Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Shukan Asahi Ridicules Government Plan to Station Senior Vice Minister at Ooi Nuke Plant: "Is That Stupid Or What?"

Shukan Asahi, a major weekly magazine in Japan, doesn't say so itself. Instead, it quotes an unnamed, high-ranking manager at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, as it has been doing since last year when reporting "insider" stories of the plant. I have no way to verify whether this high-ranking manager does exist, or whether it is Shukan Asahi's way of speaking out frankly by hiding behind a fictitious character. I'm more inclined to believe he actually exists, having read other Shukan Asahi's articles quoting this manager.

The article is in response to Prime Minister Noda and his administration's determination to restart Ooi Nuclear Power Plant, on Noda's responsibility, with safety assured by "stationing a senior vice minister" of Economy, Trade and Industry.

From Shukan Asahi June 15, 2012 issue (6/5/2012):

福島第一原発の幹部 「副大臣常駐案」に「バカなんじゃないか」

High-ranking manager at Fukushima I Nuke Plant on the plan to station a senior vice minister: "Is that stupid or what?"


The Noda administration is moving toward the restart of nuclear power plants. What is going on? The nuclear accident is not over. Investigation of the accident and the countermeasures against future accidents are only halfway done. "The Nuclear Village" is intact, and in the hearings of the Diet independent investigation commission, people who were in charge at the time of the accident make excuses for themselves. TEPCO in the meantime plans for the utility fee hikes. A high-ranking manager at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant glumly comments on this "nation gone astray" as follows:

*  *  *

How can this government talk about "restart", when the Fuku-I nuclear accident is not over?


The government says it will station either a Senior Vice Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry [at Ooi Nuclear Power Plant]. But a senior vice minister cannot do anything [doesn't know anything].


If no accident happens if a senior vice minister is there, then let senior vice ministers stay in all nuclear power plants in the country. This talk [of stationing them at Ooi Nuclear Power Plant so that the plant can be re-started] means some people from the ministry and the electric company [plant operator] will have to be there to babysit the senior vice minister. I think that's just stupid.

 野田(佳彦)総理は、「最終的には総理大臣である私の責任で判断する」 と言っています。どう責任を取るのでしょうか。野田総理が神様のごとく原発事故を防げる、抑えられるなら、誰も苦労はしません。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is saying "In the end, I will decide on my responsibility as the prime minister." What responsibility? If Prime Minister Noda, like a god, could prevent a nuclear accident from happening, we would have no worry.


Mr. Kan (former Prime Minister Naoto Kan) was at the top when the accident happened. He hasn't taken any responsibility, has he? Same with Mr. Edano, who was Chief Cabinet Secretary. From the hearings of the Diet independent investigation commission, their "irresponsibility" is very clear.


Anonymous said...

"What responsibility? If Prime Minister Noda, like a god, could prevent a nuclear accident from happening, we would have no worry."

Haha, that's great.

Anyway, I agree that it's ridiculous. Slapping a politician or two at each nuclear plant has absolutely no relevancy to safety or responsibility. It's all for show. They need to stop playing these damn games.

Anonymous said...

Total fucking stupidity , then again we have come to expect that from the japanese politicians and elite

Anonymous said...

This is no different than the NRC placing an agent on-site at the North Anna NPP in Virgina after a rare 6.0 earthquake shook the facility to a standstill. How is this guy supposed to do anything meaningful in an accident? Are they trying to tell us they screwed Fukushima up by not having another bureaucrat's finger in the pie? The Japanese people need to start carrying rocks with them everywhere they go so they can stone these douchebags in the streets whenever they see them.

TechDud said...

"...then again we have come to expect that from the japanese politicians and elite."
Just as i have come to expect from any politician and elite of any nationality, race, color, creed or gender.

Is it not obvious why the bureaucrat will be there?
From the testimony of Naoto Kan, he didn't believe he was receiving the truth from TEPCO, if i remember correctly.

Is this an example of learning from one's predecessors?

netudiant said...

Maybe Japan should go medieval on its 'nuclear village'.
In those early days, it was customary to hold the children of powerful lords as 'guests' of the ruler. The kids were educated, sort of an early boarding school, but also served to guarantee the good behaviour and loyalty of their parents.
Today, rather than some expendable bureaucrat, Japan should mandate that the children of the NISA and nuclear industry superiors be posted to schools adjacent to the nuclear plants. I would expect a greater sense of duty to become manifest very quickly.

Anonymous said...

Or have the bureaucrat's office equipped with a hazmat suit. Next to it a sign that reads "if something goes wrong, you go in and fix it" Signed: the Japanese People :)

Anonymous said...

netudiant, that's an excellent idea.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Clarification: in Japan, Senior Vice Ministers and the Parliamentary Secretaries of the government Ministries are all politicians, not bureaucrats. So they really do not know a thing.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it NISA and/or other government representatives that were first to leave Fukushima after the whole accident started? If I recall correctly, because there was nothing they could do?

Atomfritz said...

Tepco, Kepco etc probably would be pleased to provide plenty of office rooms onsite :)

I actually think that this "medieval" idea of taking high-ranking politicians as hostages, ermm "guests", onsite of nuclear plants won't be such a bad idea.

This kind of "overseers" might be way more motivated than any NISA employee, provided the "guests" aren't allowed to leave if anything goes bad.

Anonymous said...

If the public could continuously track the location of this "caretaker" ,they (the public) would at least get an early warning. I am sure he will leave on the first signs of trouble, arguing that he has a major in liberal arts and not in science...

Anonymous said...

If any nukes start it will be the end of Japan. The people must stop this insanity.

Anonymous said...

I can imagine it now...

*Reactor explodes*
Vice-minister calls the government.

Vice-minister: "Oh shit! The nuclear plant is exploding! We're screwed!"
Government: "Oh? Are you sure?"
Vice-minister: "Of course I'm sure! I'm sitting right in front of it!"
Government: "But you aren't an expert on nuclear technology, are you?"
Vice-minister: "Aggh! The radiation! I'm dying!"
Government: "You're clearly stressed by the situation. Relax, breathe in deeply and most importantly, keep smiling."
Vice-minister dies.
*Government hangs up*

Secretary: "Sir, we've just received word that the vice-minister stationed at the plant made an emergency phone call to us, a few hours ago."
Hosono: "Don't waste our time with such trivial matters! We have debris to burn!"
Fujimura: "Suppose the situation really is critical?"
Sengoku: "What do you expect us to do if it is? Initiate a nation-wide emergency evacuation? Be more realistic!"
Edano: "We'd have to take responsibility for such an action. Are you willing to risk your job over this?"
Fujimura: "You're right. We all have bills to pay. My wife wants to buy a new necklace. She'll kill me if I lose my job now!"
Edano: "Then you better keep quiet about this. We could all be in trouble if anyone finds out!"
Sengoku: "Call our expert friends to issue a statement, just in case. We don't want widespread panic."
Secretary: "Sir, we tried contacting Deta -- Madarame, but the lines are all busy or nobody's answering."
Hosono: "Keep trying, dammit! Do you even understand what is at stake here!?"

Meanwhile, everyone else is dying and waiting for the government to act...

Secretary: "Sir, we've just received word that the public is concerned about the reactors exploding."
Hosono: "Those damned baseless rumors! I will issue a public statement! Someone will have to take responsibility for this."
Edano: "Have Noda resign with the usual apology. That will appease the public so we can keep our jobs. We'll just have someone replace him."
Noda: "You can't do this to me! I'm the PRIME MINISTER, dammit! I HAVE THE POPULAR VOTE!"

Noda is forced to bow in front of the camera and resign. He receives a massive payout and immediately gets employed as head chief of a major company.
Soon after, Hosono issues his statement.

Hosono: "Everything is fine. If nuclear energy posed any risk, we wouldn't use it. It's all under safety levels (that we keep raising). Blablablabla."
*Hosono notices everyone seems to be scrambling to escape*
Hosono: "See what these damn baseless rumors are doing to our economy! Doesn't anyone care about the victims of Tohoku!? How can you all be so cold?!"
*Hosono rips out a craft piece he brought with him*
Hosono: "Do you think this craft piece looks like it was made by evacuating cowards?!"

Suddenly, Ishihara bursts into the studio, raging.

Ishihara: "You damn evacuees aren't even the same race as us! You just want to hand Japan over to the Chinese and the Koreans, don't you?!"
Ishihara: "This is the fault of all the anime and manga, twisting our proud country! There's no reset button in reality you know!"
Ishihara: "If we hosted the Olympic Games here like I wanted, everything would be okay! I hope divine retribution strikes you all!"
Ishihara: "Blablablablablabalblablablablablablablabla"

Lethal radiation reaches them. They all die. The end.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon at 11:24, brilliant. Can I use your script in my post?

Anonymous said...

Sure, go ahead. Feel free to edit it too.

I'm glad you like it. I think it says a lot about the whole situation. I've no idea if Fujimura has a wife, though. I originally had them named "Government A/B/C/D".

netudiant said...

Anon@11:24, your script is surely closer to the reality than the usual news blabber.
The key element in this is that none of the political people has a clue of what they are dealing with or of where to begin to address the actual problem. So they react just like the Soviets, shoot or fire somebody and claim the problem is now solved.
Imho, this is a fatal indictment of the 'nuclear village', because when the crunch came, nobody stepped up, nobody from NISA or JAEA or even the Toshiba or Hitachi. Instead, the President of TEPCO went missing with a 'breakdown'. I believe Kan was right, that TEPCO was about to abandon the site until he ordered them to stay.
With that experience fresh in everyone's mind, I don't see how the average Japanese can possibly have any confidence in the claims that all is now ok and that the industry should return to business as usual.

m a x l i said...

That script is a gem! Someone here has talent.

What I'm missing a bit, is illustrations. In illustrated form, it should be distributed in every household in Japan, so people have something to smile! We want them protected from radiation, don't we?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

wow, you must be a prophet! lol

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