A report by The Intercept this week provided a missing piece of the puzzle from 2012 and Japan’s attempted nuclear exit. Back in 2012 then PM Noda established a policy for Japan to phase out nuclear power by 2030. This of course brought protest from Japan’s nuclear industry but more curiously brought protest by various parties claiming to represent the US. One of these was a series of eyebrow raising public statements by John Hamre who showed up in Japan weeks after the new policy was announced.
Hamre is the president of a Washington DC think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). While in Japan he made a series of claims about Japan’s need for nuclear power, the US stance on the issue and readily debunked claims about renewable energy. Hamre does not hold any authority to speak on behalf of the US but gave the impression he was sharing US official views on the issue. News reports described him as “a former deputy US defense secretary”. What was not known in 2012 was who bankrolled Hamre’s Japanese speaking tour or his opinions on the issue.
The Intercept’s new report on foreign government funding of TPP promotion within the US provides that missing piece. Hamre’s Center for Strategic and International Studies is heavily funded by the Japanese government and a long list of US and Japanese nuclear industry companies. The Intercept cites a 2014 investigative report by the New York Times that looked into foreign influence on DC think tanks and how that goes on to skew US policy, laws and spending. The New York Times investigation pressured the CSIS to publish their corporate and government donors list for the first time in 2014. The New York Times also explains that these lobbying activities on behalf of foreign governments masquerading as impartial scholarship are likely illegal in the US. The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires such arrangement to be disclosed to the US government.
The CSIS received over $500,000 from the Japanese government. They do not disclose how much over half a million dollars they received or for what time frame this money was payed to the firm. Japan is a top donor to CSIS. Only the UAE and US are included in that top donor category along with Japan.
The corporate donors to CSIS are much more revealing and may explain Hamre’s tour and statements defending Japan’s nuclear industry along with his attempts to pressure the current PM and his cabinet to change course back in 2012.
This list of nuclear industry companies is compiled from the CSIS corporate funding statement. Bold and italic companies are based in Japan or have heavy investment or large divisions that operate in Japan’s nuclear industry.
Contributions over $200,000
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Contributions over $100,000
General Dynamics Corporation
Contributions over $65,000
Contributions over $35,000
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Contributions under $34,999
Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
Électricité de France S.A.
General Electric Company
Honeywell International, Inc.
Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd.
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