Noda says no individual to blame for Fukushima nuclear crisis

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  • 6

    gaijinfo

    Japanese establishment had been taken in by the “myth of safety”

    So in other words, it wasn't Japan's fault that they built a reactor in a dangerous location, it was some external myth that lulled the poor Japanese victims into complacency.

  • 0

    some14some

    what if an individual is blamed for...? nothing, he'll get suspended sentence, a common practice in Japan for people at responsible position.

  • 16

    zichi

    I would disagree, strongly with PM Noda's statement.

    I hold the board with it's president and executives responsible for operating a nuclear power at below required standards. It had 40 years at Fukushima to get it right. It refused to increase the height of the Jess wall although recommended to do so. It refused to increase the level of safety standard on the pipework for the reactor cooling even though it had nbeen ordered to do so.

    Other power companies increased the level of safety standards at their nuclear power plants, but TEPCO did not. They too are now paying the price for TEPCO's mishandling of it's nuclear plant.

  • 15

    zichi

    What we have learnt during the last couple of weeks, is that the nuclear industry is corrupt from the highest to lowest levels. From the highest authority, the Nuclear Safety Commission right on down to the power companies.

    I'm not sure how the nuclear industry could convince the public that there have or will be big changes, especially with the inspection of safety standards and the power companies running their nuclear power plants to the highest safety standards. The head of the NSC informed the Diet commission on the nuclear disaster that the stress tests of the reactors won't ensure the safety of the plants.

  • 10

    Speed

    I disagree. In addition to TEPCO, the LDP prime ministers, cabinet members, and bureaucrats who GOVERNed the country from the time these plants were built to March 2011 are to blame. They ARE individuals. Albeit there are a lot of them that doesn't make them any less culpable.

    Their decisions over these years to deceive the public, downplay the dangers, insert fake proponents at "safety meetings", ignore scientists' warnings, continual attempts at covering up accidents, etc. involved all four parties that I mentioned above.

  • 3

    Cricky

    insisting everyone had to “share the pain.”........how about all those directly involved with, responsible for overseeing checking, planning, operating and gaining profit from share the guilt and shame from a court case.

    Or share the pain and back to business as usual. What a callous, spineless unhelpful comment. We are sharing the pain through higher tax, power bills and goods, not to mention the money's borrowed in our name to try to fix what should not have been broken. There are people responsible and they at least should be held to account for their crimes.

    So that's it, nothing?

  • 2

    yokatta

    Yeahhh right, not just one individual to blame but many individuals to blame both in TEPCO and in the government.

  • 17

    zichi

    Why should "we all have to share the pain?" the power companies who made billions and billions of profit from nuclear energy but didn't share it.

    "We didn't share in the gain, so why do we have to share the pain?"

    The nuclear industry should be paying for the cost of the nuclear disaster and not the taxpayer. It will eventually cost the taxpayer more than ¥30 trillion.

    So we should also pay, again, to share the pain?

  • 3

    gelendestrasse

    No individual can be held responsible for the nuclear meltdowns

    That's not completely true. At one point the US Navy was ready to pump seawater into the reactors to keep them from melting down. This would have had the knock-on effect of ruining the reactors for future use, so somebody at TEPCO told the Navy "no thanks, we've got it under control." Meltdowns later the reactors are useless and dangerous and have spread radiation all over. Somebody took that lousy decision without taking into consideration what the consequences could have been. Whoever made that decision should be sacked.

  • 2

    FightingViking

    Thank heavens for Zichi-san ! He tells it like it is and makes it easier for the less "electrically informed" among us to comprehend the situation. No problem, however, for me to understand the corruptness of those involved... I'll never forget all the instances where I've been way overcharged (pun intended...) for electricity I hadn't used, being away in "Gaikoku" at the time...

