Shigeharu Aoyama, former journalist and a current member of Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission who went in and took the ground-level video of Fukushima I Nuke Plant on April 22 and caused consternation at Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, appeared on Asahi TV on the morning of May 8 (Japan Time) and revealed that Prime Minister Naoto Kan requested that Chubu Electric Power Company shut down Hamaoka Nuke Plant because of a strong pressure from the United States since early April.
So much for Kan's words, that he was requesting the shutdown for the "safety and security of the Japanese citizens". (See my previous post on Hamaoka.)
The interest of the US, alleges Aoyama, is the safety of its base in Yokosuka, home to the US 7th Fleet, which is downwind from Hamaoka.
Aoyama said he himself received phone calls from both the US Defense Department and the State Department, and was told by the US officials: "We're just out of Fukushima. That Hamaoka..." (These are his words in English, in the video.)
Aoyama also revealed that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) did the estimate of power demand and supply in case of Hamaoka shutdown at the request from the government, but the Prime Minister didn't request to see the estimate before he made the "request" to Chubu Electric to shut down Hamaoka.
Well, METI bureaucrats didn't bother to offer, either.
As Aoyama said, the area that Chubu Electric covers has Toyota, Honda, and Suzuki, among other companies large and small. Oops.
The video is in Japanese. The talk about Hamaoka and the US pressure is right in the beginning.