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Gov't kept silent on worst-case scenario at height of nuclear crisis

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By Mari Yamaguchi

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Gov't kept silent on worst-case scenario at height of nuclear crisis

nothing unusual about that - the Japanese government has never been known for its openness

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The government of Japan always hides things. It's cultural... shouganai.

-1 ( +3 / -3 )

But of course they did. Would the pilot of a plane announce "Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts as we're experiencing some turbulence which might cause me to lose control of the plane and send us plunging to our certain deaths, possibly over a major city causing hundreds of deaths"?

No, he'd do what he could to fix the problem and encourage calm over those in his charge. There are many problems with the way this disaster was handled, but trying to avoid mass panic in a densely-populated area was the responsible thing to do.

6 ( +14 / -9 )

The government continues to refuse to make the document public. The AP obtained it Wednesday through a government source, who insisted on anonymity because the document was still categorized as internal.

Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada no need to apologize for the absence of records at meetings, other government employees are leaking the information from the meetings to the people.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

15 pages? With diagrams and charts? Sounds to me that this report was thrown together with nothing but the obvious written. Anybody could tell you the same thing if you asked them what the worst case scenario is/was. you don't need a panel of scientist and gov't officials to come up with a half assed report like that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But of course they did. Would the pilot of a plane announce "Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts as we're experiencing some turbulence which might cause me to lose control of the plane and send us plunging to our certain deaths, possibly over a major city causing hundreds of deaths"?

Ivan - very bad analogy. The difference in March was passengers had the option of getting out of the plane before it crashed. Those who did the smart thing and left the Tokyo area made the right decision.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Hey Zichi, When are they gonna come up with a real report about the Radiation Levels from Fukushima RISING. What do they plan to do about this? Instead of blaming the workers who from the photos were in regular work clothes short sleeve T shirt even. I don't believe they were handling highly-radioactive yellow concrete slags come out from under the building one. But they put that piece of slab on a surgical mask and took a picture. I want to fient.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/tepco-admits-that-radiation-levels-from-fukushima-are-rising.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oops I meant I want to faint. we need an edit button or something.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'm not confident that this is all over just yet! The article kind of makes me uncomfortable...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It also casts doubt about whether the government was sufficiently prepared to cope with what could have been an evacuation of unprecedented scale.

Casts?? Ha! If there is one thing I am sure if, the government is not prepared to deal with an evacuation.

Glad to see they kept notes during thee meetings...

1 ( +2 / -2 )

More pertinent is not the past but the present and the danger faced by the population of Japan.There is also a woeful lack of knowledge and ignorance regarding the dangers of ionizing radiation.

There are comprehensive studies of low level radiation on nuclear workers in the US which correlate low exposure and cancer. These studies, known to Japanese researchers have been ignored.

At present there are many (and rising) cases of radiation sickness not being reported - there will be many more!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I remember reports that tepco wanted to pull out from the plant after the first explosion and see where its going from there. Please feel free to check, I guess there was an anouncement on Jt. But fortunately Jan insisted and tepco employees kept on working and fighting! Imagine the situation that time when your energy company comes to you as prime minister and starts talking about pulling out......unbelievable!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At present there are many (and rising) cases of radiation sickness not being reported - there will be many more!

kurisupisu: Surely, if you are in posession of such information it is in the interest of the country that you go to the quality press and present your proof of this.

Ivan makes some VERY valid points above about preventing mass panic in an extremely populated area. I am not defending the government as such, but people, put yourself in their position and consider what YOU would do and IF it would be feasible.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So what? Unless there the worse case scenario actually came to fruition, then it makes sense not to scare everyone.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Gov't kept silent on worst-case scenario at height of nuclear crisis

Didn't former PM Kan say there was a worst-case scenario on 9.18 interview with Kyodo? He must be a big mouth. Media should push him to talk more about everything what was happening then.

http://www.corbettreport.com/japanese-government-insiders-reveal-fukushima-secrets/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's always about money. There's no way to escape really. In a mass evacuation you can't hop a plane and in 30 minutes the highways will be closed. Your loved ones if they are Japanese will feel some sense of obligation.

