Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Privatizing Profits and Socializing Losses (including Genocide)

Japan lower house approves doubling sales tax to 10 percent despite ruling party rift. By Chico Harlan, Updated: Tuesday, June 26, 2:18 AM The Washington Post

[excerpted] "...Once the tax legislation becomes law, Japan’s consumption tax — currently among the world’s lowest — will rise from 5 percent to 8 percent in 2014, then to 10 percent in 2015.

Japan’s government says that such an increase will generate 13.5 trillion yen (or roughly $170 billion) per year. But that only begins to cut away at the country’s fiscal problems, which include soaring public debt, decades of low growth, and little chance for expansion as its population ages...."
[end excerpt]

Japan’s nuclear victims seek compensation, but not their day in court By Chico Harlan, Published: June 25 The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/japans-nuclear-victims-seek-compensation-but-not-a-day-in-court/2012/06/25/gJQAe8GO1V_story.html

[excerpted] "...But for all the damage and despair it wrought, the disaster has unfolded without one conventional element: a widespread and contentious legal fight by those who say they should be compensated for their losses.

Victims of the worst nuclear crisis in a quarter-century have filed about 20 lawsuits against plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., according to the company. That compares with the several hundred suits filed against BP within weeks of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, including the near-finalized settlement of a class-action suit that will pay 120,000 plaintiffs upward of $7.8 billion. BP also paid out about $6.2 billion to victims via a neutral claims settlement process, administered by a lawyer appointed by the Obama administration.

Victims and lawyers here in Japan say the dearth of nuclear-related lawsuits reflects both a national mind-set — a distaste for confrontation — and a stunted judicial system that doesn’t allow for class-action cases or punitive damages. Japanese people think the court system is more likely to deliver frustration than vengeance, and jobless evacuees who urgently need money have little appetite for long trials with uncertain outcomes....

Without the threat of legal action, said Hiroyuki Kawai, a Tokyo-based lawyer handling one of the few lawsuits filed against Tepco, “the state and companies can take advantage of victims.” Tepco spokesman Hiroki Kawamata said that is not the case....
[end excerpt]

Majia here: Although I hardly think the BP oil spill litigation illustrates justice, especially given the suppression of scientific information about the extent of the spill and its effects on animals,

...the situation experienced by the Japanese is beyond unjust.

Indeed, I would describe it as genocide given the suppression of information about massive ongoing radiation releases, the unwillingess to force decontamination, the promotion of unsafe seafood, etc.

I really need a break from this horror. I am going to see Madagascar 3 with my kids today.

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