Unease or Untruth? April 2011

11. April 2011

Unease or Untruth? - The Removal of Nakamura Koichiro

Matthew Penney

Magazine Shukan Post has reported that energy bureaucrat Nakamura Koichiro of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency was told to stand down from official press conferences after asserting on March 12, the day after the quake, that evidence pointed to a meltdown underway at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The Shukan Post argues that key cabinet members including Prime Minister Kan Naoto and Cabinet Secretary Edano Yukio - who has been praised for his steady demeanor through the crisis - removed Nakamura from his position for "making the public feel uneasy".

In the weeks since the crisis began, Nakamura's original assertion has been vindicated and the Shukan Post editors argue that if his original claims were taken more seriously by the government, rushing the injection of seawater into the stricken reactors may have prevented hydrogen explosions and radiation leaks. Edano in particular is accused of "sealing off" Nakamura's position by contending instead that "We have no way to directly examine [the condition of] the reactor."

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