  • 4

    Shivajirao Tipirneni

    Noda should not say that no one should be blamed for the Fukushima disaster is incorrect because it is well known that the the designers of the nuclear plant violated the rules in estimating the peak ground accelerations that could be expected from the high seismic potential of the area in the circum-pacific belt which cxan be estimated at magnitud 9 on the Richter scale which produces pga of more than 1.0 g and how can any sane person choose such a locality for a nuclear plant and that too adding on more units in a wrong place.Even Tsunamis could be expected for such a risky zone. If Noda tries to bail out his friends on thafor this man-made tragedy,he will havde to take the blame of partial treatment for people who must have been corrupt either as academicians,experts or contractors and if atleast informal punishment is not given the vesteds interests will be indirectly encouraged to continue with their anti-public activities due to apathy of the Government.That is what is happening in india where the state and central governments are forcing the people to blindly accept hazardous reactors by labelling them as safe reactors even without holding a public debate as envisaged by the laws of the land.kindly punish the guilty to swet an example for other nations not to repeat the same mistakes in going ahead with promotion of Nuclear Reactors which are just silent killers of mankind and nature all over the world becausde a reactor accident at Chernobyl and Fukushima showed that its damaging impacts will be felt in far off localities out side the country of origin.please Demand for scrapping of all reactors in the world as nuclear plants are silent killers of mankind and Nature in almost all countries.If we fail to punish the guilt,they will punish us in turn prof.T.Shivaji Rao.Director,centre for environmental studies,gitam University,visakhapatnam Author of the Book,Nuclear plants,the Silent killers[1989] and several articles on web site on case studies of nuclear plants in India which can be searched by using Google search Engine to grasp the scientific details

  • 2

    GDemmons

    This will allow companies to dowhatever they like and not be forced to do things right at the outset. This is one area of litigious societies that actually is sort of effective. Screw up, get sued, go bankrupt, send executives to jail. Here, however, all of these guys are friends, so it's harder...poor TEPCOexecutives...the pain they must feel. Too bad the samurai tradition is dead here. Otherwise, we would've watching a lot of belly slicing now!

  • -1

    hot_dog_dynasty

    He is right that their is no individual to blame. Its individuals, with an S.

    And by shielding them in them in this manner, I declare Noda an accomplice, and he should share a prison cell with them.

  • 0

    Qaueckernaeck

    Noda3 on his way out?

  • 1

    Patrick Hattman

    Noda says no individual to blame for Fukushima nuclear crisis

    Of course not. Japan is supposed to adhere strongly to collective responsibility, so an awful lot of heads should roll.

  • -9

    waltery

    All of Japan and the world bennifited from cheap electricity, look at the products in your home for the last 40 years. Compaicency is every where, no one is going to stop driving cars and yet that has killed more humans and animals than nukes. Live and learn.

  • 1

    sasakama

    I don't think no individual should be blamed for this incident because it's clear that the government and TEPCO hadn't prepared for such serious incident cases. This is a kind of myth that Japanese should share all responsibilities with everyone.... it's stupid idea.

  • 0

    NeoJamal

    Oh this is a first, governments usually blame one or few people in order to preserve the establishment. Noda was never in a position to manage the disaster nor was he responsible for preventing it, he could have played the blame game to clear out any political enemies within his party and please the top bureaucrats.

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    “But the government as well as operators and academia were steeped too deeply in the safety myth and I think that is what we can conclude."

    Sorry, but academia were WARNING the operator, which was already mired in scandals from the Niigata and other plants, about exactly the type of thing that happened on March 11th, but they ignored it, as the government ignored the dangers of allowing the operator to build where it did.

    Blame EASILY lies with TEPCO executives, first and foremost, then the government. But you can't expect the government or its vested interest to admit any errors and/or take responsibility for them, can you?

    What a typical Japanese bureaucratic answer -- and they wonder why the world scoffs when they play the victim for their faults.

  • 5

    GW

    As SPEED correctly pointed the blame lies mostly here:

    tepco, ldp, nagatacho!

    We need to go back 30yrs, whoever was in charge of nuke issues ove the last 3decades needs to have their estates emptied & the worst of the worst imprisioned! Noda you SOB you cant let this FILTH carry on inaffected, living in luxury from ill gotten gains. Now round up these scumbags & lock"em up!

    Folks if you havent you shud check yr electric bills, we are already getting hit, my invoice from tepco is up 45% from a year earlier, those SOBs are already nailing, go ahead & check, my bet is yr paying more & The cost is much more than just the increase from more imported fuel!!

  • 2

    BernieK

    If I had to choose one person he would have to be Shojiro Masuura, ex-chairman of Japans Nuclear Safety Commission. He looked the other way and only that other way. Those kind of people are responsible for this mess.

