Former prime minister's memoirs

Our ex Prime Minister Naoto Kan has been ill spoken of his administration for the accident at the 1st nuclear power plant in Fukushima. The criticism is toward the loss of governance and the resulted mess. This criticism is, I believe, quite political to hide the responsiblity of the accident.

I have read his book on his experience for the accident as the prime minister. His description on this accident and the management by the government is based on the facts. Of course, he tries to explain and to self defense against criticism to his decision etc in it. But the overall touch is very calm and not being irritated to the criticism. He thinks that his behaviour would be properly judged by historians in later era.

I was impressed at two points. One is that there have been no preparations, legal, administrative or man power wise, against such a serious accident of nuclear power plants. For the plants have been supposed not to develop such an accident. Hypothesizing such an accident was against the belief that nuclear power plants are accident free. It was related with the absolute right on the side of the bureaucracy. The mess when starting doing with the accident is entirely due to this no failure myth in the bureaucracy. The party, which has proceeded constructing so numerous nuclear power plants in our quake rich country, should also be blamed. At least, the latter party, LDPJ, has no right to criticize Kan at all.

The other point is that there could have been much larger scale of damage to our country. On Mar 15, 4 days after the accident, the power line company heads have proposed the government that they would withdraw from the devastated plants. Kan definitely denied that proposal. He told them, as he wrote, our country would have been collapsed once they withdrew from there. Without a few fortunate happenings at the plants after the accident, it could have been much more serious. With a chamber of Nr 2 plant partially destroyed, that plant has been spontaneously decompressed, so that it spared total explosion. The used fuel pool at Nr 4 plant was accidentally fully watered. It has enabled them to prepare cooling it by some mean. Without those fortunes, the accident would have extended much further and, as a consultative committee told, fifty million people would have to evacuate from Kanto and Tohoku areas, including Tokyo.

The present government of LPDJ won't question the real cause of the accident and the extent it has progressed to. The highly contaminated water is still pouring into the ocean. We don't know how the fuels have been melt down. Nevertheless, they are aiming at restarting the other nuclear power plants. It seems they have not learned from this experience at all. They won't realize their own responsibility for this accident. They repeat only that it should be restarted in safety. What do they mean with "safety".


  1. Very few politicians know any science and most lack common sense. Those that do are ridiculed. Scientists have become politicized chasing after grant money.


    1. I agree with you, Terry. Politicians' main concern is only money. The election is becoming like a poll for pop star. Scientists, if not all, have not spoken of the truth, either. Nowadays, mass media seem to be in the control of the government and giant companies here. The only possibility to break it through is in the internet. But I don't know how it could work.