Contrary to what TEPCO's PR person told the reporters during the media tour of the plant in February, it has turned out that the video and audio copies of the teleconferences between the parties involved (Fukushima I Nuke Plant management, TEPCO HQ, the Japanese government) do exist.
It has also turned out that the Kan administration officials may have instructed TEPCO to delete the audio portion of the contentious meeting in March last year between then-Prime Minister Kan and TEPCO officials where the prime minister threatened TEPCO not to withdraw from the plant.
Denki Shinbun is an industry newspaper covering energy and electricity issues, and it reports on this incident as follows (3/19/2012):
Someone may have instructed TEPCO to stop recording when Mr. Kan angrily confronted TEPCO officials at the TEPCO headquarters
昨年３月１５日に菅直人首相 （当時） が東京電力本店を訪れた際、官邸側の意向でテレビ会議システムの音声を一部消した可能性があることが、関係者の証言で明らかになった。 菅氏は東電が福島第一原子力発電所から全面撤退しようとしていると思いこんでおり、異常な興奮状態にあった。 そのため菅氏の同行者が、そのまま発言を記録されることを懸念したとみられる。 結果的に歴史的な事故の記録の一部が失われる事態に至ったことは波紋を呼びそうだ。
It has been revealed by the source involved that the Prime Minister's Office may have requested that part of the audio recording to be deleted during the teleconference when then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan visited the TEPCO headquarters on March 15 last year. Mr. Kan seemed possessed with the idea that TEPCO was planning to withdraw completely from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, and was in a state of abnormal excitement. People accompanying Mr. Kan may have been worried that his remarks would be recorded verbatim. It may cause repercussions that part of the record of this historical accident has been lost this way.
According to the investigation commission set up by the National Diet, there is a video of Mr. Kan scolding the TEPCO officials in the TEPCO's emergency response room on the 2nd floor of the TEPCO headquarters [in Tokyo]. But there is no audio to the video, and the commission has no way of knowing what Mr. Kan said.
菅氏は居並ぶ東電幹部に対して、 「逃げようとしたのはおまえか。おまえか」 と一人一人指を差していったという。 関係者の一部はこのときの様子について、東電側はこの際も通常通り録音を行うとしたが、同行者の一人が録音をしないように働き掛けたと証言している。 （本紙１面より抜粋）
According to the sources involved, Mr. Kan pointed the finger to each individual TEPCO official present, saying "Is it you who wanted to flee? Or is it you?" The sources told [this paper] that TEPCO was about to record the event as usual, but one of Kan's entourage told TEPCO not to record. (extracted from the article on the front page of this paper)
Personally, from what I've read from the interim report by the investigation committee set up by the Cabinet Office, I do not believe TEPCO intended to do so or that there was anything TEPCO could have done at that point (it took fire fighters to pour water from the fire engine booms to the spent fuel pools to lower the radiation levels somewhat).
It looks like someone fed the excitable prime minister some incomplete information about TEPCO's intention. I do not know whether that was intentional or unintentional; it may be the case of "Chinese whispers" game. Asahi Shinbun reported that Takamasa Shimizu, then-President of TEPCO, was desperately trying to reach Minister of Economy Kaieda, not Kan, that day, after the radiation levels in the plant compound spiked to a lethal level.
It has sure helped boost Kan's standing that he stood up against the villainous TEPCO.