cooperative jointly contributed. Such
school students for a homestay pro-       discussing this with them.                 town people-centered companies
gram every year. Last year, it was           I went there last year, too.            have been establishing a very close
already the 10th year.                    However, I surely could not recognize      relationship daily with the power
   Also, as for our town itself, we       the faces of the general public in Red     plants of Shikoku Electric Power.
have people who have teaching             Wing, but they remembered me and           Therefore people in the town had a
licenses but have not yet found jobs,     said "hello" to me cheerfully. The         high degree of understanding about
and we have employed two in each of       town has many residents who are            the uses of plutonium in power plant
the full-time teaching assistant posi-    social, characteristic of Americans,       this time. Also, they responded
tions, for English and Mathematics        but who are still simple country folk,     favorably. I think such factors are
respectively. The purpose of this is      with a pioneering spirit. It is a very     fundamental.
to study important subjects well, in      good town.                                    -- So, you think a close relationship
order to prevent dropouts. As a                                                      with power company on a daily basis
                                          Trustful Relationship with Power
result, there is a school with a high                                                is the best way to develop trust, don't
                                          Company Is the Foundation
rate of successful applicants to uni-                                                you?
versity, called the Yahatahama High          -- After your talk, I sense that peo-   Mayor Nakamoto: Yes, that's right.
School, in nearby Yahatahama City,        ple in Ikata-cho in usual way coexist      Needless to say, residents know that
where the passing rate from our jun-      with the nuclear power plant. Last         a primary factor in the town's stable
ior high school to this high school       year, you approved the uses of ura-        finances is the tax revenues from the
seems to be quite high. They must         nium-plutonium Mixed Oxide (MOX)           nuclear power plant.
have achieved a higher level of aca-      fuel in the Ikata nuclear power plant.        -- From April 1 of this year, 3
demic ability, I suppose.                 While other towns had difficulties in      towns, Ikata, Seto and Misaki, are
   -- If there is a nuclear power plant   deciding, how were you able to make        going to be consolidated to establish
in your town, and when you go over-       a prompt decision?                         a new Ikata Town with a little less
seas, you will be aware to some           Mayor Nakamoto: The Shikoku Electric       than 13,000 people. In that case, will
degree that your town has a facility to   Power Company is a small corpora-          you adopt opinions from residents of
produce energy, I suppose.                tion, ranking second or third from the     Seto and Misaki?
Mayor Nakamoto: Well, I'm not sure        bottom among domestic power com-           Mayor Nakamoto: Regarding matters
about that. When we asked children        panies, but due to its small size, the     on nuclear power, people living in
who participated in the homestay          company can pay close attention to         the present Ikata-cho understand
program for ten days in Red Wing to       minor problems. I value that aspect.       better than those who live in Seto
write a composition after they came       As one example, there is a company         and Misaki. Therefore, with regard
back, all of them wrote that they         called "Ikata Service", which is a joint   to the power plant and its related
were deeply impressed, but they did-      venture of Shikoku Electric and its        problems, Ikata residents will
n't seem to be aware that both towns      subsidiary, the town fishermen's           inevitably become the leaders. I
had nuclear power plants.                 union, the agricultural union and the      think we will move forward in that
   The Red Wing is a very old town in     commerce and industry cooperative.         direction. They did agree on consoli-
U.S. It is located at latitude similar    Now, there are 170 to 180 employees,       dation after they acknowledged the
to Wakkanai, Hokkaido, and it is          and among them, 120 to 130 people          situation.

4   Plutonium No.48 Winter 2005

Leader Should Make Policy Looking          Security Research of the Ministry of        services of Ikata-cho. In this regard,
Steadily to Future                         Health, Labour and Welfare, the             we are going to adjust certain items
                                           population in Ikata-cho of at present       in three or five years, so after five
   -- In fact, it was quite hard for a     6,500 people, if nothing is done, will      years we might face a problem of
town with a nuclear power plant to         decrease to 1,400 people in year            increased burden after consolidation.
consolidate with other towns, and if it    2050. There is data that the number         However, taking every factor into
takes place, public services to resi-      of babies born in a single year will        consideration, foreseeing our future
dents are decreased, etc.; didn't you      decrease to about four.                     and thinking of our children and
worry about this?                             I told residents, "This number is        grandchildren, we decided that we
Mayor Nakamoto: In initial stages, we      just a statistical number, it might         should consolidate now. I think it
met with strong opposition.                not necessarily be like this, but it        was a judgment using long-range
However, we are rapidly faced with a       will be pretty close. It is certain that    prospects.
low birthrate and an aging popula-         it will become quite difficult to main-
                                                                                       Central Government Should Go to
tion. Also regarding our small nurs-       tain the functions of a local govern-
                                                                                       Even Smallest Towns and Persuade
ery schools, which have only five to       ment through the support of its own
six children, residents feel it in their   finances only. If we try to consoli-
bones. From only the standpoint of         date with other towns at such a time,         -- On behalf of Ikata-cho, do you
finance, Ikata-cho will be able to sur-    it will be an incorporated consolida-       have anything to request under the
vive for the next 10 years without         tion." I tried to persuade them that I      government's energy policy and
consolidation of towns. However,           think that we should consolidate            nuclear power policy?
after 10 years, there is no guarantee      with neighboring Seto and Misaki            Mayor Nakamoto: We trust in the pres-
that Ikata-cho will not experience a       now, and prepare ourselves to deal          ent scientific technology in Japan
sudden decrease in population, due         with the next consolidation, under          and the government's policies, but I
to the low birthrate as now.               the consolidation exemption law,            want our government to educate citi-
According to data from National            then the government will take some          zens about nuclear energy matters
Institute of Population and Social         kind of counter-measures and protec-        and deepen our understanding more
                                                  tive measures, and it is a bet-      aggressively. On that point, a coun-
                                                  ter idea to make use of those,       try cannot adapt quickly, and I
                                                  and eventually we reached an         assume it might be difficult to imple-
                                                  agreement to consolidate.            ment detailed policies. I feel that
                                                     -- Whether or not you con-        local communities are somehow
                                                  sider the situation of your town     forced upon our government. After
                                                  in 10 years, this is a big turning   all, taking advantage of nuclear
                                                  point, isn't it? All over Japan,     energy is promoted based on a law,
                                                  there are dozens of local gov-       Atomic Energy Basic Law, so in the
                                                  ernments with nuclear power          spirit of this law, I think our govern-
                                                  plants, but some of them are         ment should intervene in even the
                                                  having a dispute.                    smallest unit.
                                                  Mayor Nakamoto: Regarding              -- Looking at the news in the press,
                                                  conditions for the consolida-        just because it is nuclear energy,
                                                  tion, such as utility rates and      there is a tendency for there to be a
                                                  taxes and public dues, Ikata-        big headline. When that happens,
                                                  cho is going to be set as the        the competent authorities in our gov-
                                                  standard. So, consolidation          ernment sometimes seem to avoid
                                                  will not lead to a reduction in      speaking out on nuclear energy prob-
                                                  the present administrative           lems.

                                                                                        Plutonium No.48     Winter 2005      5
Mayor Nakamoto: Sometimes it is a
case-by-case thing, and depending on
the people in charge in our govern-
ment, they handle it in various ways.
However the residents in Ikata-cho in
particular, seem to be still ingenuous
and ideologically naïve, so if a person
in authority comes and has a heart-
to-heart talk with us, we will wel-
come. In my opinion, they sometimes
seem to stay clear before stepping in.
   Last year, commissioners of the
Atomic Energy Commission of Japan               -- I guess it reached such an          through joint financing from Ikata-
(AEC) came to Ikata-cho and heard            atmosphere, thanks to a long-time         cho and Eco-power, which is a sub-
from residents on matters on the uses        relationship of trust.                    sidiary of Ebara Corporation, 12
of plutonium in nuclear power plant.         Mayor Nakamoto: I agree. In Ikata-cho,    units with 1,500 kW per each will be
At that time, commissioners were             needless to say, there are full-time      built. Misaki-cho plans to build 20
pleased that they felt a very good           farmers and fishermen. There are          units with 1,000 kW per each along
atmosphere at that place, and they           people who have no association with       with Marubeni Corporation. In this
went back. At the Ikata nuclear              the nuclear power station, but there      way, this peninsula will become an
power station, in a safety agreement         is a town growing around the              energy base. This will become an
concluded among Ehime prefecture,            nuclear power station. Companies in       independent source of revenue for
Ikata-cho and Shikoku Electric Power,        secondary industries, construction        three towns. In comparison with
"the requirement to obtain approval          business, retail stores in distribution   new local governments that have
from residents when changes of plant         and guesthouse inevitably have built      experienced consolidation, we receive
related items are applied for" is            a relationship with the nuclear           tax revenues from the nuclear power
included, so we had a discussion with        power station.                            plant, so I think that we will be able
the residents beforehand.                                                              to manage as a financially secure
                                             Community Development Using Wind
   -- It definitely works better that way,                                             local government. Also, we found a
                                             Power and Hot Springs
doesn't it?                                                                            hot spring.
Mayor Nakamoto: I guess so. Since we         Mayor Nakamoto: In the region to be         -- You couldn't ask for a better
were in the midst of the consolida-          consolidated this time, very high         opportunity.
tion stage, I told the AEC not to            quality citrus fruits and fish are pro-   Mayor Nakamoto: When we dug down
come. That was a suggestion from             duced. There is no question that          to 1,500m, the hot spring was found,
the governor of Ehime prefecture.            such primary industries are the local     and it is 46.3 degree Celsius at
Shikoku Electric Power was hesitant          and basic industries of the town.         ground level. So, you don't have to
since it remained unable to promise          Moreover, at the Sada-misaki penin-       heat the water. 180 liters flows per
what would happen, and also they             sula, the wind blows often.               minute, which fills one oil drum.
would be at a loss if it got chaotic at      Therefore, now at Seto-cho, 11 wind       Honorary Professor of Hokkaido
a hearing when an opposition faction         power units with 1,000 kW per each,       University, Dr. Yuko Agishi is a
surely participated. However, fortu-         using a third sector system incorpo-      leading expert in hot spring climato-
nately, such a thing never happened.         rated with Mitsubishi Heavy               logical medicine. After a drilling
   -- The result was all right, wasn't it?   Industries, Ltd. are operated. In         service person sent him an analysis
Mayor Nakamoto: As a result, that it         Ikata-cho, two units with 850 kW per      table, I received an e-mail reply from
was good to have that process, I             each are being built and are man-         him, and it said "This hot spring is
think now.                                   aged by the town. Furthermore,            very high quality and you can even