  • 4

    ExportExpert

    Anyone who held any position of power or authority at Tepco over the last 40 years should be held accountable and sent to trial along with any polictian who had anything to do with the approval or process of tepco building and continuing to operate the plant.

    This is such a farcical situation it is difficult to believe it is real, if not for living here and reading the headlines one would think it is just a movie script.

    The people involved in this whoile thing are all criminals.

    Noda is correct in his statement No one indiviual **is to blame - its a **whole bunch of these suited up criminals that are to blame.

  • 2

    sf2k

    TEPCO Exec: We are pleased with your performance, your donations will continue Noda: It was nothing

  • 0

    sf2k

    Literally you can die and it won't matter a wit. Corporations mean more than life. Congrats I guess.

  • 2

    Ranger_Miffy2

    So, one year later, no one is to blame? How nice...meanwhile, back in the real world....

  • 1

    Maitake

    “Rather than blaming any individual person I believe everyone has to share the pain of responsibility and learn this lesson.”

    wrong. no citizen should bare any responsibility for the incompetence and laziness and corruption of its own government. TEPCO and the J-gov are entirely to blame.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    Just reread the article and am still staggered by the utter stupidity and vapid statements of Noda. Why should we all 'share the pain' when most people had no say in where this place was built? when the majority of people don't want NPPs restarted but YOU insist 'we must'?

    So, essentially, the country must share the pain of such folly while only the operators and government share in the profits.

  • 0

    Ven Carolyn Ilagan

    And what about IAEA? Until now, they haven't revised their safety standards and protocol to conform with the realities and dangers of "nuclear" reactors and they continue to espouse pro-nuclear policies and guidelines!!! Their ready acceptance and congratulatory remarks to TEPCO for achieving 'cold shutdown' rings very hollow indeed!!!

  • 3

    ol_borgeaud

    Who created the safety myth and why? It does not come out of the blue and many people, including highly renowned scientists, have been raising the flag since long, but they have been scrapped by the J-village bulldozer! As Zichi said, risks have been known since always. But some had huge interests and financial means to play it down to protect their gains. Building a smoke screen with this "safety myth" is just another tactic to avoid accountability and to continue playing the same game. If no responsibilities are put in the light, nothing will change. Fukushima revealed the amplitude of these safety myth's creators. And this is not only TEPCO or J-gov. USA and France played as well a huge role in creating these puppet's agencies to make the people - including me :-( - to believe in the "safety myth". The whole J-village needs to be dismantled and rebuilt as totally independent agencies and the WHO needs to get back its role with nuclear health risks watchdog. Then, and if the real nuclear energy cost is favorable, we may - maybe - considers NPP as a potential power source to bridge with new technologies.

  • 1

    moomoochoo

    What do these word games matter? It doesn't matter who they say is responsible because nothing will change.

    I guess in one respect though, I have to commend Japan on her inability to change. To persist in the face of adversity.

    Unfortunately when you are making the adversity for yourself it's pretty stupid.

  • 1

    Disillusioned

    “Unfortunately there is criticism that what we have done has been inadequate and we have been slow,” he said. “We have to be receptive to such criticism.”

    Receptive? Noda, it is bloody true mate! And, all this self pitying BS makes it worse! The J-Gov and TEPCO were warned countless times in the last twenty years and proposals were made about the inadequacies of these plants. What did they do about it? Bugger all! Furthermore, they are still procrastinating with the Fukushima plant and have done very little about securing the other reactors in the country. This article just enrages me! Aaaaaargh!!!!!

  • 1

    JapanGal

    I agree with Zichi-san. We would be better having you as prime minister as you show time and time again great wisdom and logical understanding.

  • 0

    as_the_crow_flies

    "We didn't share in the gain, so why do we have to share the pain?"

    Wow, that should be made into a song! shout it out around the world. Shout it out loud enough so people say ENOUGH! Enough of this bulls#it! I would add this to Frying Dutchman's utterly brilliant denunciation of this state of affairs. If you haven't seen it already, check it out on youtube; Frying Dutchman, Human error.

    As he says "What's the matter, have your brains melted down?" I think that would just about sum up Noda's statement. How the hell can we advance and avoid this happening again if there's no accountability?

    Zichi, you said it! Please stick around, your comments on here just help me to keep my sanity, know I'm not going mad, drowning in a sea of doublespeak.

  • 6

    zichi

    "What about the IAEA?"

