Yoko Hasegawa
Universiy of California, Berkeley

May 7, 2011

Hiroaki Koide, a Nuclear Reactor Specialist, has held a position of jokyo, equivalent to assistant professor, at the Research Reactor Institute of Kyoto University since 1974. When he entered the Nuclear Engineering Department of Tohoku University as an undergraduate student in 1968, like most Japanese people at the time, Koide believed that nuclear power was a dream resource for the future. He soon learned, however, that nuclear power was extremely dangerous, and that construction of nuclear power plants was based on exploitation of the weaker strata of society. Since this realization in 1970, he has continuously appealed for abolition of nuclear power generation. For forty years, he has sacrificed possibilities for academic promotions and research funding in behalf of this honorable and worthy cause.

During the 1950s, advancement of nuclear power generation was firmly established as a national priority in Japan. Since then, power companies in Japan have enjoyed a complete monopoly in generation and distribution of electricity, a system which has assured lucrative profits. Consequently, despite the efforts of many persons like Koide, the much stronger coalition among power companies, nuclear industry, bureaucrats, politicians, and scientists has collusively constructed more than fifty nuclear power plants in Japan by paying impoverished rural areas irresistible amounts of money to surrender control over their lands.

Major political parties became captive to the power companies' lavish donations. Nuclear scientists began to restrain themselves from voicing opposition to expansion of nuclear power generation because of dependence on substantial amounts of research funding. Furthermore, the power companies have supported the mass media, in the form of advertising, so that the mass media have been unable to reach large audiences with socially responsible reportage.


The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant catastrophe occurred on March 11, 2011. Since then, for approximately one month, representatives of the mass media have not asked questions at press conferences that might challenge or impede TEPCO (the Tokyo Electric Power Company). There have even been attempts to distract freelance reporters from pursuing critical questions. Please see the following video. The individuals who are seated and evidencing annoyance are mass media reporters; freelance reporters are not provided with chairs. This confrontation took place shortly after midnight on April 5, 2011, when TEPCO announced that they would dump 11,500 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. The freelance reporter wearing an orange jacket is Kazuo Hizumi; standing next to him is Ryuichi Kino. Later in the video, some mass media reporters supported Hizumi and Kino by providing them with time for adjusting their strategies.

TEPCO Press Conference, April 5, 2011 (0:57:03)

(All videos linked from this document are in mp4 format. If you cannot see them, please obtain VLC Media Player.)


Koide is a courageous scholar, who has ongoingly supported antinuclear activism. He has frequently participated in debates opposing mainstream government- and industry-sponsored scholars, most of whom are faculty with the rank of professor from the University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and Osaka University. They regard Koide with contempt and condescension, as shown in this video, filmed in 2005 when Saga prefecture (located on the island of Kyushu) held a town meeting in order to obtain support for its decision to allow the Kyushu Electric Power Company to utilize a mixture of uranium and plutonium (called pluthermal) at its Genkai Nuclear Power Plant. Here, Koide's opponent is Professor Hirotada Ohashi from the University of Tokyo. His continual smirk expresses his contempt for Koide. (If you are interested only in Koide's and Ohashi's comments, watch Parts 3-10, 12-14, and 16-17.)

Genkai Panel Discussion, Part1 (0:15:00)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part2 (0:15:00)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part3 (0:15:10)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part4 (0:15:10)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part5 (0:15:10)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part6 (0:15:10)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part7 (0:15:10)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part8 (0:15:10)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part9 (0:13:19)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part10 (0:14:57)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part11 (0:16:00)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part12 (0:14:59)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part13 (0:15:00)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part14 (0:15:00)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part15 (0:15:00)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part16 (0:15:00)
Genkai Panel Discussion, Part17 (0:14:53)

Comments of the audience clearly reveal outrage towards Ohashi. In particular and especially note the part in Part 13, about eight minutes into it, when Ohashi insists that consideration of earthquakes is irrelevant to the discussion of safety of nuclear plants. Following this debate, Saga prefecture determined that a residents' consensus had been achieved, and the pluthermal operation was commenced. One viewer of the video wrote that Mr. Koide must have felt like a Don Quixote.


Koide is a member of the nuclear researcher group referred to as The Kumatori 6. Kumatori is the town in Osaka in which the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute is located. These six conscientious antinuclear researchers have worked at the Institute since the 1970s. One is deceased and three have retired, leaving only Hiroaki Koide and Tetsuji Imanaka. The following is the award-wining documentary created by the Mainichi Broadcasting System in 2008.

Naze keikoku o tsuzukeru no ka: Kyodai genshiro kenkyusho "itan" no kenkyushatachi 'Why are they warning? Dissenters at the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute' (0:49:50)

When this documentary was broadcasted, Kansai Electric Power Company retaliated against Mainichi by withdrawing all of its advertising.


Since March 11, many Japanese have been frustrated by their inability to obtain comprehensive and reliable information about the disaster. Day after day, the government and its puppet scholars have appeared on TV, continuously preaching that the situation was and is completely safe. However, thanks to the Internet, some segments of the Japanese people have been able to access an alternative information source, that is, to turn to Hiroaki Koide. He is arguably Japan's ablest and trusted scholar. He possesses scholarship, ethics, sincerity, and ability to explain the situation forthrightly and with dignity and clarity to the public. Even when he mentions alarming scenarios, listeners find in his voice reassurance that enables them to maintain wisdom and calm in this time of crisis and instability.


A recently established website named Genpatsu Goyo-gakusha Risuto 'A directory of scholar-puppets' is at: http://www47.atwiki.jp/goyo-gakusha/. Hirotada Ohashi, who debated with Koide regarding the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant mentioned above, is, of course, involved. The web site also provides a list of antinuclear scholars, including Hiroaki Koide: http://www47.atwiki.jp/goyo-gakusha/pages/16.html.



"Hiroaki Koide on the Dream of a Nuclear Japan." This summary of an interview with Koide was translated into English and posted originally on September 3, 2007 at gyaku.jp, a web site that no longer exists.

"The Actual Condition of Fukushima First Nuclear Power Plant: An Interview with Hiroaki Koide, a Leader of Antinuclear Power Movement." This is an April 13, 2011 Chunichi Newspaper article, translated into English.

A portal for Hiroaki Koide's papers (in English) about the Jadugoda Uranium Mine, Jharkhand India.

His papers in Japanese.

Materials he created for his talks and court testimonies.

"Safety Left out in Japan's 'Nuclear Power Village Culture of Complicity' Tied to Stricken Nuclear Plant," by Norimitsu Onishi and Ken Belson, New York Times, April 26, 2011.

"A Victory for the Anti-Nuclear Plant Argument?" An article about The Kumatori 6, translated into English.

"Hakugai saretsuzuketa Kyoto Daigaku no genpatsu kenkyusha (Kumatori rokunin-gumi) tachi" 'The Kumatori 6: Oppressed Nuclear Scientists at Kyoto University'. (No English translation)