What's worse....at the moment of truth, that critical point when you have a chance to leave, will your loved ones respond to the call. You call, manage to get through, or go to their job, your only thought is to get the one you love to safety and then that person hesitates. They say I have to stay at my job. We can't go yet. They hesitate and it could cost you your life and your significant other.

It takes a full tank of gas for some cars to get to Osaka. In gridlock you'll barely make it to Mt Fuji in a mass exodus.

It is natural to do for oneself. To protect your family. Most of here know and probably feel that no but ourselves truly care about what happens to us or our families or the ones we love. The government took away your right to protect yourself.

Last year, I decided to buy a bike. Motorcycles and bikes are the only way you will escape. Gas will not be available.

Money is always the root of all evil. Corporations want to keep working.

A government has no right to lie to it's people. When it does, faith in the government ceases to exist, at which time the country in destabilized. If we shake again, the government will have no control of the people.

Sorry about the rambling. I have quite a few thoughts on this topic.

3 ( +8 / -6 )

While it is unethical to hide crucial information about an issue that concerns the health of millions of people, i believe that, the government had no other choice. Any other decision might have led to mass panic, riots, anarchy and a situation similar to a 1945 Japan. Let's face it, people. The government had no plan or any means for the evacuation of 40 million people. This is something almost impossible to do in a country which is so densely populated like Japan.

Was it ethical? No. Was it the right thing to do? Maybe yes. Was there any other choice? Definitely not.

1 ( +4 / -2 )

I personally think panic would have been good. It would have caused instant change which is what is so desperately needed here.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

As a Tokyo dweller, this doesn't come as a surprise, but it probably will for many Japanese. Like all of you I scoured the internet for news during those first few weeks, and my conclusion was that fleeing Tokyo wasn't necessary. In the worst case scenario, there would have been voluntary evacuation in Tokyo. So you had to make the decision, if it "blows", do you hit the highways and get stuck, or stay inside in Tokyo. Everything I read suggested that at the very worst it would involve staying indoors for a day or two.

I don't blame people for deciding to be out of Tokyo, or out of the country for a holiday at that time at all though.

That said, I think the govt should be open. If there's a time when the best thing to do is run, then you run. I like to know the good news and the bad news. But this is a country where STILL most people I know don't tell the patient that they have so many months to live.

I think being an adult means you can handle the truth and make your decisions.

Ivan, re the plane. I've been on a plane where we've been told to prepare for emergency landings. Nothing happened, but there were fire engines racing beside us, and we were prepared. I don't blame the pilot at all for that. Someone once said "The truth will set your free".

And maybe Tokyo people evacuating like that would have been good practice. Probably could have learned a few things.

2 ( +3 / -2 )

Money is always the root of all evil. Corporations want to keep working.

Human beings committed evil long before money came into the picture.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Breaking News: Whistle-blower talks, container vessel is melting like honeycomb

http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/01/breaking-news-whistle-blower-talks-container-vessel-is-melting-like-honeycomb/

-1 ( +3 / -3 )

Wasn't this in the news last year when Mr Kan was PM?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Was there any other choice?

Of course there was. For one thing, the government lowered the raidation safety levels without announcing to the public the reason behind it, hence the people also believed that the radiation levels are over-rated and exaggerated.

Also, even though the 20-km no-go zone was established, people can and did still go in and out, as proven by the construction materials shipped out.

Avoiding mass panic is a good opractice, but denying the populace basic information and the means to enforce the rules strictly could be considered a crime, depending on the outcome ... not based on possibilities, but in reality.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

RedMango - "breaking news" from over 3 weeks ago isn't "breaking" anymore. What's your next shocker? Man lands on moon?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Of course they kept quiet. As stated in the aarticle it would be impossible to evacuate those areas without causing more problems through panic.