    It's very clear from this nuclear disaster, the iAEA is firmly on the side of Big Nuke, so we won't expect any change in policy there, which is becoming a major concern since about 30 new countries want to join the nuclear energy club.

  • -7

    Ivan Coughanoffalot

    Oh, what a surprise. As ever in this feudal kharzi, the prime directive is to avoid accountability.

    Keep the brown envelopes coming through to the boys in Nagatacho and everyone's innocent.

  • 6

    edojin

    To sidestep Noda's article above, did you see last night's NHK presentation of its first program on a series that will cover the events since last March 11? It was an excellent start. And it is downright scary. Ex-Prime Minister Kan said there were no emergency plans for what happened at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture. He didn't lay the blame on his predecessors in power (read: the Liberal Democratic Party), but indicated there were major flaws in the way the nuclear power industry was set up here in Japan.

    NHK also interviewed people living in the affected areas, and they expressed anger concerning what happened. For example, one former member of Kan's cabinet said there were no maps showing exactly who lived in the vicinity of the nuclear power plant, so during the highpoint of the nuclear emergency they didn't know how to handle the situation concerning those living nearby. The residents themselves were angry with what happened.

    Part two of the NHK series will begin at 9 o'clock tonight.

    And ... did you hear the PBS program that was aired on AFN radio (810) the other night? The PBS ran a TV show made by one of its people. The man who made this said he found out that TEPCO officials had guaranteed Kan that there was no danger of the reactors exploding after the tsunami hit them. Then, BOOM, one went up in smoke. Apparently Kan got a telephone call at 3 a.m. in which he was informed that the TEPCO people were going to ABANDON the Fukushima facility. Kan got angry and immediately went to TEPCO headquarters here in Tokyo and ordered the officials to keep TEPCO people in place at the facility. He wanted somebody there as a safety backup. So, about 250 TEPCO people remained, but about 200 fled before another explosion occurred.

    Also, the PBS program said there was no electrical backup at the nuclear facilities, so when the electricity went off the people at the plant didn't know what to do. So they went out into the parking lot and got batteries from cars parked there and used the batteries to get some electricity back into the facilities.

    The PBS program also said the U.S. flew a drone over the destroyed nuclear reactors and found a high amount of radiation flowing from down below ... but not from the reactors themselves. It was coming from the nearby storage site where every spent nuclear rod has been stored since the facility began operation about 40 years ago. The water level was running low and the rods were becoming red hot. The PBS man who made the film said he was told that an explosion at the storage site would have been much worse than those at the nuclear reactors.

    As Prime Minister Noda says in the article above. No individual can be held responsible for what happened. True. Not one person ... but MANY. Namely: the Liberal Democratic Party, which was in power when these nuclear facilities were built and put into operation. TEPCO, which oversaw and ran the operation and failed to set up proper safety devices. So it's not one ... but those in the LDP and in TEPCO.

    And ... in my opinion ... if any TEPCO money found its way into any politician's pocket over the past years, in any form, whether it be poltiical or personal, then those politicians should be removed from government!

    I think Prime Minister Noda should watch those NHK programs, then draw his conclusions from what we have been shown so far ... and hopefully more over the next days as more shows are shown.

  • 2

    jazz350

    Great comments by our fellow readers. Noda should be ashamed of himself for letting the nuclear industry off the hook. TEPCO with its top honchos including their bean counters must be held criminally liable for this on-going crisis, perhaps a crisis without end. The spent fuel rods are still lurking in the pools and another explosion will revive the simmering crisis to the fore. Unless the nuclear industry is shut down completely Japan is well on its way to extinction.

    As far as the IAEA is concerned it is an inter-governmental agency, therefore it is funded by Member countries and their goal is the promotion of nuclear energy, so it comes as no surprise that they will back the Government of Japan, they also happen to have Amano san heading the Agency. This guy will not ruffle any feathers, everyone is well trained in the Amakudari system.

  • 2

    CamyJapan

    Why should "we all have to share the pain?" the power companies who made billions and billions of profit from nuclear energy but didn't share it.

    "We didn't share in the gain, so why do we have to share the pain?"

    The nuclear industry should be paying for the cost of the nuclear disaster and not the taxpayer. It will eventually cost the taxpayer more than ¥30 trillion.

    So we should also pay, again, to share the pain?

