It was only 4 days ago that Japan's PM Noda said "it is regrettable" that there were no minutes kept for the government response team's meetings ever since March 11, 2011 earthquake/tsunami/nuke accident.
Then it turned out that Miyagi Prefecture and Iwate Prefecture didn't quite keep record of their disaster response meetings either.
Now it turns out that the Japanese government hasn't kept any minutes of disaster response meetings since the 1995 Kobe earthquake.
Yomiuri Shinbun (1/31/2012) reports:
It was discovered on January 31 that there was no meeting summary or minutes for any of the meetings of emergency response groups or emergency disaster response groups which were set up since the 1995 Kobe earthquake.
Multiple government sources told Yomiuri.
Since it was revealed that there was no minutes of the government meetings relating to the March 11, 2011 earthquake/tsunami disaster, the Cabinet Office expanded the investigation into the past disaster response headquarters to see if there were minutes created for the 8 separate disaster response headquarters set up after disasters including the Kobe earthquake (1995), Mt. Usu eruption in Hokkaido (2000), Miyakejima Island eruption in Tokyo (2000), Chuetsu Earthquake in Niigata (2004), and major typhoons.
It turned out that except for the earthquake emergency response headquarters set up at the time of the Kobe earthquake that had part of the summary of proceedings kept as part of the outline of the then-Chief Cabinet Secretary's press conference, there was no minutes nor summary of proceedings. The Cabinet Office found some meeting announcements and handouts.
Oh boy. Isn't it amazing how they pretend to be a democratic nation?
I'm sure there will be many apologists who will say "If we know it will be recorded in the minutes, we won't be able to speak freely".