6   Plutonium No.48 Winter 2005

drink it. Japanese hot springs gen-         I guess if you are a Japanese person,         pleased that their back and knee
erally have 10 kinds of ingredients,        you may not feel clean without scrub-         pains are cured, upon spending two
some only have five to six of them,         bing yourself with a soapy towel.             hours at the hot spring.
but this hot spring has 16 ingredi-         Enthusiasts say to me, "Mr. Mayor,               -- It has become a therapeutic bath,
ents. Moreover, there are no toxic          this is the best. Please leave it as it is.   hasn't it?
substances. So please take good care        Don't allow anyone to use soap."              Mayor Nakamoto: It is quite all right
of it." We are planning utilization            Up to 1,400m below the surface,            like that. If they use it for that pur-
methods and we built a temporary            the geological stratum in this area is        pose, we can reduce the subsidy for
bath house. We charge 100 yen for           called Iyo's blue stones, and green           National Health Insurance. People
residents and 200 yen for people out        stones can be found there, consisting         who used to use a hospital as their
of the town. About a little over 100        of green mud schist. It is a quartz           salon now use a hot spring instead;
people come every day.                      and black schist layer. If you dig            reducing the town's expenses is very
   We have mandarin oranges. We             deeper than 1,400m, it gets soft and          helpful. Also, when we have a better
have fish. We have the sea. We              a drilling serviceman told me, "It            facility, tourists and users who are
have a pond. Near the pond, the pre-        changes to a tuff stratum." So I              from out of town will visit us, so we
fecture is designing a water park. I        checked an encyclopedia to find out           will naturally receive bath taxes for
plan to create a hot spring facility        what a tuff stratum is. I found out           our town.
that becomes the core of the local          that it means a solid mass of volcanic           -- It would be good to have a better
community vitalization.                     ashes. The word tuff in Japanese              facility soon, wouldn't it?
                                            characters consists of hardening and          Mayor Nakamoto: We asked Dentsu
Hot Spring with 100% Natural Source
                                            ashes. I asked the serviceman if it is        Inc. to create a basic plan, and based
  -- You couldn't ask for a better          possible to treat it as a hot spring          on the plan, we are proceeding with
opportunity. We are now encounter-          from a volcanic zone, since a tuff is a       a design competition now. Seven
ing a hot spring trend, but it is best if   stone made of solidified volcanic             companies are participating so far.
you don't have to dilute the water or       ashes. He answered, "Yes. You are             On January 14, we plan to hold the
heat it.                                    correct."                                     first explanatory meeting and
Mayor Nakamoto: Indeed. We never               When they dug up to close to               screening of candidates.
heat up the water with a boiler nor         1,500m, they encountered a white                 -- It must be interesting and very
do we need to dilute it. We organ-          limestone layer. A limestone layer            promising. I think it is wonderful for
ized a senior citizen's group in that       consists of the stalagmites of a lime-        the people who are in charge of the
area in charge of its management at         stone cave, doesn't it? The limestone         town's finances to have a project that
present. We add more hot spring             contained in water running from the           brightens your prospects. It will give
water when it gets lukewarm and             ancient times adheres to the stratum          you a sense of energy for thinking
reduce the amount when it gets too          of the limestone cave. Therefore,             about the area's development, I think.
hot. We adjust the temperature of           there is a lot of water, and also when        Mayor Nakamoto: That's right. If you
water by the amount of erupted hot          digging down to the 1,500m zone, the          strike a hot spring, it really gives you
water. It keeps flowing and stays           subterranean heat is raised quite             a dream. It also serves as a means of
pure without any mixing.                    high. I am saying that we have hit            employment and for the local con-
  Therefore, the natural source of the      upon a hot spring that has a lower            sumption of local farm and marine
hot spring runs and flows into a pond       probability of being found than a             products. It also becomes source for
endlessly, and we urge people not to        hole-in-one in golf.                          information dissemination through
use shampoo. The spring is mildly                                                         visitors. Depending on how you deal
                                            Hot Spring Becomes Salon for Elderly
alkaline, and detergents are usually                                                      with it, you can achieve really effec-
alkaline. I hear that you can get rid of    Mayor Nakamoto: This is a valuable            tive management and operations.
fat on your skin by taking a dip for a      asset to our town. We can hand it             However, it definitely presents us
while, without using soap. However,         down to posterity. Elderly people are         with challenges.

                                                                                           Plutonium No.48      Winter 2005      7

        Post Arafat: Palestinian Situation
          and Middle East Oil Problems

                                                                     Hirokazu Oikawa
                                        Professor, Faculty of General Policy Studies
                                                                   Kyorin University

                                                                                                 1948, the first Middle East War broke
   Since Palestinian Authority President Arafat passed away on November 11, 2004,                out and Israel gained national inde-
various assessments have been in circulation: for instance, that even Mr. Arafat was             pendence. As a result of the war, it was
unable to realize peace with Israel, or that he was the very reason for the fact that            the Jordanian Army that occupied the
peace was not realized. On November 18, a research committee of CNFC invited                     West Bank. Jordan annexed the West
Professor Hirokazu Oikawa, who has lived in the Middle East for 25 years, teaching               Bank immediately; with the natural
at Hebrew University, as well as taking an active role as a journalist. (Editor)                 result that Palestinians who lived in
                                                                                                 the West Bank gained Jordanian citi-
                                                                                                 zenship. However, many people lived
                                                                                                 in Gaza and Egypt was at the time, and
Infant Mortality Rate in Palestine Is         is very high. Of course, there are many            still is, very poor; Egypt did not like the
More than 20%                                 reasons for this. For example, poor                idea of accepting the Gaza population.
                                              hygiene, malnutrition, ill-equipped hos-           It treated the area as a military man-
   You may hear about Palestine quite         pitals and a rather wide range of other            agement district.
often, but you may not be aware of its        reasons exist, but I would say that it is             While reading books and so on,
present situation. I have therefore pre-      a combination of these factors that                which were written about this period, I
pared some basic data. In my opinion,         causes the high mortality rate.                    came across this sentence: "Jordan has
the best measure of the level of civiliza-       One more thing that the numbers in              a lot of nerve. Jordan annexed the area
tion in any country is its infant mortali-    these two infant mortality rates demon-            that it won by force. On the contrary,
ty rate. A French physicist predicted         strate is that the number in the West              Egypt dealt with the issue by applying
the collapse of the Soviet Union, and at      Bank is lower than in the Gaza Strip.              well-thought-out humanitarian
that time, what was used was, in fact,        There is a sad history behind this. In             approaches, looking steadily to the
the infant mortality rate. You can see
from Table 1 that the ratio per 1,000
live births is 20.16 infant deaths,
                                                                       West Bank      Gaza Strip             Israel             Japan
including childbirth, in the West Bank,
                                                  Infant Mortality     20.16/1000     23.54/1000           1.29/1000           3.28/1000
and 23.54 in the Gaza Strip. When we
                                                       GDP             $1.7 billion   $768 million        $120.6 billion     $3.567 trillion
compare this with Japan, the mortality
                                                 GDP per person           $800            $600              $19,700            $28,000
rate in Japan is 3.28 infants, so you can
                                                                                                                           Source: CIA, Others
see that the mortality rate in Palestine

8   Plutonium No.48 Winter 2005

                                                                                                                        tion in Table 2, please pay particular
                                                                                                                        attention to the rate of population
                         1997        1998        1999        2000        2001        2002        2003        2004       increase. This was obtained from the
West Bank               1,787,562   1,857,872   1,932,637   2,011,930   2,102,360   2,207,582   2,313,609   2,421,491
                                                                                                                        Palestinian Authority's own statistics.
   Increasing Rate(%)                     3.9         4.0         4.1         4.5         5.0         4.8         4.7
                                                                                                                        According to the CIA information on all
Gaza Strip               995,522    1,039,580   1,087,067   1,138,126   1,196,591   1,264,539   1,334,266   1,406,423
                                                                                                                        countries, the number is lower than
   Increasing Rate(%)                     4.4         4.5         4.7         5.1         5.7         5.5         5.4
                                                                                                                        this, but I am not sure which informa-
Palestinian Total       2,783,084   2,897,452   3,019,704   3,150,056   3,298,951   3,472,121   3,647,875   3,827,914
                                                                                                                        tion is correct. At any rate, the popula-
                                                             Data of Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority
                                                                                                                        tion growth rate in Gaza is 5.4%. In
                                                                                                                        Japan, it is predicted that the popula-
future of the Palestinian nation." What                       than the West Bank. You will see,                         tion will begin to decline, and if this
happened in reality was that people in                        later, from the population figures, that                  occurs, we will be in big trouble.
the West Bank could go anywhere,                              GDP per capita is also higher in the                      However, if you were a statesman in a
using a Jordanian passport, but a situ-                       West Bank. Israel's GDP is $120 bil-                      country with population growth over
ation arose in which people in the Gaza                       lion, and you can see there is a huge                     5%, such as Gaza, you may end up
Strip were stateless. Therefore, for                          economic gap. For reference, Japan's                      wishing to commit suicide. In other
example, when the oil crisis occurred in                      GDP is $3.567 trillion, though admit-                     words, there is nothing you can do.
1973, a substantial amount of money                           tedly it is somewhat meaningless to                          Needless to say, if a country is expe-
was poured into Arab petroleum-pro-                           compare with Japan. GDP per capita                        riencing a 5%, 6% or even 10% econom-
ducing countries and, as a matter of                          is $800 in the West Bank, $600 in the                     ic growth rate, like China, increased
course, the number of migrant workers                         Gaza Strip and $19,700 in Israel. This                    population does not pose a problem.
in the area increased. Pakistan, hav-                         fact is a very big problem.                               Neither the West Bank nor Gaza is in
ing geographical proximity, was a main                           I think poverty is very much a rela-                   this fortunate situation, so you may say
source of unskilled labor. One of the                         tive thing. If you live in municipally                    that they are in a state of collapse. If
sources of relatively skilled migrant                         owned housing and buy an upright                          the population continues to grow at
workers was Palestine. People in the                          piano for your daughter, you may con-                     this rate, it will become a very serious
West Bank could become migrant                                sider yourself to be wealthy. However,                    problem. Population explosion is a
workers, but people in Gaza could not,                        suppose you move to another area and                      problem not only for Palestine; it is a
as they did not have passports.                               find out that all of your neighbors own                   problem for all of the Arab States. For
Thanks to the migrant workers, the                            grand pianos, you may think of your-                      example, the population growth rate in
West Bank prospered economically,                             self as rather poor. It is a fact that peo-               Saudi Arabia is over 3%, so one could
and it is fair to say that the result of                      ple in the Gaza Strip with $600 GDP                       say that the country is dealing with a
this was manifested in its lower infant                       per capita live next to people whose                      time bomb. The one that has to deal
mortality rate.                                               GDP per capita is roughly $20,000.                        with it in the most extreme form can
   I have added Israeli data in Table 1                       Another big problem is the television                     perhaps be said to be Palestine.
because we cannot separate neighbor-                          program. You can watch Israeli TV
                                                                                                                        High Unemployment Rate and Few
ing Israel whenever Palestinian issues                        programs without any problems using
are being discussed. I was quite sur-                         a regular antenna in the Gaza Strip.
prised to find that Israel's mortality                        You cannot help but see cars and hous-                       The unemployment rate in Palestine
rate is half that of Japan.                                   es in the neighboring country; there-                     is shown in Table 3. This also was cre-
                                                              fore, you feel your state of poverty more                 ated using data from the Palestine
GDP per Capita Is $600~$800 and
                                                              than ever. If Gaza were adjacent to a                     Authority Statistics Department. The
Population Growth of 5%
                                                              poorer country, it would be a complete-                   unemployment rate may appear to be
  When we look at GDPs, the West                              ly different matter. But that is not the                  unexpectedly low, but I think these sta-
Bank's is $1.7 billion and the Gaza                           case, in reality.                                         tistics may be biased. In other words,
Strip's is $768 million, so Gaza is lower                        Next, regarding Palestine's popula-                    the Statistics Department of the