    100% agree with you zichi!!

  • 3

    citja

    Ex-Prime Minister Kan, was removed from office by Big Nuke and replaced by Noda, now we see why?

  • 2

    Blair Herron

    Noda says no individual to blame for Fukushima nuclear crisis

    I disagree.

    Former vice president Muto and former plant manager Yoshida:

    TEPCO made its 2008 assessment based on the premise that an earthquake of the same magnitude as the Meiji Sanriku Earthquake(M8.3), Jogan Earthquake(M8.4). The assessment was reported to Muto and Yoshida. Those two were also told that in order to build a coastal barrier, it would cost 10+billion yen and take 4 years. Muto and Yoshida said the assessment had lack of foundation and decided to ignore it.

    NISA:

    On March 12, Koichiro Nakamura (NISA spokesperson) said at the press conference that there is a possibility of "Meltdown". He was replaced by another spokesperson the next day. The new spokesperson kept saying meltdown was unlikely.

    TV Asahi:

    TV Asahi journalist, Toru Tamakawa, interviewed Koide Hiroaki (nuke expert) on March 14. He said, "Meltdown is highly likely. Even people in Tokyo had better evacuate". The interview was never on air.

    Haruki Madarame (NSC chairperson)

    On March 11, he got the data of PEEDI, but he told people SPEEDI was unreliable and useless.

    Edano:

    He has kept saying “There is no immediate risk” since day 1.

    He had the data of SPEEDI (at least by March 17), but he didn't open it to the public until May. People evacuated to the wrong place to the northeast.

    He only allowed freelance internet news journalists and foreign media to attend the press conference once a week on Friday. The Mayor of Minami-Soma City asked for help through YouTube. People in the devastated areas did not have TVs. Their only reliable source was internet news, twitter, facebook. But still, Edano didn't allow internet news journalists to attend press conference regularly. He made a number of people's lives at risk.

    Kan:

    Nuclear disaster task force kept no records of meetings while USA has kept 4,200 pages of record.

    The government decided to hide the worst-case scenario at height of nuclear crisis

    Noda said, “No individual can be held responsible”

    It seems like Noda doesn’t want to learn anything from mistakes while there are tons of mistakes to be corrected in order to have better safer life in the future.

  • -6

    It"S ME

    Blair.

    You named multiple person and groups. Individual is ONE sole person not a few.

    There is no way in a very hot place that one person/individual alone calls the shots and is solely responsible.

  • 0

    LAcajun

    My government says I should ask Japan authorities for reliable info...

    " LONG-TERM RESIDENTS: The risks may be higher for U.S. citizens who reside for more than one year within 80 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend that U.S. citizens who choose to reside for more than one year within 80 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant consult with local authorities to receive current guidance on expected levels of radiation and recommendations for reducing exposure to radiation. In addition, pregnant women, children, and the elderly should avoid residing within 30 km of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant."

  • 0

    BernieK

    I want a politician to fight for my rights. I don't want radiation imposed involuntarily on me. This radiation coming from Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant are human-generated doses. Hey Noda, how would you feel if I punched you in the nose?

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    edojin: "I think Prime Minister Noda should watch those NHK programs, then draw his conclusions from what we have been shown so far ... and hopefully more over the next days as more shows are shown."

    I'm sure he would say the show never existed and that those who watched it simply have foggy memories.

    It"S ME: "There is no way in a very hot place that one person/individual alone calls the shots and is solely responsible."

    So EVERYONE should 'share the pain' instead?

  • 0

    PT24881

    "No individual can be held responsible for the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Saturday, insisting everyone had to “share the pain.”"

    Everything had been prepared to erase the 'past' -- sounded resembling a 'conspiracy' when the minutes of meeting with TEPCO were omitted with no meeting record. Hence, effectively, as the PM Noda put it, no single individual should be held responsible BUT the whole gang of incompetents bureaucrats ( Govt officials & TEPCO guys ) should !

    "share the pain" ? -- almost a year after the disaster, the TOHOKU survivors are the people suffering most & effectively "sharing the Tohoku pain" locally among them. Other parts of Japan did encounter inconvenience but not 'pain'..but even proposal of sharing some after-quake debris faced tough resistance from other regions..

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    PT24881: "but even proposal of sharing some after-quake debris faced tough resistance from other regions.."

