Gov't apologizes to Fukushima residents for sloppy decontamination work

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  • 9

    Elvensilvan

    Let me guess, a painstakingly detailed clean-up guideline was given by the government to the contractors, who in turn, give out their own guidelines to the subcontractors who hire minimum-wage part-time workers to do the job.

  • 7

    Crazedinjapan

    Chain of command....workers doing what they know shouldn't be done. Lots of finger pointing and no punishment or punitive damage claims. Public apologies , talk of tougher stances against infractions ...same old same old ...no results ...affected people ...infected people ...bigger pocketbooks ....less taxes paid ...future contracts to clean up the contracts made today ...Ho Hum it's off to the rodeo I go

  • 8

    Penfold

    There should be more oversight by the government, not apologies.

  • 8

    Outta here

    Ah well all is fixed now that the government has apologised..... Isn't that how it works, a bow, a many sollies and all is fixed

  • 6

    KariHaruka

    The government has drawn up guidelines for workers, but the Asahi report quoted some as saying the decontamination project is so vast and painstaking that they would not finish in time if they followed the rules.

    I've not followed the exact procedures for some things in the past to get things done quickly. But this is cleaning up nuclear contamination! The procedure should be painstakingly followed without any exceptions! Even if it takes longer to get done.

  • 5

    papigiulio

    But the Asahi Shimbun reported last week that dirty soil, leaves and water have been dumped directly into rivers.

    Im not a scientist but even a 2 year old knows this is ridiculous. Like sweeping dust under a carpet.

  • 0

    Elvensilvan

    @KariHaruka

    I agree. But what I see in this problem is that the workers are assigned a large area to clean everyday, but not enough people. And since they are just probably hired as contractual part-timers, they go home when the clock strikes 5, job finished or not.

  • -4

    nigelboy

    Feel sorry for actual workers/contractors that are doing the job properly to have their image tarnished because of these amateur fly by night workers/contractors.

  • 3

    marcelito

    As always in Japan since no heads will roll over this, a little bit of window dressing will be done , a few people will bow and say fake moushiwake arimase and nothing will change.

  • 4

    alliswellinjapan

    Wonder if Hosono the former Minister of Environment as well as Minister of nuclear crisis management at DPJ has anything to say about this. As with everything else any moral issues to come up at the lowest level of an organization has much to do with the quality of top management leadership.

  • 6

    zichi

    There are still no major storage depots for the low level waste collected or used from the contamination work and probably there's no inspections by the gov't of the sites being cleaned which needs more oversight. There should be storage depots inside the no-go zone, like in Futaba next to the atomic plant because no one will be able to live there for many decades.

    The decontamination works needs a greater plan and oversight by gov't inspectors, especially since the work involves many billions of yen.

    Fly tipping has taken on a whole new meaning.

  • 3

    tmarie

    Why is the apology only limited to Fukushima residence? The rest of the country is suffering as well from all of this.

    Is anyone surprised? You hire yakuza to do the work, it doesn't get done, it gets discovered, no punishments... How many times have similar things like this happened? Far too many which is why none of the foreigners I have spoken to about this are surprised. Japan Inc. killing itself one slow step at a time.

  • 4

    fds

    sloppy? more like criminal! its at least fraud if they are taking money and not doing what they said they would.

  • 6

    Resurfaced

    apologies to the the whole world is much better.

  • 11

    herefornow

    Feel sorry for actual workers/contractors that are doing the job properly to have their image tarnished because of these amateur fly by night workers/contractors

    nigelboy -- hold the phone. Nice try but you were the one saying just yesterday that us posters agreeing with the anti-nuke activist about sloppy decontamination were, if I recall correctly, "low awareness". Now, since the Ministry itself is saying its true, you "feel sorry". Please, when will you grasp the fact that Japan Inc, especially the government/bureaucracies, is hopelessly broken, and your attempts to defend it at every turn is just like trying to put your finger in the dike? Stop trying to attack the messenger(s) and do what you can to change things.

  • 0

    Hiroicci

    Who drew up the guidelines? Why did the companies accept the terms, if they felt even a bit that it would be extremely difficult to finish it in time??? Did the gov and the companies discuss the difficulty? Are all these a good excuse for that sloppy clean-up work???

  • 1

    Yubaru

    Actions speak louder than words.

    What is sad though is the latter carries more weight than the former many times here in Japan.

  • 7

    Christopher Blackwell

    It may likely never be cleaned up. It may not even be possible to clean it up. But think of all the money it will make people who are pretending to clean it up. The longer it takes the more they will make, so expect them to still be busy at it a hundred years from now.

