(UPDATE) Asahi Shinbun did an interview with Mr. Izumida (in Japanese, and in English translation, 4/23/2014). He laments there is no "world-class standard" in Japanese nuclear regulation and nuclear accident preparedness. He got that right. No mention of potassium iodide pills that didn't exist but were stored in a former high school building.
It's ironic that it happened in a prefecture whose governor, Hirohiko Izumida, has won wide followings at least among net users by presenting himself as the champion and defender of citizens against evil TEPCO over Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant.
Izumida's government did not purchase potassium iodide pills and lied about it, and received the national government subsidy for the non-existent pills.
Well, since Mr. Izumida does not want to allow TEPCO to vent even in a severe nuclear accident at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, who needs those pills? Right?
From Kyodo News (4/22/2014):
No potassium iodide pills inside 30-kilometer radius of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP, [Niigata prefectural government] pretended they had purchased the pills
Niigata prefectural government announced on April 22 that 1.32 million potassium iodide pills to be distributed to residents during the fiscal 2012 [that ended in March 31, 2013] in areas within 10 to 30 kilometer from TEPCO Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (in Niigata Prefecture) in preparation for a severe accident hadn't been purchased.
The government employee in charge stopped the purchasing process when there was no prospect of procuring the pills by the end of March in 2013. The employee wrote "already purchased" in the document, and no one verified it. The subsidy of about 8 million yen (US$80,000) from the national government was paid based on the document.
The [phantom] potassium iodide pills that were supposed to have been purchased were "stored" at a former high school building in Niigata City which is now used as a disaster prevention warehouse, according to the paperwork. The medical and pharmaceutical section of the prefectural government says they intend to procure as quickly as possible.
Like that 30-year-old so-called researcher, this hapless government employee should have held a press conference and declared,
"Potassium iodide pills exist! Potassium iodide pills are the truth! I have seen them 200 times!"
and all would have been forgiven.
With teary eyes of course. Water-proof mascara and eyeliner, if available.