                                                                                                                         Plutonium No.48       Winter 2005      9

                                                                             with its $20,000         Does Suicide Terrorism Support the
                   Employment      Underemployment Unemployment              GDP per capita,          Sharon Administration?
 West Bank            66.3                 10.1                23.6          where people are
         Male         63.0                 11.7                25.3          starting to give up         Since the mutual killing in the sec-
       Female         81.0                   3.0               16.0          the kind of agricul-     ond intifada from September 2000, one
 Gaza Strip           58.8                   1.5               39.7          ture that requires       of the methods the Israelis used to put
         Male         57.3                   1.6               41.1          much labor and is        distance between the Palestinians and
       Female         69.4                   0.9               29.7
                                                                             tiresome, such as        themselves and stop associating them-
 Palestinian Total    64.0                   7.4               28.6
                                                                             growing vegeta-          selves with the Palestinians as much
         Male         61.1                   8.4               30.5
                                                                             bles, fruits and fig     as possible is the building of an 8-
       Female         78.4                   2.5               19.1
                                                                             trees. Instead, for      meter-high barrier. Another method is
                     Data of Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority
                                                                             example, wheat,          a "softer" approach. I'll give you an
                                                                             which has recently       example. When tomatoes are brought
Palestine Authority is presenting the                   seen increased production, and cotton         from Gaza by truck, and you want to
data in such a way as to say "Our situ-                 are grown. The merit of producing             prevent the truck from entering Israel,
ation is not that bad." As a matter of                  wheat and cotton is that it requires          what would you do? The answer is to
fact, there are few proper industries,                  less labor. If you have a big tractor or      spend a long time for interrogation at
whether in Gaza nor the West Bank.                      a combine, you can cultivate hectares         the border. If you let the truck stay for
   For example, starting in 1987, there                 of land by yourself. Also there is a          8 to 10 hours under the hot sun, they
was what is known as the first intifada                 global market for those, allowing you         can no longer sell those tomatoes. This
(the Palestinian uprising against                       to make a good profit. Therefore, you         is a very tricky way.
Israeli occupation, which occurred in                   make things that you are good at and             The separation wall is another
the West Bank and the Gaza Strip), in                   buy items that you are not good at pro-       rather interesting issue. Words such
which anti-Israel actions became worse                  ducing.                                       as left wing and right wing lost their
and a boycott of Israeli products took                     Before 1987, especially before the         meanings since the collapse of the
place. As a result, for one example, a                  year 2000, there was a balance                Soviet Union. Even so, the case of
Palestinian man opened a soap factory                   between supply and demand, just like          Israel is very simple. Right wing peo-
in Nablus and made a lot of money.                      those crops. For example, most of the         ple want to keep occupied territory, and
Those are the only kinds of industry.                   tomatoes eaten in Israel come from            left wing people want to return it.
   As for agriculture, crops are mostly                 Gaza and the West Bank. Having                Please think it this way. The right
grown using natural water. People who                   lived in Israel for many years, I know        wing is opposed to the separation wall.
have been to places in the region such                  this to be a fact. A long time ago, as        People on the left are for the separation
as Israel, Syria, and so on, may know                   was the case in Japan also, human             wall. For the right wing, the West
that the climate is Mediterranean, and                  waste was used as fertilizer for crops in     Bank and Gaza Strip belong to them,
it never rains in the summer. It only                   Gaza, and cholera broke out there.            therefore they would say something
rains during the winter. It is a huge                   Cholera itself is not a particularly terri-   like "Why do we have to build a wall?
task to farm using only rainwater dur-                  ble disease, but even so, people were         By building a wall, it becomes a fait
ing the winter. Also, there is an enor-                 surprised to hear of it, and the supply       accompli and may lead to the creation
mous difference between a good har-                     of vegetables such as tomatoes from the       of a Palestinian state." The left wing
vest year and a poor year, and for                      West Bank and the Gaza Strip was              was thinking about reconciliation, but
about the past five years, there has                    stopped for a while. Looking at the           the people were disappointed after
been a drought throughout the area, so                  empty shelves at supermarkets in              experiencing a severe blow from the
under these conditions, crops cannot be                 Israel, it was clear how much Israel is       second intifada since September 2000.
grown.                                                  dependent on vegetables from the West            A public opinion poll was held in
   The areas with $600 and $800 GDP                     Bank and Gaza.                                Israel before the Iraq War started. A
per capita are situated next to Israel,                                                               question asked was: "Which are you

10   Plutonium No.48 Winter 2005

afraid of, a Palestinian suicide terror-    increase in 2001 and 2002. I concluded       rorist act against an Israeli and
ism or an Iraqi scud missile?" The          that the Palestinians regarded the first     released at the same time that Kozo
result was "I am far more scared of a       intifada as a racial war, and the second     Okamoto, one of the Japanese Red
Palestinian suicide terrorism." In my       intifada as a professional war. They         Army soldiers, was released. This
opinion, this is the foundation for the     seemed to keep some distance from the        interpreter was over 40 years old and
promotion of building the separation        professional war. However, I found out       had little money; he didn't have much
wall used by the present Sharon             from data from Palestine in Table 2          to offer even though he wanted to get
administration. Faced with the with-        that my conclusion was wrong. I can't        married. Eventually, he got married to
drawal from the Gaza Strip and the          help but think that for all Palestinians,    a woman who lived in Camp Dheisheh
issue of the separation wall, the Sharon    both the first and the second intifada       very close to Bethelehem. He was
administration, which is a minority         were regarded as "wars."                     always praising her exuberantly. "My
government, is still holding power in          I think there must be differences in      wife is so wonderful." Why did he have
the national assembly with help from        attitudes between Palestinians living        to praise her that much? It took me a
the Labor Party and the left wing.          in East Jerusalem that is occupied by        while to understand his reason.
                                            Israel and other Palestinians. The dif-      Because he realized that she wasn't
Differences in Palestinian Attitudes
                                            ference in the population growth rate is     accepted in the society he belonged to,
Depend on Where They Live
                                            one indicator. If you observe Palestine      he had to exaggerate what a wonderful
   The second intifada since September      from afar, such as Japan, Palestine and      person she was in order to justify the
2000 is a serious matter. When you          Arab states may appear monolithic,           situation.
look at the transition of the Palestinian   but they are not so, as demonstrated by         I wonder how many layers the
population in Table 2, it grew more in      the Palestinians living in Jerusalem.        Palestinian society is made of. Of
2001 and 2002. The same phenome-                                                         course, the Palestinians will never
                                            Palestine Seems to Have Several
non occurred in 1988 and 1989. 1988                                                      admit these layers exist, and while I do
                                            Social Layers
and 1989 were the years when the first                                                   not know how to prove my point con-
intifada occurred. After talking to an         I used to teach in Jerusalem, but a       cretely, these layers definitely exist.
expert on population issues, I learned      lecturer's salary is not high, I could not      This next example is connected to
that population grows during a war. In      make ends meet just through teaching.        the previous topic of the separation
other words, this does not happen by        I was a part-time reporter for Jiji Press    wall. The wall is being built around
individual but mass selection, and this     Co. and NHK for a while. When the            Jerusalem. Outside the wall is also an
kind of phenomenon of compensating          Israeli-Palestinian conflict became          area that was occupied and annexed by
for decreasing population often occurs.     fierce, I hired a Palestinian taxi driver    Israel in 1967. People who live outside
This may mean that the first intifada       in East Jerusalem to go to Gaza in           the wall thought that they would lose
since 1987 and the second intifada          order to collect news material, since my     the privileges of Palestinians living
from September 2000 were considered         car naturally had an Israeli license         inside Jerusalem, in the future, even
as wars for the Palestinians.               plate. While talking to the Palestinian      though they still retain the privileges
   A very interesting thing happened to     taxi driver, I learned that Palestinians     for now. As a result, they started to
me. While I was researching this prob-      discriminate against Palestinian             cross the border of the wall to live
lem for another project, I only had pop-    refugees. The driver was single and I        inside. Soon the rent for houses went
ulation data for Jerusalem until I was      asked him, "If you fall in love with a       up.
able to acquire the population chart in     Palestinian refugee girl and you want           Palestinians in Jerusalem cannot
Table 2. I was able to get various sta-     to get married, what will happen?" He        participate in the Israeli national elec-
tistics prepared by Israelis on             answered, "I will be disinherited."          tion. However, they can participate in
Palestinians living in Jerusalem. After        I will tell you another interesting       local elections and enjoy identical privi-
examining the data, I noted that the        example. There was a Palestinian             leges like health insurance and old age
Palestinian population increased in         interpreter whom I always employed.          pension. I think that the fear of losing
1988 and 1989, but did not show an          He was arrested for an attempted ter-        these privileges is related to the fact

