Banri Kaieda was Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry who supervised the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency which in turn supervises TEPCO, when the earthquake hit Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011.
We haven't heard about him for a while, since he lost his bid to become the leader of of the DPJ thus the prime minister of Japan last August. Instead of Kaieda, who was backed by the kingmaker Ozawa, Japan's got highly unpopular Yoshihiko Noda who can only speak in cliches, thanks partially to NHK who fed the wrong information to the viewers and the delegates in between the two votes.
Kyodo News (3/10/2012) reports Kaieda is flooded with emotions when he think of the progress they made in one year:
Residents preparing to return, "I'm flooded with emotions" says former Minister of Economy Kaieda, in Fukui Prefecture
Banri Kaieda, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry at the time of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident last year, spoke with the reporters in Sabae City in Fukui Prefecture on March 10 where he was giving a talk. He said, "Little by little, preparation is underway for the evacuees to return home. I didn't expect that I would celebrate the one-year anniversary [of the accident] this way, and I'm flooded with emotions."
Mr. Kaieda acknowledged that there are still challenges such as decontamination, but said he couldn't even imagine the evacuated residents would return to their homes in the areas affected by radioactive materials. "Compared to what we went through in the week of March 11, we've come a long way, somehow."
Kaieda should know that the Noda administration, with his former buddies Edano and Hosono on board, is pushing the residents back to their homes in the contaminated areas after one "decontamination" effort by the government which amounts to nothing more than a good cleaning.
He didn't, and still doesn't strike me as a bad person, but the whole accident was way over his head. And judging from his comment, it is still totally over his head.
As to the person who continues to strike me as dishonest and evil, Yukio Edano spoke with the reporters on March 9 at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry about the government's response to the nuclear accident on March 11, 2011 when he was the Chief Cabinet Secretary to Prime Minister Kan.
Just like he was doing in the early days of the nuclear crisis, he still plays a "lawyer". When he can't get away with technicality ("There is no immediate effect on health" which he now says meant "There may be some effect on health if you stay longer/drink milk longer than a few days"), he declares he doesn't remember.
As Jiji Tsushin (via a blog, as Jiji's article disappears quickly)(3/9/2012) reports:
When asked about the possibility of meltdown already mentioned during the 1st meeting of the government's nuclear emergency response group on March 11, 2011, on the day of the accident, Minister Edano, who was the Chief Cabinet Secretary at that time, said "I don't remember, including whether it was myself" who referred to the possibility.
He's not worried. No one will go after him. His current boss, PM Noda, has already declared to the world that no one person is responsible.
There are demonstrations, gatherings, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of whatever people choose in Japan on March 11. For some, it is anti-nuclear power plant demonstration. For others, it is anti-disaster debris burning. Or ceremonies for those perished in the earthquake and tsunami. But many others particularly on the net have chosen to rest, do nothing. It's been a long year.