One month after it was first reported by Asahi Shinbun, some Japanese net citizens on Twitter seem to be slowly realizing what happened on March 13, 2011 when Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant workers didn't have enough money to buy car batteries which would have given them a good fighting chance.
Sadly, their response to this revelation indicates to me the same thing would happen again and again.
The tweets that I've seen on the subject are limited in numbers, I don't have that many followers (4,700, give or take) and I don't follow that many. So the following is nothing but anecdotal.
About TEPCO workers collecting money to go to Iwaki City and buy car batteries at large auto parts stores, managing to buy only 8:
They should have asked nicely.
They should have bought on credit.
Maybe the stores didn't trust TEPCO to sell on credit.
I'm embarrassed for Japan, what would the world think of us Japanese?
There is no indication that any of them even thought about "other" solutions (see my previous post for some).
About 1,000 batteries from Toshiba stuck in Tokyo because there was no permit to transport them on the highway, I tweeted in Japanese. Not many have read Asahi Shinbun's article (partly because it appeared in the subscribers' only section of the online paper), and they simply do not know about the episode. But I got this response from an independent journalist:
That's understandable, because we don't have laws and regulations for emergency situations like that. I think there are some who predicted it [that Toshiba or TEPCO waited for the permit while core melt was occurring]. But it is us [the citizens of Japan] who have allowed it [the lack of emergency laws and regulations] to continue. So we have to change many things, but that's hard to do. If an earthquake and tsunami of the same magnitude happened right now, it is likely that we would repeat the same [mistakes].
To him, and to many others in Japan, it is a matter of creating new laws and regulations so that people can follow follow, and NOT of individual initiative and how to start thinking independently. And thinking fast.
I wrote back to him,
It's not the matter of whether you have the laws and regulations in place. If a government bureaucrat told Toshiba or TEPCO they couldn't transport the batteries on the highway without the permit, even as they knew (though they dared not tell the public) the reactor core was melting, Toshiba or TEPCO could simply say, "Oh OK, yes we understand, sir", and start driving to Fuku-I anyway. People are not trained to be bold and cunning, able to make judgment on their own on the fly in a situation like that. So what they might be fined or even arrested afterwards for transporting dangerous stuff on the highway? That would have been much better than having nuclear reactors blowing up one after another.
I'm afraid he doesn't know what I'm talking about. But we're in agreement as to repeating the same mistake in the future.