                                                                                          Plutonium No.48       Winter 2005      11

there was no increase in population         issue. But the
among Palestinians in Jerusalem in          one factor, the                                            Lebanon
                                                                    (Mediterranean Sea)
2001 and 2002. Based on this and            Cold War struc-
other factors, I believe that we should     ture collapsed.                                                                      Syria

treat Palestinians separately in this          The truth is
way.                                        that it was in
                                            1961,      more
Palestinian Situation Has Now Become                                                           Haifa
                                            than 40 years
a Local Issue in the Middle East                                        Palestine                                     Irbid
                                            ago, when Pan-
                                                                                                                 Jordan River
   There are many books written about       Arabism was                                  Netanya
                                                                                                           West Bank
                                                                                    Tel Aviv-Yafo                          Zarqa
Palestinian and Middle East issues.         taken off politi-                                            Palestine
One thing that will be mentioned in         cal agendas.                                             Ramla               Amman
                                                                                      Ashdod               Jerusalem
these books inevitably is this: "The        Egypt       and
Middle East is a problem, especially        Syria merged in                          Gaza

when oil is involved. The core of the       1958. You do                   Gaza Strip

conflict is the Palestinian issue, such     not hear about                                       Beersheba
that the Middle East problem will           these two coun-                                                                   Jordan
never be resolved without settling          tries' merger,                                      Israel
Palestinian issue." When I was watch-       but in any case,
ing a TV program the other day, a com-      together they
mentator said that the high price of oil    created      the
was a result of unresolved Palestinian      United Arab
issues. I was just appalled and won-        Republic. They
dered what he was thinking.                 planned origi-
   The Palestinian issue has already        nally to include
been localized and become minor. In         Lebanon,
the past it used to be the core Middle      Jordan and other countries, extending             Palestinian issue there. Why did it
East issue, and the Middle East was         eventually to the entire Arab region.             happen there? These were people who
described as an explosive warehouse         That was their idea. But in real life,            had never heard of Palestine or seen a
for war that could lead to World War        merging two countries never succeeds.             single Palestinian. The truth is if you
III. Then, the Palestinian issue was        The United Arab Republic folded two               hold a demonstration against the pres-
regarded as one of the potential causes,    and a half years later in 1961. There             ent Saudi Arabian system in Saudi
I think.                                    was talk of a merger with Egypt when              Arabia, you will be arrested right away.
   The reason behind it was this very       Mr. Qaddafi carried out his revolution,           The Palestinian issue is being used as a
unique Cold War structure. Also, there      but Egypt treated the proposal with               safety valve to let off steam. Such is
was the Arabs' sense of unity, so called    contempt. The long and short of it is             the nature of the Palestinian issue.
"Pan-Arabism". This Pan-Arabism             that Pan-Arabism as a political agenda            They have to maintain Pan-Arabism in
idea goes like this, "If we unite togeth-   has not existed since 1961.                       order to position the Palestinian issue
er, we can gain back our glory." At one        It was very convenient for a states-           as it was. That is why they have been
time, the Arabs were the world's pre-       man to position the Palestinian issue             teaching Pan-Arabism to its people for
eminent power, from the 6th to 17th         as an advance guard for Pan-Arabism.              several generations.
centuries. The reason why Columbus          For example, there was an amusing
                                                                                              Syria and Egypt Became Multinational
and Vasco da Gama sailed so hard was        event a few years ago. There was a vil-
                                                                                              Forces during the Gulf War
to find a route to pioneer a market by      lage in the middle of nowhere in the
bypassing the Islamic areas. These          northwest Saudi Arabian desert. They                 And the Gulf War broke out. During
two factors became the base for the         held a demonstration connected to the             the Gulf War, multinational forces

12   Plutonium No.48 Winter 2005

made of over 30 countries were formed.     issue was no longer the center of            Palestine wanted it to act. It was as if
Many Arab States were among those          Middle East issues was the Oslo Peace        Syria was telling Palestine that
multinational forces. The most impor-      Accord. Thanks to the Accord, which          Palestine should act for its own benefit
tant thing was that Syria and Egypt        was signed in September 1993,                while Syria would do the same.
were also among them. Since both           Palestinian autonomy began. Mr.                I have no explanation why anybody
nations are great military powers, each    Arafat came back to Gaza from Tunis          should insist that Palestine is still "the
of them sent a division. Egyptians         and was elected as President. How            core of Middle East issue."
knew that their country sent a division,   was the Oslo Peace Accord reached?
                                                                                        What Is the ODA Support for
but the Syrians did not. I went to Syria   The U.S. won a sweeping victory in the
immediately after that time. When I        Gulf War; and then it tried to use its
was talking to a Syrian, I compliment-     momentum to try to solve Middle East            Since the second intifada from
ed him, "Your army did a great job."       issues. It invited Israel, Syria,            September 2000, 3,000 Palestinians
He replied, "You mean, our army went       Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine to a           and about 1,000 Israelis died. I think
there?" However, I have a friend who       meeting in Madrid in November 1993.          this can be called a war. You often saw
lives in Aleppo, which is situated in      As they knew it would not be effective       articles in the newspapers that predict-
northern Syria, who knew about it. It      to have a meeting as a whole, they           ed that "this will eventually spread
is close to the Turkish border, so you     divided into small groups and proceed-       through the entire Middle East," but it
can watch Turkish TV using an anten-       ed to hold working-level talks at the        never did. In other words, the
na. He told me, "I saw our army on         Department of State in Washington,           Palestinian issue has remained as an
Turkish TV. They were firing artillery     DC.                                          issue on its own and will never spread
guns." That was how he found out.             Syria knew there was no other way         to any other area.
   When the Gulf War broke out after       to promote peace with Israel as long as         It will become a serious matter if you
the cold war ended in 1989, Syrian         it recognized the American control in        don't understand the above-mentioned
statesmen did not have a choice to say     the world, which was evident during          premise. Mr. M. Komura, former
to the U.S., which was and still is a      the Gulf War in 1991. Egypt had              Minister for Foreign Affairs, went to
World super power: "No, we cannot          already chosen that path in the 1970's.      Palestine and announced that Japan
cooperate with you." Syria had to send     Even though Syria would eventually           would offer one hundred million dollars
a division. On the contrary, what the      follow suit, it still wanted better condi-   per year in ODA. Fortunately or unfor-
government said to the people was,         tions in terms of peace talks.               tunately, depending on how you view
"We will never fight with another Arab     Negotiation as a whole usually gets          it, Palestine was in a mess because of
nation under Pan-Arabism." It didn't       better results, just as is the case with     the intifada and it could no longer carry
sit well with the people. In my opinion,   labor-management negotiations. If            out ODA projects. Also, it does not
perhaps it was thought to be less          only some of the workers negotiate           have the capacity to deal with support
shocking politically for the people to     with the management, they cannot get         of one hundred million dollars per year.
find out about the detachment from sol-    the best deal. Syria thought all of the         I don't know the rationale of the
diers who came back, compared to           countries involved were united, but in       ethics for ODA support towards
hearing an announcement of the dis-        reality Palestine took the initiative        Palestine. If it is humanitarian sup-
patched detachment from the govern-        with the Oslo Peace Accord. The              port, there are countries that are in a
ment. As it turned out, there was not      Syrians were furious.                        worse state than Palestine. For exam-
much political shock. But thanks to           Since the Oslo Peace Accord,              ple, has the Darfur problem in Sudan
that detachment, the U.S. tacitly per-     Syrian's involvement in the negotia-         ever been discussed at the Diet? 1.5
mitted Syria to "add" Lebanon as "its      tions with Israel had its periods of ups     million people are facing a matter of life
colony". Syrian government effort defi-    and downs. It did not coincide with the      and death. It was the same thing with
nitely paid off. Incidentally, no Syrian   negotiations between Palestine and           Rwanda ten years ago. These coun-
soldier died in the war.                   Israel, which also had their ups and         tries did not have a share of Japan's
   The other reason that the Palestinian   downs. Syria would not act how               ODA support of one hundred million

                                                                                         Plutonium No.48       Winter 2005      13

dollars. If Japan were to support             probably the lack of social justice.         If He Can't Make Undesirable
Darfur, it would not have any impact          Corruption is clear evidence of this.        Decisions, He Is Not a Politician
on Japanese interests. Japanese sup-          Gaza was really poor in the past. It
port towards the Palestinian issue            was before 1994 once when I went to             I will move on to the Arafat issue.
would have no effect on Japanese inter-       collect news materials; I got hungry         He definitely rendered distinguished
ests either. Therefore, I don't think we      and tried to get something to eat. I had     service.       Without Arafat, the
can use the logic that Japan uses ODA         only one dish to eat there. The people       Palestinian issue could have been even
to benefit Japan.                             fried grounded chickpeas, which tasted       a smaller problem or nonexistent.
   I had a chance to talk to directors or     like meatballs even though they were         Palestine might have been merged
councilors of each ministry at the            vegetables. Some people sometimes            with Israel, Jordan and Egypt. The
Prime Minister's official residence. I        got stomach trouble because of the poor      problem was that Arafat was not a
was astonished to hear one of them            quality cooking oil that was used, but       politician. In short, he could not make
telling me about the reason for support-      you had no other dishes to choose from.      undesirable decisions. He used his
ing Palestine. "When the oil price gets          Palestine started to receive assis-       past success as his backbone and he
high, or if we run out of oil as in the oil   tance from Japan and other countries         could not deviate from that.
crisis of 1973, Saudi Arabia will take        after Arafat's return in 1994. Then             Whenever I think of the Palestinian
into account Japan's support for              monies from under the carpet resur-          issue, I remember the Meiji
Palestine. The Arabs would say, 'We           faced and about one billion dollars were     Restoration in Japan. Those who were
are thankful to Japan for helping our         poured out in one to two years. There        involved lied, using the phrase, "Revere
poor cousin, Palestine. We will give          were people who used the money to            the Emperor and expel the enemies."
priority to Japan by sending oil to           build apartment buildings since they         They energized people, but when they
them.' We are prepared for that sce-          predicted that there would be peace. If      came into power they forgot the prom-
nario." As I mentioned before, this           you go to Gaza, you will find luxurious      ise of their slogan and decided to build
kind of logic will not work. I am not         apartment buildings. The beach in            Rokumeikan. They did have their
advocating that we do not help                that area is a nice place. Nice sands.       roadmap where they wanted to lead
Palestine, we have to help that country       Hotels were built. Restaurants were          Japan, and they never deviated from it.
but how do you justify one hundred            added in these hotels. You can eat           It is a different matter whether their
million dollars of support?                   decent meals at those restaurants.           policy worked or not. When the oppos-
   After Arafat became ill, I found              By my budget, I don't think the           ing forces such as the Saga Uprising
newspaper articles regarding his per-         prices for meals at the hotels are sur-      (February 1874) and the Shinpuren
sonal assets. One IMF official told me        prisingly expensive, but people with         Uprising (October 1876) occurred, they
that it amounted to either one billion or     $600 GDP per capita will find a $20          knocked them down by force. Without
four billion dollars. He did not know         meal too expensive. However, locals do       that action, I think our society would
the actual amount. But it is a huge           eat there too. It is legitimate that there   have become a totally different one.
amount. When I was a journalist, I            are rich people in Gaza. But there is           Arafat did not do that. Arafat pur-
heard his assets were said to be              an exception: I saw Palestinian police       sued modernism and was not a man of
between one to one-and-a-half billion         officers eating there even though their      religion. He had no choice but to make
dollars. I was very angry with journal-       salaries are so low. As you might            peace with Israel, but he didn't do it.
ists who wrote such articles, when            expect, nobody brought a bill and they       He built an alliance with Hamas that is
Arafat died, because of their unprinci-       did not pay for their meals. In short,       against peace and supported ideas in
pled behaviors. Where did Arafat get          this is a "consultation fee" of an organ-    the vein of "Allah will never allow
the money? Where did capital funds            ized group of gangsters. If the top eche-    Israel to exist." Combined with the
come from? They came from our taxes.          lon rots, it follows that everyone else      previously mentioned corruption, this
                                              below rots. In my opinion, this is the       was his weakness.
If the Top Echelon Rots ...
                                              biggest problem in Palestine.                   I have said quite cruel things about
     The biggest Palestinian problem is                                                    corruption. But I might have been

