Monday, June 17, 2013

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: TEPCO's PR Shouts At Italian Journalist, "If You Cannot Follow My Orders, Go Back!"

On June 13, 2013, TEPCO invited foreign correspondents to Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant to show them the progress that's been made at the plant.

Mr. Pio d'Emilia is the Far East correspondent for SkyTG24, an Italian news TV, who went on the tour, only to be solded down by an agitated TEPCO employee for asking to see the "cage" (steel frame structure over the Reactor 4 building that TEPCO has just recently completed).

As Mr. d'Emilia says, the whole purpose of the tour was to show the "cage" over the Reactor 4 building...

He sarcastically writes, "This was worse than North Korea!"

From Daily NO BORDER entry (6/17/2013; part) by Pio d"Emilia, (original in Japanese, my English translation):


TEPCO's PR people are a really weird bunch. They are the ones who invited journalists to the plant. But they obstruct our work, and shout at us non-stop. Contaminated water has been leaking like sieves, but they do their utmost best to convince us that Fukushima I Nuke Plant is "properly managed", and it is in "safe" condition, and work is proceeding "according to schedule". So they keep an eye on us all the time. Under the pretext of "we consider your safety first", they don't allow us even to stop for a moment, they put their hands on our camera lenses to stop us from taking pictures. This is worse than a North Korean armed guard.

彼らはいったい何を恐れているのか。安全を脅かされること? だが、安全なんてどこにあるのか。そもそも、適格な能力もないくせに、無責任にも原子力発電所を建設し、運営し続けることによって、公共の安全を著しく侵害したのは、東電ではなかったのか。

What are they afraid of? Having safety threatened? But where is that safety? Wasn't it TEPCO to start with, who built nuclear power plants irresponsibly, without qualified competence, who continued to operate the plants and by doing so severely harmed public safety?

(Full article at the link)

In the video Mr. d'Emilia links, a TEPCO PR person is shouting with agitated gesture with his arms, his anger totally out of proportion. I have no idea why he should be angry to begin with. (Dialog in Japanese, my translation):

d'Emilia: "I would like to see the new "cage"."

TEPCO PR: "100 meters ahead!"

d'Emilia: "I would like to see that."

TEPCO PR: "We're going to walk there! Keep calm! You hear me? If you cannot follow my orders, go back! Understand?"

d'Emilia: "Wow wait a minute. I'm just asking questions..."

TEPCO's PR person was having a bad full-face mask day, I suppose.


Anonymous said...

Maybe a year ago Pio D'Emilia joined a night debate program on one of the major TV channels -- can't recall which. About ten "experts" (industry people, doctors, university professors, a nuke PR ojiisan, politicians and Pio) were sitting around the table, half of them pro nuke half against.
At some point Pio remarked that it was impressive how it had been managed to make the Japanese population to swallow nuclear power ("よく飲まされたね") and support it until Fukushima. The "moderator" could not believe his ears! "What?? Swallowed?". Yes, sure, swallowed -- replies Pio. Eventually the moderator threatened Pio to be a good boy otherwise and quickly changed topic.

Pio covers Japan since a very long time, speaks Japanese fluently and I never spotted the smallest mistake in his articles. This time too he is doing a good job at telling his readers how things are, really. Thank you Pio.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like the PR guy needs a good spanking.

Anonymous said...

Excellent PR job!!! The video is a must-watch. The Tepco PR guys professionality is on par with the company welders.

Anyways, probably their mission this time is to quickly flash the new structure in front of the eyes of the journalists so that they can report having seen it. Allowing the media to collect material and report on anything else but the new cage (the state of the plant for example) is a big no no.

Unknown said...

Start of rant...
I'd love to see that night debate program. Probably not on Tokyo MX. They are lower budget and a lot freer with their guests. I have seen so called news program hosts from NHK (the holy cow of Japanese media) react similarly to faaar milder comments: things on the order of, "the reason things never change in Japan is because everyone is just sooo overly cautious that they can't see the risk is worth the clear potential for huge benefit". I can't remember the topic, but both hosts were just blown away. The truly comic thing is that if you don't say this to a Japanese individual first, they will say exactly the same thing as if they are winning the argument, and hit you with the "shikataganai, sorewa nihonjin minna soudakara..."

Anyway, people here just don't like to have things stated clearly, and the news stations know this. They prefer to piddle around for hours with lots of details with no clear sign of direction in the conversation. They prefer to hint, otherwise, some schmo might get offended and write a letter of complaint. And since, by virtue of the above aversion to clarity, even the individuals who think he/she is an idiot won't say it even if they believe it.
Having a (gasp) foreigner just come out and say you people need to wake up and get angry was just a little more than the host could handle, but exactly what people needed to hear.

Good on Pio. Democracy cannot exist without the will of the people, so get a will, people of Japan. Open up information held by "authorities", and stop letting your "superiors" control every facet of your life.
End rant...

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