"The word ‘citizens’ used in the call for the meeting is significant. From the time Minamata disease first became an issue, up to the present, in such contexts it has meant not all residents of the city but only those who are not directly involved. In other words, in excludes Minamata disease victims, fishing families, and company employees..."
"an official of the Minamata Chamber of Commerce wrote to the editor of the Kumamoto nichinichi shinbun: The truth of this frightful disease is know throughout the world through reports on the miserable situation of the patients, but no concrete measures have been taken to elimination the cause… The fishers, utterly dependent on compensation from Nitchitisu, have no rice for today, much less tomorrow. If bad sludge still remains why have the authorities and Nitchitsu made no serious attempts to remove it? At this state one action is more important than 10,000 words denying responsibility."
"In sum, then, despite the formal legal and institutional infrastructure, 'postwar democracy' as defined and practiced by Japanese citizens and exemplified by responses to Minamata disease incident has remained quite ad hoc: it is creative, exciting, and full of tools for citizens to use but always dependent on continual definition and redefinition in practice. Minamata has left a legacy not of regularized procedures and institutions for expanded pluralism but of possibilities."