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    Well, isn't that nice. The government apologized. I'm sure that makes all the difference. How about firing and penalizing these unethical contractors?

  • 1

    GW

    The whole idea that you can "CLEAN" these areas was incredibly STUPID from the get go!

  • 3

    TrevorPeace2

    Is there anything to this culture but apology?

  • 2

    tmarie

    Is there anything to this culture but apology?

    Denial??

  • 0

    GW

    Feel sorry for actual workers/contractors that are doing the job properly to have their image tarnished because of these amateur fly by night workers/contractors.

    NBoy,

    What can we say........you need to take off your blinkers & see Japan & how it is run(rather being RUINED) day in day out. For starters the illegal dumping of waste in Japan is a massive problem & has been for MANY decades running. That these PORK eatin companies would do this was known(just not admitted) from all their past mis-deeds, which they never really get punished for!

    So now we have even MORE crimes piled onto the people of Fukushima & all the other affected areas.

    The govt just simply DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ITS OWN PEOPLE, that is totally obvious, take off the blinkers & see whats right there in plain sight

  • 1

    crustpunker

    Never has there been such an inexcuseable lack of lethargy and incompetence as this debacle continues to fester and those affected continue to suffer. "Actions not words" indeed. Who holds those responsible for RUINING lives that have already been decimated by the disaster? We are nearing the point where the handling of this disaster is almost as bad as the ACTUAL disaster. The people of Japan and the government are like joggers running in place at a red light waiting for it to change. Forever waiting. A broken bureaucracy, a lethargic population that seems to collectively be in the throes of Stockholm syndrome/capture bonding by what the gov does to them, media that ignores the problem in most all forms of media, the relationship reminds of the cyclical nature of Ouroboros constantly recreating the same problems over and over again. Rise up Japan and take your country back. Or continue to suffer as pawns, less than pawns on a radiated chessboard....

  • -2

    Pat Fonta

    following all the rules is impossible

    japanese money is for better things in life

    japanese are going to have to grow immune system to tolerate radiation

    the fish at the bottom of the ocean are very indestructible, japanese will one day be highest life form, rather than just normal humans.

  • 4

    hereforever

    I can just hear them now, "just dump it in the river, we'll apologize later."

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    "Damn! Who let these disclosures out! Sigh... guess I better bow and say I'll try not to let it happen again. In the meantime, get those barrels into the river!"

    Yeah, none of us could have predicted this.

    "Inoue said the government will clamp down on contractors cleaning up radioactive material around the ruined Fukushima nuclear plant."

    Sure you will.

  • 2

    JanesBlonde

    According to my partner ... the very few Government inspections there are, are planned well in advance.

    This week we will be inspecting "This street and area".

    The contractors simply move the contamination leaves and debris etc from that street and area to another part of the block. Government inspector - "All clear, we can now mark this section as all clear".

    Next week when they are checking another street/area, all the debris and more is moved back into the original street/area.

    So in essence, there are simply moving the contaminated material around the countryside basically because there is NO WHERE TO STORE IT SAFELY.

    The original contractors are getting rich and the lowly paid sub sub contractors are getting sick - NOT TO MENTION THE LOCAL FAMILIES AND RESIDENTS.

  • 0

    TumbleDry

    I remember vaguely that Abe was already a prime minister before. He should also apologize for allowing such disaster in the first place...

  • 3

    Rick Kisa

    I think nobody is following up because they know this is more of a PR gimmick to comfort people that it will be safe to return. Of course the companies contracted are laughing all the way to the banks as they are literally doing nothing apart from fire-brigade-style water cannoning. If they were serious, this exercise is so important that it would involve foreign experts to get involved in implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the exercise. These experts would normally be vetted and announced.

  • 0

    bajhista65

    That's the name of the game for GREEDY CONTRACTORS with good connections upstairs. They get the deal and get their easy share of the pie without working by passing it to sub-contractors and so on.

  • 2

    Rick Kisa

    The decontamination work is largely being carried out by four companies on contracts worth millions of dollars each. The government has drawn up guidelines for workers, *but the Asahi report quoted some as saying the decontamination project is so vast and painstaking that they would not finish in time if they followed the rules. * I wonder why and how one would accept to implement a time-bound contract when you know you will not deliver quality work within agreed time and specifications.....