    And rightly so. Why on earth should regions outside a nuclear disaster zone take on irradiated material to make a few town mayors who want to keep their jobs feel better? The most practical solution has been put on the table: make the areas that will NEVER be inhabitable again into storage spaces for stuff that should NEVER be gotten close to. But no, mayors in the aforementioned wee little towns instead say "it's safe to come home" and shun said practical proposals because they know it will cost them money. The only place I agree with you in terms of 'taking on the burden' is allowing people from the affected areas into the schools and communities that are safe and well away from Fukushima. But no, while the PM and others insist it's no one's fault and we should all share blame and press radioactive debris on the nation, little boys and girls are denied access to schools in other parts of Japan because of where they are from (happened Friday again, though I didn't see it make the news here).

    I hope Noda's little speech here draws international attention and digs up, internationally as well, the stuff TEPCO has always tried to cover -- that's the only way Japan ever learns; when other nations put their foot down on Japan's self-victimization while harming others. Even more sadly, perhaps, this time they are harming themselves.

  • 2

    zichi

    waltery,

    All of Japan and the world bennifited from cheap electricity, look at the products in your home for the last 40 years. is every where, no one is going to stop driving cars and yet that has killed more humans and animals than nukes. Live and learn.

    All three parts of the myth that nuclear energy is,

    "clean, safe, cheap!"

    Has been busted!

  • 0

    gogogo

    No one to blame? Sounds like the government is too blame!

  • 6

    Rick Kisa

    *

    “Rather than blaming any individual person I believe everyone has to share the pain of responsibility* and learn this lesson.”

    Damn, this includes my innocent daughter who was born on 12th March 2011, a day before the fukushima incident. is this fair? You mess up the whole country by taking a wrong, risky business model, gas the whole populace with dangerous poisonous nuclear emissions and waste, and as if this is not enough, u distribute blame to everybody, including the kids! is this really being responsible? is this a model example of good risk and crisis management? Does noda have competent advisors? Somebody has been pocketing hefty sums of money not spent on improving safety standards; somebody has been rich as a result of keeping a blind eye on the poor safety standards; somebody has been happy seeing an impartial and compromising TEPCO board, and then we say everybody should share the blame? Nonsense.

  • 1

    lostrune2

    PBS Frontline documentary the first few days of the Fukushima nuclear crisis between TEPCO and ex-PM Kan:

    http://video.pbs.org/video/2202847024

  • 0

    presto345

    I agree with PM Noda if he meant to say that no single individual can be held responsible for Fukushima. The hoi polloi want a scapecoat, which is typical, but it won't offer a solution, nor is it fair. Playing the blame game is not going to produce effective measures to prevent future mishaps. Most of the nuclear plants are currently off line and perhaps it should stay that way. The technology to construct alternative energy plants is here. Off shore wind energy, solar offer immediate results if the equivalent of xxxxxx billions of yen needed for nuclear disaster clean-up were used to invest. The nuclear lobby needs to be curtailed and everyone made aware that paying more for our daily electricity needs now is a better deal than being screwed by paying higher taxes for cleaning up a nuclear disaster. Or where else did you think the money is going to come from?

  • 0

    wnagler1

    Kan and his Salarymen ministers and other government officials are directly to blame. They delayed telling the Japanese people, lied by underplaying it, authorized wrong moves including airlifting incompatible power trucks to Fukushima, and made sure there were no meeting notes compiled and made publicly available from any of the 11 bodies that were working Fukushima last year.

    Noda is just covering up for Kan. Salaryman to help Salaryman just to try to preserve order, and also to diffuse the public's anger.

    Give me a break, Noda. The well-educated Japanese people know better than to believe such nonsense from you.

  • 2

    Pukey2

    Rather than blaming any individual person I believe everyone has to share the pain of responsibility* and learn this lesson.

    As in....we must buy contaminated food (not long after the earthquake, all cucumbers in my area came from Fukushima - we had no other choice - same with peaches and a few other food stuff), we must accept garbage from the north and and chip in by breathing the air containing god knows what when it's being burnt. Yes, we must all share. It's like saying, if the TEPCO head commits suicide, we must too.

