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Anti-Nuke Who's Who

Mamoru Fukae: gentle, genial and diligent

By Yoko Yamanaka*
With his base in the Kita Kyushu1 citizens' movement and in his role as the secretary of the We Want to Live in a Nuclear-Free Kyushu Collective (now Kyushu Network Against Nuclear Energy), Mamoru Fukae has his finger on the pulse of the whole Kyushu anti-nuclear movement. His work with the Assistance Movement to Chernobyl, Kyushu was tremendous. He was busily engaged there for the ten years from its inception until it became properly established and he was able to hand over the reins to younger people. Then in 2000, when Kyushu Electric announced for the second time its pluthermal2 plan, he became a joint director of the Committee to Implement a Public Meeting with Kyushu Electric Power Company about Pluthermal.

His activities have been many and various and if you were to make a list of his achievements you might imagine some furiously energetic activist, but you would be way wide of the mark. He smiles genially as he listens patiently to the chatter around him. It doesn't matter whether he is talking to Kyushu Electric or to officials from Saga Prefecture. His demeanor is always the same. Calm and polite, he never interrupts when other people are speaking. He gives the other person plenty of time to speak, before gradually exposing the contradictions and presenting new information from a different angle. It's about as far as you can imagine from a battle scene.

His words are gentle, but he's a mine of information about nuclear matters and the points he makes hit the mark. It appears that the source of his expertise is the Denuclearization Newsletter, which he produces every two to three months. This newsletter, which amounts to a little over twenty pages, is a pillar of strength for the Kyushu movement against nuclear energy. And Mamoru has a great memory for all of it.

He works for the Post Office and places a high priority on family life. He writes his newsletter and doesn't neglect to do his study. But you never get the feeling that he's busy. He's a bit of a mystery, really.

When Kyushu Electric announced its pluthermal plan for Genkai Nuclear Power Plant on March 1st, Mamoru resurrected the Committee to Implement a Public Meeting about Pluthermal for the first time in four years. He managed to get a favorable response from the Governor and Kyushu Electric. However, even within Saga Prefecture, the level of awareness of pluthermal is low. As for the fact that pluthermal is 'dangerous', only about one percent have that awareness.

So Mamoru decided to invite Yuko Fujita3 to Kyushu. First we get a message that just says, "Fujita will come." A little bit later he asks us, "Can you arrange a public meeting?" When asked like that we can hardly say no. But at this time we are very grateful to have someone come who can really speak about pluthermal. But the leaflet that Mamoru produced said, 'Iraq: the damage and pollution caused by depleted uranium weapons.' What's this? Isn't he coming to talk about pluthermal?

Maybe it's this vagueness about details that has been the secret behind Mamoru Fukae's 25 years of civil activism.

Gentle, diligent, vague about details, never throws in the towel mid course, and never blames people; the hard worker who unifies the Kyushu movement against nuclear energy: that's Mamoru Fukae.

1. See map

2. The term pluthermal refers to the use of plutonium in the form of mixed oxide fuel (MOX) in 'thermal' - as opposed to 'fast' - reactors.

3. Yuko Fujita is a professor at Keio University doing research from an anti-nuclear perspective.

*Yoko Yamanaka is a member of The Fortress of Dandelions (The No Nukes Association)

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