14    Plutonium No.48 Winter 2005

unfair in expressing it that way.           answers from Israelis and Palestinians                         research? It does not cost much money
Palestine was everything to Arafat. He      to the same question.                                          since they do not have to produce prod-
must have thought like this: "I am the         Why doesn't Japan fund this kind of                         ucts. PSR can only do two public polls
only one who has dedicated himself
completely to his country and who can
solve its issues." He had thought it was
more productive to hold the funds and
                                                                              Total West Bank Gaza Strip                                    Total West Bank Gaza Strip
distribute them in his way instead of
                                             Unification of the Palestinian security services under        Concerning armed attacks against Israeli civilians
doing a foolish thing such as making a       the control of the cabinet                                    inside Israel, I
proper budget at a national assembly         Strongly support                  17.6     19.2      14.9     Strongly support                  27.4     18.7       41.8
and allowing it to be executed as legis-     Support                           61.2     59.2      64.6     Support                           26.4     26.5       26.4
lated.                                       Oppose                            14.8     14.8      14.7     Oppose                            40.7     48.5       27.6

   I think the article claiming that the     Strongly oppose                    2.7      2.7       2.8     Strongly oppose                    3.6      3.9         3.2
                                             DK/NA                              3.6      4.1       2.8     No opinion / Don't know            1.9      2.4         1.0
one or four billion dollars were his pri-
                                             The appointment of an effective interior minister             With regard to call for a cessation of violence by both
vate assets is wrong. I don't think                                                                        sides, I
                                             Strongly support                  19.9     21.4      17.4
Arafat thought that way either. It           Support                           65.3     62.1      70.5     Support it                        82.5     83.2       81.3
seemed that he had left no will. He was      Oppose                             9.6     11.2       7.1     Oppose it                         15.7     14.3       18.1
not the kind of person who would write,      Strongly oppose                    1.7      2.3       0.8     No opinion / Don't know            1.7      2.4         0.6
"I will give all of the money from my        DK/NA                              3.5      3.0       4.2     If an agreement is reached to cease violence by both
account to my wife and daughter." And        When Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip, are you            sides, but armed attacks against Israelis continued,
                                             worried about internal Palestinian infighting in the Strip?   do you approve or oppose, in this case, the Palestinian
I don't think there will be another per-
                                             Very worried                      20.5     16.7      26.9     Authority taking measures to prevent them?
son who can manage the area for many
                                             Worried                           43.3     48.2      35.6     Approve                           59.3     58.9       60.0
years to come as he did.                     Not worried                       29.2     29.1      29.3     Oppose                            36.7     35.9       37.9
   Interestingly, there are bureaucrats      Not worried at all                 4.7      4.2       5.5     Don't know / No answer             4.0      5.2         2.0
who enjoy extravagant lifestyles and         DK/NA                              2.1      1.7       2.8     If separate elections for the president of the Palestinian
who have built unbelievable houses,          Do you see Sharon's plan to evacuate the Israeli settle-      Authority were held today, whom would you choose?

but Arafat was an exception. There           ments from Gaza as a victory for the Palestinian armed        Mahmud Zahhar                     15.1     13.9       17.1
                                             resistance against Israel or don't you see it as a victory?   Yasser Arafat                     34.9     34.8       35.2
was talk of him sending five million
                                             Definitely this is a victory      45.3     40.8      52.9     Marwan Barghouti                  12.9     12.4       13.8
dollars every month to his wife. But
                                             I think that this is a victory    28.7     30.3      25.9     Others (specify --- )              0.8      0.9         0.6
his wife came from a very wealthy            I think this is not a victory     18.8     21.2      14.7     None of the above,
Christian family called Tawil from           Definitely this is                                                         will decide later    24.6     25.3       23.6
Ramallah. Without Arafat sending her                        not a victory       5.0      5.0       5.1     I will not participate            10.1     10.9         8.7
any money, she would have gotten five        DN/NA                              2.2      2.7       1.4     No opinion / Don't know            1.6      1.9         1.0

millions dollars from her family.            If you want to evaluate the status of democracy and human     If separate elections for a Vice President of the Palestinian
                                             rights in the Palestinian Authority, you would say it is:     Authority were held today, whom would you choose?
People Recognize the Corruption of           Very good                          4.1      4.0       4.3     Saeb Erikat                        5.7      5.3        6.3

Their Autonomous Government                  Good                              24.8     24.2      25.9     Haidar Abdul Shafi                12.2     11.1       14.0
                                             Not good and not bad              24.5     24.9      23.9     Marwan Bargouthi                  22.2     24.2       18.9
   Please take a look at Table 4. This is    Bad                               24.4     24.7      23.9     Ahmad Quarai'                      2.7      2.8        2.6
a public poll done by the Palestinian        Very bad                          19.9     19.7      20.2     Mahmud Abbas                       2.0      1.9         2.0

Center for Policy and Survey Research        DK/NA                              2.2      2.4       1.8     Mohammad Dahlan                    3.6      1.2         7.5
                                             Do you think that there is corruption in PA institutions?     Mahmud Zahhar                     11.5     10.8       12.6
(PSR) in Ramallah. This is the only
                                             Yes                               87.9     86.8      89.9     No one, will decide later         27.4     27.9       26.4
information regarding the Palestinian
                                             No                                 6.1      6.6       5.3     I will not participate            10.0     11.2         7.9
issue you can trust to a certain extent.     Don't know / No answer             6.0      6.7       4.9     Others (----)                      1.0      1.2        0.6
They have done over ten public polls,                                                                      No opinion / Don't know            1.9      2.3         1.2
some of them jointly with Israel. You                                                                      Source:
may find it interesting to find different                                                                  PSR: Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research

                                                                                                              Plutonium No.48                   Winter 2005              15

per year due to the lack of funds. It       tion is held now. Mahmoud al-Zahar is       to hold it. Even if it is possible, nobody
should not cost more than several tens      a fundamentalist Islamist. While there      knows if Hamas will join the election.
of thousand dollars if you conduct it       is only 34.9% support for Arafat, no        In the present situation, it can gain
once in two months. I believe ODA           Palestinian believes that Arafat would      30% of the votes but it can't get over
funds should be spent for this kind of      be defeated if an election were held        50%. Suppose Hamas becomes an
activity.                                   while he was alive. Arafat's existence      opposition party, will it be contented to
   I think they have done really good       and what he did are two different           remain as one? This party is hiding
research. For example, there is this        things. He has become a symbol: "I am       guns, so we are not sure how they will
question in Table 4: "Do you think that     against what he does. But there is          act.
there is corruption in PA (Palestinian      nobody else but him." There are some           Another problem is how the present
Authority) institutions?" The answers       Japanese who think that way too.            Arafat generation will behave. The
are 87.9% "Yes", 6.1% "No", and 6.0%        Arafat had distorted Palestinian issue      past and present prime ministers
"Don't know/No answer." I find PSR          and the people have no idea how to fix      belong to Arafat's generation. They
amazing for their ability to get 87.9%      it.                                         enjoy good lives by their successes. I
"Yes" from people who are living under          Former U.S. President Clinton came      am not sure if they are willing to give
a dictatorship.                             late for the Okinawa Summit and             up their power and hand them to the
   There is a question about "Unification   Madeleine Albright didn't even show         next generation. If they stay on, things
of security forces by the government."      up, because they were involved in the       will not necessarily improve. I cannot
There are about 12 forces in Palestine -    peace negotiations at Camp David. It        predict the future since Post-Arafat
presently. Some kinds of information        was a perfect opportunity but they          policies are not clearly shown. If their
units and others were connected to          missed it. Clinton wrote about this in      policy is more peaceful and unyielding
Arafat both with respect to money and       his recently published book called My       compared to Arafat, they may be under
command issues. In Japan there are          Life. He approached Arafat at a meet-       heavy pressure from the bottom. Being
only two forces, which are the police       ing on December 23, 2000, two weeks         under pressure in the area means fir-
and the Self Defense Forces. We may         before his term ended, and told him,        ing bullets. I am not sure whether the
ask why Arafat needed so many forces.       "Accept this plan." Arafat refused; after   Arafat generation is brave enough to
He pulled the strings behind the scenes     all, he couldn't make the final decision.   risk themselves that far.
and kept his power by making the            I think this is the reason why he had          When you compare Arafat to an
forces compete against each other.          put Palestine in chaos. I think that        elder statesman who had rendered a
More than 80% of the people support         Arafat was regarded as a cancer for         great service in Japan during the Meiji
unification of these forces.                Palestinians during the last several        era, I think he was very brave. There
   "The appointment of an effective         years.                                      are statesmen of Arafat's generation
interior minister" points to someone                                                    who have possessions and money. Will
                                            Hopes for People Who Are in Their
who has total control over the                                                          one of them say, "I will die for peace"?
                                            Late 30's and 40's for the Post-Arafat
Palestinian police. The prime minister                                                  But there are people who are willing to
supervises him and the president                                                        die for their country. They are in their
watches over matters relating to its           What will happen in the future?          late 30's and 40's and who had gone
operations. More than 80% of people         Will Post-Arafat Palestine move             through hard times during the anti-
support this kind of structure as well.     toward peace? Or will it become a huge      Israel movement in 1987.
Arafat had prevented these two possi-       chaos? I am not certain as of now              If they want an economically stable
bilities from occurring.                    because there are so many indefinite        Palestine in the future, they have to
                                            issues left, such as Hamas and Jihad.       pursue connections with Israel.
Arafat's Indecisiveness at a Crucial
                                            What will be their influences on the        Neighboring Palestine in that region is
Time Caused Chaos
                                            Post-Arafat era? They reported plans        Jordan. Japanese ODA was equal to
  Nevertheless, 34.9% of people will        to hold a national election in January      2% of Jordan's GDP in the past. And
choose Arafat as President if an elec-      in Palestine, but they may not be able      there is Egypt on the opposite side.

