Nobel laureate Oe calls for halt to all nuclear plants

March 18, 2012

By SHINJI INADA/ Correspondent

PARIS--At France's largest book fair, instead of promoting a novel, Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe used the spotlight to call for the immediate abolition of all nuclear power plants.

Oe, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1994, spoke at the “Salon du livre de Paris,” one of the largest book fairs in Europe, which began in Paris on March 16 and runs through March 19.

“What is the most important ethic for humans to act is not to destroy conditions that are necessary for the next generation to live,” Oe said, in calling for the end to nuclear power plants. “The reasons from the viewpoints of economy, science and defense are just secondary ones.”

At this year's Paris book fair, organizers chose Japan as the special guest country. Because of that, a total of 22 Japanese people, including authors, poets and comic artists, are taking part in the event.

Oe participated in the discussion meeting, titled, “How to confront a catastrophe.” The Nobel laureate strongly criticized the Japanese government for moving toward restarting idled nuclear reactors.

“The Japanese government is not thinking about nuclear power plants seriously,” he said.

A year has passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake hit northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011. During the period, authors and other people have repeatedly held discussions on the pros and cons of nuclear power.

In the meeting, Oe introduced farmers whose lands were contaminated by radioactive materials because of the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and fishermen who were deprived of their fishing spots due to the disaster.

“There are no more inhumane things than this,” Oe said.

He also said that the Fukushima accident is adversly affecting neighboring Asian countries.

By SHINJI INADA/ Correspondent
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Kenzaburo Oe, center, calls for the abolition of nuclear power plants in a discussion meeting held in the Japan booth of the “Salon du livre de Paris” book fair. (Remi Favresse)

Kenzaburo Oe, center, calls for the abolition of nuclear power plants in a discussion meeting held in the Japan booth of the “Salon du livre de Paris” book fair. (Remi Favresse)

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  • Kenzaburo Oe, center, calls for the abolition of nuclear power plants in a discussion meeting held in the Japan booth of the “Salon du livre de Paris” book fair. (Remi Favresse)

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