Japanese auteur joins anti-Lynas brigade

Posted on September 7, 2011. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Malaysian Insider-

Iwai (left) and Tan have joined the bandwagon to prevent radioactive disasters. — Picture courtesy of Da Huang Pictures

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — Japanese film-maker Shunji Iwai is lending his strength to stop Australian miner Lynas Corp from powering up its controversial rare earths refinery in Kuantan.Iwai, who wrote and directed box-office hits “Love Letter” (1995) and “All About Lily Chou-Chou” (2001), learnt of the Save Malaysia Stop Lynas cause from Malaysian film-maker Tan Chui Mui, whose hometown in Sungai Ular is just 11km away from the RM700 million plant.

Tan, whose Da Huang Pictures — a joint-venture with Amir Muhammad, James Lee and Liew Seng Tat — has produced award-winning films like 2006’s “Love Conquers All,” has committed herself to drive out Lynas after learning the plant will produce and store huge amounts of potentially hazardous radioactive waste, her assistant Foo Fei Ling said in a media statement.

The Kuantan native successfully enlisted Sendai-born Iwai’s help by highlighting the Lynas plant’s potential radioactive hazards to the local residents.

Sendai, near Tokyo, was struck in March this year by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake that triggered the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Iwai is currently working on a documentary about the nuclear radiation disaster and the impact on Japan’s future titled “Friends After 3.11”.

“He wants to include Lynas’s rare earth refinery in his documentary, which will be aired on Japanese TV stations and online in October,” the press statement said.

Iwai will be recording scenes of Sungai Ular, which is where a local Anti-Lynas movement claim the waste water will be pumped into, through an Internet video-chat with Tan tomorrow.

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