16   Plutonium No.48 Winter 2005

Egypt has not achieved economic pros-        attacks.                                    went down under $50 and nobody was
perity either. Therefore, if Palestine          But there are two interesting            writing about oil. I think the present
wants to achieve economic growth, its        episodes that I'd like to tell you here.    oil situation speaks for itself, and I will
only option is with Israel. So a states-     The first is that Palestinians opened a     discuss this matter using past data.
man needs to know Israel's good points.      few universities in Gaza with an IT            The oil shock occurred in 1973. One
But Palestinians in their 20's don't         department. Graduates of that depart-       of the industries that were created
know them. For many of them, Israel          ment created venture businesses.            after the oil shock was the oil price fore-
is their enemy that they have to kill. I     They sent e-mails to all IT companies       casting industry. Please take a look at
do, however, have high hopes for             in Israel to obtain subcontract work.       Figure 1. The Department of Energy
Palestinians who are in their late 30's      They realized that they were lacking in     (DOE) of the U.S. did this forecast.
and 40's.                                    skills and recognition. Also they knew      They made a graph of changes in fore-
   One of the representatives of that        that they couldn't gain a foothold in the   casted values from 1978 to 1984. The
generation is Mr. Marwan Bargouthi.          global market. They used Israel, which      solid line at the bottom that moves up
You might have read about him. He            had established an excellent IT indus-      and down indicates changes in actual
was ranked third by Palestinians when        try, by doing subcontract work to hone      prices. The line with triangle dots indi-
asked, "If elections for the president       their skills. They believed they could      cates projected prices as of 1978. A
were held today, whom would you              make their own way once they became         graph of projected prices was made
choose?" He worked under Arafat and          marketable.                                 each year up to 1978. If you look at dif-
was responsible for organizing the mili-        The other episode concerns Mr.           ferences between forecasted and actual
tary force. He was sentenced to life in      Khalil Shikaki, who is a political schol-   prices, you would come to the conclu-
prison for his involvement in terrorism      ar and a central figure of the group        sion that buying a lottery ticket would
against Israel, having been in jail a few    called the Palestinian Center for Policy    stand a better chance of winning than
times before. The next leader doesn't        and Survey Research (PSR) that con-         believing these projections.
have to be Bargouthi himself, but if his     ducts these surveys. He is also a pro-         How do they derive these projec-
generation takes the center stage of         fessor at Birzeit University. He is         tions? I suppose a mathematician
politics, I think people will pay more       about 45 years old. He has been an          comes up with a numerical formula. (It
attention to Palestinian issues.             invited guest of the Japanese Ministry      is impossible for me to form any esti-
                                             of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to deliver        mate of the formula.) He applies vari-
To Make Good Use of Good Things
                                             lectures on a few occasions. I think it     ables and puts them through his com-
Regarding Israel for Palestinian
                                             was a good arrangement by MOFA. I           puter. And you get projected prices.
                                             went to one of his lectures at the          But none of them came even close to
  Since Arafat is dead, it's easy to         University of Tokyo; as there weren't       the actual prices. In short, our brains
speak ill of him. It is good that he can't   many people in the audience, we had a       are not made to forecast oil prices. In
complain. One of his problems was            very interesting discussion. He stated      the future, I suppose they will make a
that he took the wrong path when he          positively, "Our generation realizes the    model to analyze this kind of informa-
started building his country. He put         good points of Israel. Without this         tion. For now, as we are not capable of
too much emphasis on nationalism.            knowledge, Palestine cannot regener-        doing it, I think it is better we stop fore-
Since there was no good news for the         ate." I do have a high hope for his gen-    casting. If the oil price goes up, you pay
state of his country, he encouraged his      eration.                                    more and drive less.
people to confront Israel. Please take a                                                    Please take a look at Figure 2. This
                                             Never Count on the Forecasts of Oil
look at the questionnaire in Table 4:                                                    is a perspective that the World Bank
"What do you think about armed                                                           did in 1995. By 1995, we had become a
attacks against Israel?" The answers            Let's now talk about oil. Recently I     little wiser and thought they should not
were 27% "Strongly support" and 26%          said, "We will run out of oil. The price    forecast such high prices as they did
"Support," so we can see that more           of oil will go up endlessly. It hits $60.   before. They only made forecasts up to
than 50% people are in favor of the          This is the end of the world." Then it      2010. The thick black line indicates

                                                                                          Plutonium No.48        Winter 2005       17

                                                                                                                                              US dollars per barrel
     225                                                                                      60
     200                                                                                                            Iran-Iraq War                         Current
                                                                             79               50                                                          1990$
     150                                                                     81               40
     125                                                                                                  Iran Revolution
     100                                                                     84                                                               Gulf War

      75                                                                                      20
      50                                                                                                Oil Embargo

       0                                                                                       0
           73              80        85         90        95        00                             60    65    70     75    80      85   90    95    20    05       10
                Source : US DOE, Annual Energy Outlook, various issues.                                                                        Source : World Bank

actual prices. The thin line that goes                         tury. I always wonder how students                     when there was no more oil found in
below the thick line since 1990 indi-                          continued to read in a building with                   the next year. It's not true that the
cates the oil price converted into 1990                        small windows. The Harvard Library                     price today will not fluctuate as wildly.
dollar values. According to this fore-                         finally turned on the light after the                  The same thing can happen. If they
cast, we are supposed to be paying $20                         incandescent lamp was invented.                        find a new oil field, the price will drop.
in actual values, which amounts to                                About that time the car was also                    The reverse also applies.
approximately $17-18 in 1990 dollar                            invented. The oil industry would not                      The oil industry is not responsible for
values. We should not pay more than                            have survived if automobiles had not                   its claims, and they lie. You come
$40. In short, their forecast was too                          been invented, because this market                     across expressions like "estimated
high in figure 1 and they lowered it in                        requires a lot of money to change                      reserve" and "reserve-production ratio"
Figure 2. I am sure there are a lot of                         hands as well as considerable outlays                  in books about energy and oil. When I
smart people in the World Bank, yet                            for capital investment such as building                was a child, I read something like
nobody was able to forecast the present                        pipe lines. When I imagine a situation                 "there will be no more oil in 30 years"
$40 or $45 oil price.                                          without the invention of the car that                  in a comic magazine called "Shonen
                                                               uses oil for fuel, I can't help but think              (boy's) Club." We are supposed to have
Do Confirmed and Estimated Amounts
                                                               that oil is a very fortunate product for               oil for the next 40 years or so now.
of Oil Deposits Mean Anything?
                                                               us.                                                    There are confirmed reserve of a little
   I have to explain some points regard-                          Another specific is changing prices.                over one trillion barrels. But please
ing oil. The first is that oil is a very for-                  We didn't see the same price move-                     think about this. If you are told, "we
tunate product. The oil industry began                         ments in the early period as today.                    have a lot of oil", the market psychology
in the middle of the 19th century, trig-                       There were times it went down to one                   will drag the price down. So oil compa-
gered by the use of the lamp. Edison                           tenth or one twentieth, or when it                     nies lie. They collate information with
invented an incandescent lamp in the                           jumped up 10 and 20 times within a                     fake numbers of oil deposits, and divide
late 19th century. If you compare the                          year. In the mid-19th century, there                   these numbers by the current number
incandescent lamp and the oil lamp,                            was a big oil find in Spindle Head. It                 of extractions, and then tell you, "We
the former is a far better lamp without                        wasn't that much by present stan-                      have oil for the next 40 years." What is
question. For example, the library of                          dards, but it was a big one for that peri-             the meaning of numbers anyway?
Harvard University suffered two fires.                         od. Due to that find, land price
                                                                                                                      We Can Buy Oil if We Have Money
As a consequence, nobody was allowed                           increased to two million dollars per
to use oil lamps there in the 19th cen-                        acre but dropped to $3 to $4 per acre                    In short, oil is an ordinary product.

