Remember the "worst-case scenario" that the Kan administration withheld in March last year and was disclosed only in January this year? Yes that one, thanks to the mis-translation by Mainichi Daily, which morphed into articles that screamed "the Japanese government are creating blueprints for forcibly removing 39 million people from the Tokyo metro-area".
Now, Koichiro "Let's all cheer for TEPCO" Genba, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Noda administration who was the minister in charge of national strategy under the Kan administration, claims he was the one who "ordered the worst-case scenario", and that the plan was to evacuate about a half million people from the areas inside the 50-kilometer radius from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.
It is still a significant number, about a quarter of the population of Fukushima Prefecture and about 5 times the number of residents who actually evacuated. But it is nowhere near 39 million people inside the 250-kilometer radius. The 50-kilometer radius evacuation was what the top management at the plant had expected after the explosion of Reactor 1 building, and they were surprised when they learned that only the residents inside the 20-kilometer radius were evacuated, according to the article by Shukan Asahi in July last year.
Mr. Genba is elected from Fukushima Prefecture. He said "Let's all cheer for TEPCO" right after he got the "worst-case scenario" from the Atomic Energy Commission of Japan.
From Asahi Shinbun (5/10/2012):
Prime Minister's Office's plan right after the Fukushima accident to evacuate 500,000 people, but the plan wasn't executed
It has been revealed that there was a plan at the Prime Minister's Official Residence right after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident started in March last year to evacuate about 500,000 residents inside the 50-kilometer radius from the plant. The assumption was the worst case where a reactor would become uncontrollable. In the end, the plan was never executed.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Koichiro Genba, who was the minister in charge of national strategy at the time of the accident, told Asahi Shinbun. Mr. Genba, who is elected to the Lower House from the 3rd district of Fukushima Prefecture, says he pointed out the possibility of meltdown (core melt) in the meeting of the nuclear disaster response headquarters on March 12, 2011, one day after the start of the accident. On March 15, he instructed the Atomic Energy Commission of Japan (JAEC) under the Cabinet Office to come up with the response [to the accident] based on the "worst-case scenario".
JAEC crafted the plan based on the scenario where one of the reactors would become uncontrollable and have a meltdown, triggering the chain reaction of other reactors becoming uncontrollable as the workers would evacuate from the plant. Mr. Genba proposed [the plan to evacuate 500,000 residents] to then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan.