Friday, September 28, 2012

Prime Minister Noda to Visit #Fukushima I Nuke Plant Next Month

A publicity stunt to appeal his commitment to the resolution of the nuclear accident.

(Oh wait. Isn't he the one who declared the "cold shutdown state" at Fuku-I and the nuclear accident over, to the ridicule from all over the world? Even the newly installed chief of Nuclear Regulatory Agency said the term is not used right.)

From Jiji Tsushin (9/29/2012):

Prime Minister Noda to visit Fukushima I Nuke Plant on October 7, meet workers


It was revealed on September 29 that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will schedule a visit to Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on October 7. He will reshuffle his cabinet on October 1, and by going to the plant as the first visit after the reshuffle he hopes to emphasize his commitment to have the Fukushima nuclear accident as his first priority. It will be his first visit to the plant since September 8 last year.


The prime minister wants to meet and thank the workers who remained at the plant after the nuclear accident started and tried to contain the damage. The workers, who did their best to prevent the damage from spreading in a dangerous situation, have been praised as "Fukushima 50".

So... It takes the prime minister of the country one and a half year to thank the workers who stayed at the plant to try to contain the accident.

If I remember right, from last year, "Fukushima 50" workers were not praised in Japan first. I don't think many Japanese were even aware of them. Foreign media, mostly in the US and UK, reported the desperate work going on at Fukushima I Nuke Plant in March last year, calling the workers who remained at the plant "Fukushima 50" and praised them as heroes. The news was imported to Japan, and the Japanese media started to report about the workers and their work at the plant (here's Asahi, on April 10, 2011, my translation).

Yakuza or not, these workers worked in the middle of the worst nuclear disaster in Japan.

So far, the only recognition these workers got is foreign - Spain's Prince of Asturias Award for Concord in September 2011.

In case you missed, here's what ex-Plant Manager Masao Yoshida said about those early days, when he saw divine figures sprung out of the ground and became the workers (here and here).


Anonymous said...

I recall reading a story about the days immediately after the accident. Wasn't there some DPJ big shot who told his minions that whatever they do, they were not to say anything that would further damage TEPCO or place blame on TEPCO. Lately I've been wondering if there might be something that TEPCO knows - something not related to the accident, but from before the accident. some policy, some hidden government program, or some other incredibly damaging information - that might be held over the heads of the DPJ leadership. Would make a great conspiracy theory. Or if true a pulitzer prize opportunity for the journalist who roots it out. Keep digging.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

That was actually Noda, who said we shouldn't say anything negative about TEPCO. His fear, at the time as Finance Minister under Naoto Kan, was that TEPCO's share price and bond price would tank, and that would harm investors (including nation's large pension funds). Mr. Genba, who was the minister in charge of national strategy (no less), and current Foreign Minister, said "Let's all cheer for TEPCO".

Anonymous said...

Afraid that the TEPCO stock would tank??
Apparently investors new better than Japan cabinet: the stock tanked the next trading day after March 11th...


Anonymous said...

Ah, but if they were rational people, then it would have to be something more serious than the stock price taking a hit. I smell a big rat.

kintaman said...

Keep him there forever to clean up the mess. Send his family and coworkers too.

Anonymous said...

Diplomatically this Noda character is scintillating company.

Anonymous said...

even odds that Noda will not follow through on the scheduled visit. can't count on this guy for much of anything.

Anonymous said...

Good point, if it is not Tepco's fault it must be either operator error or natural disaster, both much more convenient to the industry than insufficient disaster preparedness of the operator or intrinsic weakness of the plant to earthquakes.

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