18    Plutonium No.48 Winter 2005

This was even true during the oil             Iran, it would have been far less expen-   interests? The Saudis took them over
crises. It is determined by supply and        sive. It means that oil can be brought     completely. When a nation is permit-
demand, and we will never run out of          to the market. The Ceyhan route is         ted to do such a thing, the same thing
oil. There is one thing that we didn't        America's pride. There was another         will happen again. Japan's Arabia Oil
know and should have noticed in 1973.         story behind this route. America sup-      had to withdraw regarding its Saudi oil
When OPEC announced it would cut              ported Turkey when the latter had          interests, but the take-over was done
oil production by 5% every month, we          trouble joining the EU. Former             relatively amicably. But if you are told
should have noticed that OPEC could           President Clinton personally handled       to withdraw due to changes in the law,
not export oil in several years, based        this project.                              you can't complain. I don't understand
upon that logic. Without oil exports,            I think we are not spending our         the significance of Japanese dependen-
what would people in Saudi Arabia             money right regarding oil. We should       cy on this kind of situation.
eat? In brief, it was a lie. Later on, for-   stop thinking of oil for the rising-sun       We may have to change our ideas of
mer Saudi Oil Minister Sheik Yamani           flag. Indeed, they did have Union Jack     oil completely. I hope bureaucrats and
admitted that it was a lie. We were           oil and the Stars and Stripes oil. But     members of the Diet don't have the
taken in. The price did go up then, but       guess what happened to them after          idea that "we can secure our future
even so we didn't have trouble getting        1973? They were taken over, with only      share of oil by sending ODA to
oil in Japan.                                 Aramco remaining. Do you think             Palestine." If they still do, I think it
   How will the present high price of oil     America still owns any rights and          will be a big problem for our future.
shift? If it goes up, I think it will be a
huge blow to countries like China. As
for Japan, it will not suffer much dam-
age. I predict the impact will be minor                                 Exchange of Opinions
and any damage to be limited, with the
GDP going up or down by 0.5%.
   I will be quite frank and extreme in       1% of People Insist on Going Back to       are there.
my views. I think there is no need to go      Israel                                     Oikawa: Yes, indeed. One unique prob-
after Kashagan in Iran. I will go as far                                                 lem between Israel and Palestine is the
as to say that it was meaningless for         Member: The Palestinian population is      refugees' right to return to their homes.
Japan to pay a lot of money when there        3.8 million now; how many people were      It means their right to make claims
was a stir regarding Russian oil. One         evicted during the founding of Israel?     such as "My house was there but I was
party would insist that it should be          Oikawa: They were not among the 3.8        evicted by Israel. Now it is Israel but I
brought to Daquing, and another               million people. In short, this number      need you to take me back there." This
would insist that it should be brought        represents people who live in the West     right is included in a resolution that
to the Pacific Ocean. As far as I'm con-      Bank and Gaza. They also live in           was carried out in the U.N. General
cerned, we will be all right as long as       Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.          Assembly during the Middle East War.
we have oil somewhere.                        There are different numbers quoted,        Not that many people were evicted, but
   Nevertheless, we do have a problem         depending on whom you ask. For             they started families with children and
here. When we discovered oil in               example, the differences in figures are    grandchildren. The total number
Central Asia, we had to find a way to         more than double quoted by either          became four to six million people. If all
bring oil to the market to make money.        Israel or Palestine. There are a num-      of them come back to Israel, Israel will
It was very hard to get it to the market.     ber of people who move between the         not survive. They are discussing how to
The U.S. has built pipelines in Ceyhan        countries, but I am not sure how accu-     resolve this matter. Israel is proposing
in the Turkish Mediterranean region,          rate the Runruwa number on this is.        to offer a lot of money as compensation
so they will start their operation soon.      In my opinion, the eviction is between 4   instead of taking them back. Palestine
How much money did they spend? If             and 6 million people.                      is insisting on its claims to get back
they chose to build pipelines across          Member: Quite a fair number of people      that land.

                                                                                          Plutonium No.48      Winter 2005     19

   I told you about Mr. Shikaki of PSR a     Oikawa: It is close to 500,000 people.        republicanism, and while it may look
while ago. He told us this interesting       There are a lot of them in Lebanon. It's      good from outside, it is dictatorship in
story in his lecture. He collected funds     kind of strange that Saddam Hussein           reality. In Syria's constitution, define
from everywhere and conducted an atti-       believed in Pan-Arabism. He support-          the age eligible to be president is
tudinal survey for refugees living in        ed the unification of Arabs. He insisted      defined. But in actual fact, when the
Lebanon and Jordan. Even though the          to be its head. That's why Iraq gave          older brother who was the president
results have not been released, he gave      favorable treatment to Palestinians.          passed away, they changed the consti-
us an example. One of the questions          Palestinians paid much lower rent             tution so that his younger brother, who
asked was, "Do you want to go back to        than the market price.             And        wasn't old enough, could become presi-
your place, even though it has become        Palestinians were evicted after               dent. I don't remember exactly how old
Israeli?" 10% of respondents expressed       Hussein was gone. Landlords told              he was at that time. Still he did
their desire to go back even though they     them, "Don't fool with me. Get out. I         become president. Can we still call this
would become Israelis. Of these 10%, in      can get ten times the rent you were           a nation?
reality, only 1% of the people really want   paying. Why should I let you stay?"              I talked about Arafat's private assets
to go back. That amounts to 40,000 to        Palestinians enjoyed a good life during       amounting to 1 to 4 billion dollars. But
60,000 people, compared to 4 to 6 million    Saddam Hussein's regime but their             it was only possible since Palestine
people. There should be a solution to        present situation has worsened. There         wasn't a nation. If an owner of a small
deal with this number of people.             are many different cases, so I can't          shop makes a lot of money, he doesn't
                                             make that kind of sweeping generaliza-        own all of the money.
Various Living Standards
                                             tion regarding Palestinian living stan-       Member: To simplify the matter, we
Member: You have lived there. Do you         dards in each country.                        can forget about the Camp David talks
think those four million people are liv-                                                   and the Oslo Peace Accord when we
                                             It Is Futile in Many Ways Now,
ing a better life compared to the time                                                     think of future Palestine. If we leave
                                             but They Will Move toward the Oslo
when they were evicted?                                                                    them alone, it will settle like what this
                                             Peace Accord
Oikawa: It depends on the people and                                                       proverb says, "Everything comes to
where they live. Some lucky people           Member: The relationship between              him that waits." Is this your opinion?
who fled to Jordan are enjoying a high-      Israel and Palestine was not this seri-       Oikawa: It's easy to destroy something,
er standard of living compared to life in    ous before, I think. What caused it to        but it's hard to build it. I think they did
the village in 1948. But there is a big      put it out of synch?                          need the Oslo Peace Accord and the
problem in Lebanon. Lebanon is a             Oikawa: The biggest problem is that           Camp David talks. I didn't mention
unique country that maintains a good         Arab nations were inexperienced. The          this before, but politicians (unfortu-
balance of various ethnic groups.            concept of nationhood was imported            nately they are not the mainstream)
Therefore they have not conducted an         from Europe. Take a look at the Saudi         from Israel and Palestine got together
attitudinal survey since the 1930s. If a     Arabian case. It's better suited to call it   to discuss and presented a 'Geneva
ratio of each ethnic group is released, it   a private enterprise of the Saudi Royal       Agreement' to show how they could
may destroy its delicate balance and         Family, rather than a nation. Some            approach the problem. I think it is in
eventually lead to its destruction. So it    people say it will ruin countries in          line with the Oslo Peace Accord and is
didn't welcome Palestinians that main-       Middle East if democracy is introduced.       a well-thought-out plan.
ly consisted of Sunni Muslims. It tried      Saudi Arabia will be ruined if people            I think a lot of people from the two
to stop them from becoming a part of         start to think, "I am a Saudi." This          countries will continue to die. But I
Lebanon. Palestinians have been              applies to the entire Arab States             think their approach will be similar to
severely persecuted. They cannot get a       including Palestine.                          the present Oslo Peace Accord and the
decent job. I think they are poorer than        There were two approaches taken to         Camp David talks in their efforts to
before.                                      establish a nation in that area. One is       reach an agreement. The question is
Member: Do you think one million peo-        a traditional monarchy like Kuwait            "when." Both countries are just wast-
ple are in that situation?                   and Saudi Arabia. The other is called         ing time now. I don't think they will

20   Plutonium No.48 Winter 2005

resolve their issues without making               to facts. They kill each other in that        lic polls. And they should let many peo-
use of things from the past.                      area. Even though four thousand peo-          ple know and realize the present state.
                                                  ple were killed, it was limited only to       I think this is the starting point.
Make Them Understand They Are Not
                                                  that area. We should let them realize
'the Core of the Middle East'
                                                  this, "You are not the core of the Middle
Member: What do you think about                   East. Useless people are killing each         On January 9, Mr. Mahmud Abbas,
                                                                                                Chairman of Palestine Liberation
their future approach?                            other. That's all."
                                                                                                Organization (PLO), won the presidential
Oikawa: They have to cool down first.               The next step is to use your brain          elections of the Palestine National
After they calm down, they should                 and money. For example, invest                Authority (PNA). Mr. Marwan Bargouthi
examine Palestinian issues according              money in PSR to do more detailed pub-         in prison did not run for the elections.

                                      Major Step toward Commercial Operation
                             -Uranium Testing Conducted at Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant-

     Uranium testing was begun at Japan              Uranium tests will be conducted using    operation in 1997, but there was a big
  Nuclear Fuel Ltd. (JNFL)'s reprocessing         uranium in order to make it as close to     delay due to adjustments to original design
  plant in Rokkasho-mura, Aomori                  real operations as possible and confirm     and increased strength of machines. With
  Prefecture on December 21, 2004.                the performance of the safety functions     regard to the use of plutonium, problems
  Preparatory tests are being conducted           and the performance of the reprocessing     such as the suspension of Monju operation
  toward the start of commercial operation        equipment itself. This will find flaws in   and delay of plans for plutonium use in
  in July 2006. Already flow and chemical         the machinery and renovations as well as    light water reactors delayed plans as a
  tests have been completed, and now sub-         other measures taken before actual opera-   whole. However, the use of plutonium is
  stantial tests have begun toward full-scale     tion.                                       important for the efficient use of uranium
  operation. Following approximately a               It has been 20 years since the           resources and conservation of our fossil
  year of uranium testing, active tests will      Federation of Electric Power Companies      fuels, and in order to establish the nuclear
  be conducted to test the operation of facili-   submitted a siting request for the repro-   fuel cycle in Japan, the reprocessing plant
  ties and machinery using spent fuel, and        cessing plant in Rokkasho-mura, Aomori      is necessary. We look forward to the sure
  after safety has been confirmed, full-scale     Prefecture. This reprocessing plant,        progress toward operation of the Rokkasho
  operation will begin.                           according to original plan, was to start    reprocessing plant.