    As for not blaming any individual, how about those TEPCO bosses who knew of the risks and yet did nothing because it would be too expensive or the inspectors who were being paid off to look the other way. I don't understand why there is no investigation into who exactly looked the other way, despite all the warnings from the scientists. At the end of the day, all that matters is money. I'm not religious but I do believe in karma - and it'll catch up with you, either here on earth or down there.

  • -1

    hatsoff

    Noda is pretty shrewd. He has basically said that TEPCO is to blame ("The primary responsibility under Japanese law rests with the operator"), but he seems to know that only blaming TEPCO will let others off the hook, such as NISA. By stressing that the establishment (government, advisors, academia) has to take the blame too, maybe he will be able to break up cosy ties between big business and government. He's hardly chomping at the bit to get those other NPPs back on line, after all. He and Edano seem to know the way to go on all this. I just hope I'm not being too optimistic.

  • 0

    Bruce Miller

    In America the blame the Corporation.

  • 1

    Debbie Itabashi

    Ok, when Noda says everone must share the pain... This group of everyone extends how far? The 20 km around Fukusima? The 80 km around Fukushima? The areas that radiation hot spots have shown up in (which have popped up not far from my home)? How about everyone that uses TEPCO? Maybe all of Japan? Or further?

    These lists and sites of what the Jp government has listed as 'safe' ... I want to know how they deem them safe? I want to know how these people choose their fresh vegitables, rice, water to consume?

    I have always heard that TRUST IS EARNED, not given away freely. I want to know how TEPCO and Government officials have EARNED the TRUST they are asking for?

    I am in awe at how much information I can trust from the comments made on articles here. Yet at how I question & not trust EVERY ITEM I buy when I food shop for my children.

    This speaks volumes to me.

  • 0

    Michael P Monahan

    That is bs Leaders are always to blame and so are followers who dont take personal responsibility. GE, TEPCO, Japan Govt and individuals

  • 0

    TheBigPicture

    zichi explains what really happened, which is based on fact.

  • 1

    Elvensilvan

    No individual should be blamed.

    True.

    The entire TEPCO and Japanese government agencies responsible should not be blamed, but should be held accountable. The ones to blame are the previous TEPCO heads who have time and again ignored the facts that were laid in front of them, but chose to ignore because they were deemed an unnecessary waste of resources (and income) at the time.

    The current TEPCO heirarchy are just unlucky enuogh to have this disaster placed squarely at their feet. But how many TEPCO ex-employees and directors, as well as investors have enjoyed fat paychecks?

  • 2

    TheBigPicture

    The root of the problem is allowing nuclear power plants. They need to be outlawed.

  • 0

    Thomas Smith

    Great documentary on Frontline last week. Makes Kan look a bit better than you'd expect but lays the blame squarely on TEPCO mostly. Highly recommended if you got the time to watch an internationally vetted play by play.

  • -1

    tamanegi

    But Mr Kan got canned!

  • 0

    Charles M Burns

    Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Saturday, insisting everyone had to “share the pain.”

    Wrong! I do not share the pain of ignorance, incompetence and ineptitude. The buck stops with TEPCO and the Govt, they can share the pain.

  • 0

    Hikozaemon

    I don't know why everyone is so forgiving of the government, and so down on TEPCO over this.

    Japan wouldn't have nuclear power METI (MITI) hadn't ordered it. Safety was overseen by the Nuclear safety inspectors who completely failed to provide oversight of the lax running of these plants TEPCO was left with the keys to, the government let these old plants run too long with no plan to switch energy sources - in fact, under the DPJ prior to the quake, it was planning to EXPAND nuclear power as part of its Kyoto target strategy.

    Legally, the Ministry of Science and Education is responsible for paying the costs of accidents because the Japanese government is responsible for the installation and safe running of power plants.

    And then you have TEPCO - a government appointed monopoly, overwhelmingly staffed by parachuted ex regulators there on a junket for post government retirements, knowing that if anything went wrong the government would cover them.

    The government is ultimately responsible for nuclear safety in Japan and it failed - this accident was a direct consequence of government policy that relied upon and was in the process of expanding reliance on nuclear power. The diversion of everything onto TEPCO is smoke and mirrors to distract from METI and Monbusho losing budget to pay compensation, and any oversight of the complete failure of the government to keep its obligations to the public to ensure that the nuclear power it installed all over this disaster prone archipelago would be done so safely.

    But, forget about that. Let's all just focus on the board of TEPCO, that will make a real difference!

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