Who’s Who: Hajime Mikami

-Co-Representative, Mayors for a Nuclear Power Free Japan Network;
-Organiser, Genjiren (Promotion of Zero Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Federation);
-Free spirit


Hajime Mikami began to speak out about the dangers of nuclear power plants, not after 3/11/2011 but after 9/11/2001. The fourth passenger plane in the US terrorist attack, which crashed before it could reach its target, was headed for Three Mile Island, Mikami had no doubts about it, that’s what he would do if he was a terrorist. Which means that nuclear power plants (NPPs) are basically nuclear weapons, aimed at their own people. Mikami, who was a management consultant at Funai Research Institute at the time, started to sound the alarm that the potential danger of NPPs far outweighs their usefulness.
  On 12 March 2011, when the hydrogen explosion happened at Unit 1 of Fukushima Daiichi, Mikami was Mayor of Kosai City in Shizuoka Prefecture, his hometown. In just two weeks following the accident, opinion polls showed that those in favor of maintaining or promoting nuclear power plants and those in favor of restraining or stopping them altogether were split right down the middle and the two opposing sides were antagonizing each other. This shocked Mikami deeply. It was only a few years ago, but there was a general atmosphere which did not allow public officials to say anything anti-nuke. Still, Mikami couldn’t be worried about that.
  In his address to Kosai City municipal staff at the beginning of the new financial year in April, he made a no-nuke declaration and began to take action. In the course of his public duties he met lots of different people. When he gave his business card to Yuukoh Fujita and Hiroaki Koide (physicist/engineer, well-known in the anti-nuclear movement) they commented that this was the first time they had met a mayor. On the strength of his rarity value, his name was added to the list of plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit demanding an injunction on the Hamaoka NPP. Through this connection he became good friends with Tsuyoshi Yoshiwara, who was the director of Johnan Shinkin Bank at the time (at present, he is Genjiren Representative).
  The 17 April 2011 Nagoya edition of the Asahi Shinbun reports that Mikami had already worked out a framework for a no nukes mayor’s network. Within that year he met with Tatsuya Murakami, Mayor of Tokai Village in Ibaraki Prefecture, who was demanding that the government decommission Tokai 2 NPP. He also met with Katsunobu Sakurai, Mayor of Minamisoma City in Fukushima Prefecture, who had refused to accept subsidies connected with nuclear power plants. He requested both of them to be the official initiators of the mayor’s network and they readily agreed. Following that, after joining the Global Conference for a Nuclear Free World movement, the present Mayors for a Nuclear Power Free Japan Network was born. 

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People who have only seen photographs of Mikami may have the impression that he is a hardened anti-nuke warrior, but his speeches are as funny as a stand-up comic and the audience always seems to be having a lot of fun. In everyday life, Mikami is usually smiling. And just like his caricature stamp, his head, free of hair, shines. Shining brightly and smiling happily, appealing for a nuclear free world, Mikami is a truly unique key person in the world anti-nuke movement.
<YAMASHINA Atsushi, freelance writer>
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