                                                                                                  Plutonium No.48        Winter 2005         21

                              Smell of Old Books

                                                                  Shigeru Goto

        They say that the government           sound exaggerated, but I feel joy in        years before this was a two story
     offices of our country are snobbish,      being alive. This is because I feel that    house: a small wooden construction
     but they still sometimes do things        each worn book is loaded with the           but convenient for stocking books.
     that are tasteful. What I am thinking     history and culture of the human            These were randomly stacked from
     of is the "The Selection of One           race.                                       the entrance to both sides of the stairs
     Hundred Scent Landscapes" which              Such an "emotional" Japanese char-       and even into the alcove. However,
     the Ministry of Environment select-       acter as "     (nioi)" cannot complete-     we now live in a small condominium
     ed around two years ago. Those            ly apply to the smell of old books,         and there is no space in which to
     chosen included "The Sweet Street of      which has gradually matured over            stack books.
     Kawagoe," "Rice Terraces of               time. The Ministry of Environment              I sat down and began to organize
     Tanegura after the Rain," "The Scent      notes that it classified "locations with    the many books. Each book would
     of Earth and Fire in Imari Ware" and      top caliber scent stemming from             look into my face ruefully as if to say,
     "The Scent of the Tide at                 nature, everyday life and culture" as       "Are you going to sell me, when you
     Itsukushima Shrine" and is quite          "scent landscapes" but I think the          haven't even read me?" I became dis-
     stylish. The land where I visited ear-    "smell" of old books is not a "        ."   gusted with myself for the many
     lier, Shimanto River, was also            However, to classify it as "                books that I bought in duplicate. I
     included. As I imagined the land-         "(nioi), or a bad smell, would be           took one out of its box and turn the
     scape of the "wind passing the            cruel. I wonder if this is why they         pages. As I browse through, I have
     Chinka Bridge of Shimanto River,"         called this       (kaori), or scent, and    new discoveries, and forgot the time.
     this poem came to mind:                   wrote it in hiragana. It is an expres-      However, the mountain of books did
        "Shading his head with his palm        sion that is quite exquisite.               not lessen. How many times did I
        against the strong dry wind, a            My study smells vaguely of a sec-        put a book back on the shelf, and
        river imp"                             ondhand bookstore. My old wife              take one out again. Saying farewell
                             Katsue Kitazono   complains every time she enters, but        to books was painful.
        In this selection of one hundred, I    when I smell this rather bad smell, I          Selling my books, space appears
     found the "Kanda Secondhand Books         feel calm. Four years ago, we left the         on the shelf, how dispiriting
     Street" and admired. I love to search     country and moved our final home                                        Rohan Koda
     among old books and when I go into        to Kaga close to the former                    The other day, I had dinner at a
     a secondhand bookstore and smell          Nakasendo Itabashi lodging. The             restaurant on the 19th floor of the
     that characteristic smell: it may         house that we lived in for many             Tokyo Bankers Association building

22     Plutonium No.48 Winter 2005
called Club Kanto. The green roof of         "Although it happens every year, I     It is known as a book leaving its
the imperial residence seen from the      must say that books do not sell in        mark in British literary history as a
large windows was beautiful. The          autumn."                                  "small masterpiece" of an invaluable
green of the pines looked sharp in           As I was reading Mr. Matsumura's       autobiography, and it has continued
the autumn sun. After enjoying the        collected essays: "Closing at Six         to be printed, next by Shincho
dinner, I walked around the room          O'clock," I got a catch in my throat      Bunko, then by Iwanami Bunko and
enjoying the art works on the walls.      when I got to the place where he          others. I had not known a thing
There were paintings by Tsuguji           writes, "Even in the country second-      about this book. What I found was
Fujita, Sanzo Wada and others, icons      hand bookstore, the seasonal change       the 1961 version by Iwanami Bunko
from Russia, and etchings by              leaves its shadow." According to Mr.      (Translation by Masao Hirai). This I
Rembrandt. Even a pot by Imaemon          Matsumura, books do not sell not          read straight through without stop-
Imaizumi was casually displayed. It       only in the autumn, the good season       ping.
was like being in a museum.               for reading, but in all other seasons        "...I am not the kind of customer
   I stopped in front of the oil paint-   as well. ("The Seasons at a Country          that scrounges for the rare old
ing "Cordonnerie" by Yuzo Saeki           Bookstore")                                  books. It does not bother me if the
(1925). It went right to my heart just       Buying a book, its cover smells, in       book is the first edition or a large
thinking that it was a painting done         the snowy year-end                        version. I buy the literature, in
in the year that I was born. Yuzo                                      Rinka Ono       other words, food for the soul.
Saeki, who was young when he                 When one picks up a book, the             That feeling when the very inner
passed away, liked to paint scenery       cover has a vague scent. It may be           packaging is peeled back and the
from old Parisian streets. All of the     that this scent is what brings people        binding finally comes into view!
paintings are of crumbling walls.         to the bookstore.                            The first smell. I reverently pick
There are remains of graffiti paint          "... One of the ways I can unfortu-       up the book and quietly turn the
and posters that used to be on the           nately tell I am growing old is that      pages. My eyes glance at the first
walls. I can sense the wafting smell         I no longer go to the secondhand          title and just thinking of the feast I
of the old town. The writer Jiro             bookstore." (Jiro Osaragi, "Looking       am about to partake, I become
Osaragi was touched by these paint-          for Old Books")                           deeply moved and my eyes mois-
ings and called them "Walls of               I have also become of that age. I         ten."
Autumn Breeze." The austerely ele-        have the most difficult time looking         I do not know of anyone who has
gant colors stayed in my mind for a       for books as I put my glasses on and      written so emotionally about the joy
long time.                                off. My perseverance is becoming          of reading. He sobs over the scent of
   Autumn is the season of literature     limited. Still, when I hear that in       books as follows: "I can tell each of
as well as of art. This year as in pre-   reader polls 70 year old and up are       my books by their scent. Just by put-
vious years, the area around Kanda        still going strong, I am encouraged       ting the tip of my nose in the pages, I
was alive with the old books festival.    by their undying love of reading.         instantly know everything."
They say that these days more and            Morihiro Hosokawa, who has now            When I think of the words of
more people are gearing away from         entered the elegantly rustic life of      Ryecroft: "I will read without stop-
books, but looking at the herd of peo-    "work in good weather, read in wet"       ping until the end... and I will forget."
ple gathered for the old books festi-     recommended "Private Papers of            And then read the following essay, I
val, I felt that it may not as bad as     Henry Ryecroft" by George Gissing.        cannot help but clap my hands.
they say. But, when I hear that book      When I looked it up, I found that this       "... The thing is that I can only
lovers are lessening every year, I feel   book was published in 1903, but              remember bits of what I have read
as sad as if looking at leaves falling    Shukotsu Togawa and others intro-            before. But I still read on with joy.
with the cold winter wind.                duced it early on in Japan so that it        I am not trying to become a scholar
   Hisashi Matsumura writes:              was printed by Kaizo Bunko in 1939.          to prepare for the future. It does

                                                                                      Plutonium No.48       Winter 2005         23
        not matter to me anymore what I            the following postcard:                     scholar is also known for the collec-
        forget. I just fully enjoy the                   I found it, I found it!!              tion of poetry collections, and he
        moment..."                                       This is it, This is it!!              mentions in the essay "Searching for
        Jiro Osaragi, who was also a book                My heart beats fast                   Old Books" that among the poets
     lover, said the following:                          Even as I walk home through           writing in the late Taisho era 1912 -
        "... to read a book is to make the               the city                              25, there were "books that were
        author your friend. is a diffi-            I smile to myself                     smoked with incense."
        cult job to find a good friend                   It is a great find                       In the incense ceremony, I hear
        among people, but it is somewhat             This is a postcard that he wrote to       that they say "listen to the scent."
        easier to find one in a book. The          Gyofu Soma on May 20, 1931. It is           The Kanda Secondhand Books Street
        point is not to let go once you find       accompanied by a caricature of him-         is filled with such enticing scents of
        a good friend. ("To Get Used to            self in kimono with both arms raised        old books. If you stop and listen
        Books")                                    in a banzai upon finally finding the        carefully, you can vaguely hear the
        No secondhand bookstore is pret-           book "Bonjin Jodo."                         books calling. As I hear the scent of
     ty. But looking at the sleeve of the            That reminded me of a time quite a        these old books, I walk the street
     books piled high; I sometimes have            long time ago when I paid good              again in search of a good friend.
     the feeling that "It was a good day."         money to purchase a massive box set            Fixing the jacket, an old book
     It is the smell of the old books that         of all eight books: "Complete Works            scrapes by as new, on a cold
     calls me.                                     of Gyofu Soma" and made me grin                autumn night
        Bunya Okamoto of Shinnai is also           with glee. This was because the                                   Nobutsuna Sasaki
     one who was drawn by this smell.              "Bonjin Jodo" was in the first book of
     Opening the "Letters of Bunya
     Okamoto" (Sangetsu Shobo), I stop at
                                                   the series.
                                                     Kozo Kawamori, a French literary                     (   Former Member of the
                                                                                                              House of Representatives   )

                               Commercial Operation Starts at No. 5 Hamaoka NPS
        The unit No. 5 reactor in Hamaoka          the biggest generating capacity of all     in total amount rose from 11% to 15%,
     Nuclear Power Station of Chubu Electric       power reactors in operation in Japan.      reducing thermal power by this volume
     Power Co. started commercial operation        Construction was begun in March 1999       and contributing to measures against
     on January 18. It is three years since the    and total construction costs came to       global warming.
     last nuclear reactor began commercial         approximately 360 billion yen.                This October, the unit No. 1 reactor of
     operation in January 2002 at the unit No.       Through the operation of this reactor,   Tohoku Electric Power Co.'s Higashidori
     3 reactor in Tohoku Electric Power Co.'s      the total output of the 5 reactors of      Nuclear Power Station is planned to start
     Onagawa Nuclear Power Station. This is        Hamaoka nuclear power station will be 5    operation. As environmental preservation
     the 53rd commercial nuclear power plant       million kW - second in output behind       is becoming a importation issue at the
     in operation in Japan.                        Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Kashiwazaki     global stage, the role of nuclear energy is
        This unit No. 5 reactor is an advanced     Kariwa Nuclear Power Station. The ratio    sure to increase more and more in order to
     boiling water reactor (ABWR) and with         of its electricity generation by nuclear   secure a stable supply of energy.
     the installed capacity of 1,380 MWe, it has   power plants of Chubu Electric Power Co.

24     Plutonium No.48 Winter 2005
Editor's Postscripts
   Looking at the news of the big tidal wave      how, knowledge, and experience on prepara-          Saturn's largest moon Titan which was 179
from the earthquake of Sumatra I shouted at       tions/prevention of disasters, so that we can       degrees below zero and sent back sound and
the television, "Don't keep looking, hurry and    be prepared for the future.                         picture. This is a wonderful thing. Titan,
run, hurry up and run!" - forgetting it was a         Tests using uranium were started at the         which was discovered in the 17th century, is
video. It is just too awful that there were       reprocessing plant in Rokkasho-mura. This is        the only satellite in the solar system that has a
more than 240,000 deaths.                         our energy facility at the final stage of con-      very thick atmosphere, and is said to be in the
   It is too sad that Japan's experience was      struction, considering energy demand of the         same environment as was Earth before life was
not taken as reference. But, it is frightful to   whole of 21st century. We hope that all those       born 3.5 to 3.8 billion years ago. Huygens was
think that even in Japan, there were none who     involved will handle things in all earnestness      sent off in 1997, and took seven years to reach
expected the Hanshin Earthquake ten years         so that after uranium tests, they will be able to   Titan. It sent pictures back immediately after
ago. We hope that Japan can fully contribute      move smoothly into commercial operations.           landing. Unfortunately, the radio waves only
not only financial relief but Japanese know-          The small Huygens probe landed on               lasted 30 minutes after the landing.

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