Monday, May 2, 2011

Kan Administration Silences Prof. Toshiso Kosako with "Kindly" Advice on Confidentiality

Professor Toshiso Kosako of Tokyo University, who resigned on April 30 in protest over the 20 milli-sieverts per year allowable radiation exposure to children, was threatened with a "kindly advice" from the Prime Minister's Office not to hold a press conference on May 2 to explain his opposition.

"老婆心": literal meaning of the word that I translate into "kindly" is "granny's heart". The advice is for the benefit of Professor Kosako, out of the kindly granny's heart. "It is none of my business really, but just to remind you, for your own good" is the gist of it.

The "kindly advice" told Professor Kosako that he still has a confidentiality obligation not to disclose any information that he was privy to during his days as a special advisor to the Prime Minister.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (5/2/2011):


The press conference that Professor Toshiso Kosako of Tokyo University had planned to give in the evening of May 2 was canceled. Professor Kosako had resigned from his post as special advisor to the Prime Minister on April 30 over the government's dealings with TEPCO's Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident.


According to Representative Seiki Soramoto (Democratic Party of Japan), Professor Kosako was notified by the Prime Minister's Office of the confidentiality agreement [between him and the PM's office] and that led to the cancellation.


Professor Kosako announced his resignation on April 29 saying he couldn't accept the government response to the Fukushima I accident. According to Mr. Soramoto, Professor Kosako was going to give a detailed explanation as to why the radiation exposure limit for use of school yards set by Ministry of Education and Science was problematic.


However, Professor Kosako phoned Mr. Soramoto on May 1 and told him that he couldn't not attend the press conference because he "had been kindly informed (by the source in the Prime Minister's Office)" that he still had a confidentiality obligation."


Ministry of Education and Science has set the annual radiation exposure limit of 20 milli-sieverts for children to use school yards. According to Mr. Soramoto, "Professor Kosako thinks the radiation level that children could be exposed to is 5 milli-sieverts per year at most. It is regrettable that Professor Kosako's point of view cannot be aired."


netudiant said...

Classic bureaucratic thinking: 'To shut up the inconvenient voice, cite a legal obligation'.
In the US, this approach led to the 'Streisand effect',
the effort to use a court case made the information that was to be concealed so famous that it was publicized beyond any individuals capability.
I do hope that the internet functions similarly in Japan
so that Dr Kosakos data are everywhere understood and discussed.

Anonymous said...


I knew something like this was going to happen, confidentiality agreements are standard operating procedure for governments and industries like nuclear power. The BP oil spill is one big confidentiality agreement and Fukushima will be the same. If Professor Kosako doesn't just go away then they will start the discrediting harassment. This outcome may still come to pass in the future if others try to champion the Professor's position too strongly.

If the nuclear workers were smart they would save private samples of their blood as future proof for their current exposure.

Japan urged to store N-workers' blood:

Post a Comment