  • 5

    Rick Kisa

    The decontamination work is largely being carried out by four companies on contracts worth millions of dollars each. The government has drawn up guidelines for workers, *but the Asahi report quoted some as saying the decontamination project is so vast and painstaking that they would not finish in time if they followed the rules.

    I wonder why and how one would accept to implement a time-bound contract when you know you will not deliver quality work within agreed time and specifications.....

  • 6

    Knox Harrington

    What a joke Japan is. It's like this over and over and over yet not one soul stands up, asks questions or demands answers. Instead it's all surface. "Press conference" ( without any tough questions, of course), a gang of more or less old guys in black suits sit down at some table and talk. Then they stand up, squeeze out those fake apologies and everything is forgiven. And forgotten. And Taro Japanese can go back to the variety show and the One Cup sake.

    Hallelujah.

    Wonder why people just let this travesty go on and on... It's almost as if the fead from former times with shogun or what have you, still remains.

  • 0

    cramp

    isn't it still sloppy? don't apologize, fix that bish

  • 0

    GW

    Wonder why people just let this travesty go on and on... It's almost as if the fead from former times with shogun or what have you, still remains

    Knox,

    Your actually not far off there in many regards

  • 0

    Homeschooler

    Well at least they are admitting there was radioactive contamination. We have moved on somewhat in that regard. I suppose we should be grateful that people are still not being labelled hysterical panic-mongers.

  • -1

    nagoyaslim

    Death penalty for devious behavior and profiteers..........nuff said.

  • 1

    moomoochoo

    “The ministry ordered the contractors to investigate the situation and submit a report ....”

    Investigate it yourself! The contractors ALREADY KNOW what is going on.

  • 1

    hatsoff

    We can - and should - blame the management and their monitoring systems. But I am angry and completely disgusted at the workers themselves. Such a lack of conscience and decency to do this in a decontamination program.

    They know full well the importance of such a procedure, and it doesn't matter how much or little they are being paid. "I'm being paid peanuts so I'm going to let this contaminated waste flow into the river" can never be justified.

  • 1

    JanesBlonde

    “The ministry ordered the contractors to investigate the situation and submit a report ....”

    Ministry to contractors - "Please tell us you have looked into this so we can hold a press conference and tell the public of Japan that it has been looked into and everything is now just fine, no need to worry, your money is being we'll spent and the local residents are safe from any harm whatsoever".

    Ministry to contractors quietly - "We would rather you looked into it and reported back to us, because we would certainly not want to have to put ourselves in any danger by actually having to go up there. We understand you don't actually go there either, so please get one of your sub sub contractors to have a quick look into it".

  • -4

    nigelboy

    nigelboy -- hold the phone. Nice try but you were the one saying just yesterday that us posters agreeing with the anti-nuke activist about sloppy decontamination were, if I recall correctly, "low awareness". Now, since the Ministry itself is saying its true, you "feel sorry". Please, when will you grasp the fact that Japan Inc, especially the government/bureaucracies, is hopelessly broken, and your attempts to defend it at every turn is just like trying to put your finger in the dike? Stop trying to attack the messenger(s) and do what you can to change things.

    First, the anti-nuke activist (Yamauchi) you refer to doesn't even care about decontamination work. His position has been to not let any civilians live inside the contamination area for at least three decades no matter how low the radiation levels are so "Nice try", herefornow.

    Now getting back to my original statement, there are areas which through decontamination work that have achieved less than 20 millisievers/yr.

    http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/genshiryoku/dai25/sankou1.pdf

    June of 2012

    http://www.meti.go.jp/earthquake/nuclear/pdf/121130/20121130_01d.pdf

    December of 2012

    While the media tends to focus on the negative, very little press if none on any areas and companies that are doing them right. Having said that your constant "Japan Inc. is hopelessly broken" sincerety which is on par with the anti nuke fear mongers and "Japan is falling" doomsayers is much appreciated but I respectfully decline.

  • 1

    mitoguitarman

    TEPCO/GOVT cabal has surpassed corruption and incompetence into the realm of evil. Purge them all.

  • 0

    Loghorn

    @tmarie:

    Why is the apology only limited to Fukushima residence? The rest of the country is suffering as well from all of this.

    Is anyone surprised? You hire yakuza to do the work, it doesn't get done, it gets discovered, no punishments... How many times have similar things like this happened? Far too many which is why none of the foreigners I have spoken to about this are surprised. Japan Inc. killing itself one slow step at a time.

    I agree. I don't know why any of them won't truly take responsibility for all of this & to learn to handle the situation the right way.

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