My family considered this exact event in the days following the disaster. We decided that the goverment was not going to have our personal interests at heart and would certainly not tell us of any impending danger so we decided that myself and 6 month old child would leave the country.

Have to say we made the right decision for us. In hindsight no, there was "no immediate danger" but this does go to show that if there was we would be among the last to know.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Radiation warning system known as "SPEEDI". Sick sense of ironic humor J-gov.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Considering that an estimated 35 million people live in and around Tokyo the Government was probably right in not giving the people a "worst case scenario" advisory. But it does highlight the need for the Japanese Government to enact policy whereby the population of Japan could be spreadout more evenly. I shudder to think what would happen if a large quake were to dissrupt transportation in and around Tokyo for any legnth of time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@theResident

Many reports have surfaced of nosebleeds,lethargy,chronic mouth pain and teeth failing out,tumors being found in children's thyroids.

All signs of radiation poisoning.

Some names for you to look up.....Masai Yoshida,Abe Hirota,Emiko Numauchi.

It would be odd not to expect such cases don't you think?

-1 ( +3 / -3 )

Yeah RedMango, I read the same thing, We need more government officials to sneak out information to let people know whats going on.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The government should have given out this information as it came out daily and let the people decide for themselves how much risk they and their families wanted to take. Had this turned out worse, millions of people being irradiated and killed.

It sounds as if this government is willing to sacrifice the lives of its people. The trust in this government I'm sure has eroded considerably and justifiably so.

Personally, I was specifically searching for information like this as I was on the verge of moving to the Kanto area. This would've made my decision to or not to much easier to make. But instead I had to make a lot of uninformed guesses and speculate what the risks were for my kids due to the government not releasing this vital information.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This government is a bunch of lazy, good for nothing PARASITES, living off of our hard work, sweat, blood, and now this?? Geez, no surprise here!!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I can just imagine that old corrupt fart Ozawa, sitting back and scratching his butt, saying well screw Tokyo, I got another 70 homes all around Japan, with the stupid, gullible tax payers money, so I can just hop on the shinkansen, that we THE TAX payers PAY for these corrupt politicians to ride around Japan FOR FREE!!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

So over the last 10/11 months or so, lots of information was released as public statements by officialdom only to be supplanted by contradictory statements later. 'There isn't a meltdown' .....oops 'There was a meltdown'....'The beef is safe'....oops 'The beef isn't safe'. On and on we go.

Of course, avoiding mass panic which causes it's own plethora of problems is advisable. However, we are not out of the woods yet. What if another big quake or aftershock....sorry don't really understand the difference....hits Fukushima again and causes a big, bad problem with the nuclear plant, who is going to believe anything the government says? By actually trying to avoid a mass panic and not being transparent, they might have just set up perfect circumstances for folk to panic next time something happens. I for one will not be relying on the government for information if/when something happens. I trusted them once with the wellbeing of my children and they failed me miserably. Me and thousands of others.

As for the plane analogy. I think most folk here, being adults, would prefer to know if danger is heading their way or might be heading their way. I wouldn't want anybody and I don't think it is their right, to decide, if worst came to worst, how my last minutes should be spent.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Ivan - very bad analogy. The difference in March was passengers had the option of getting out of the plane before it crashed. Those who did the smart thing and left the Tokyo area made the right decision.

Wrong - people could imagine for themselves what "worst case" could mean and stayed. In reality, had people tried to exercise their option to "get out the plane" there would have been panic beyond all belief, resulting in many unneccessary deaths, and countless injuries, and a logistical nightmare (temporary housing for 30 miilion) to boot. Ivan is right.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Any other decision might have led to mass panic, riots, anarchy and a situation similar to a 1945 Japan.

But I thought the Japanese didn't riot, didn't loot, didn't panic and waited in line in calmly fashion. Or at least, that is what the Japanese media would like us all to believe. I guess they like to ignore all the hoarding of goods that went on all over the country.

The government needs to be honest with the public. They haven't been honest - no shocker there. And I doubt if/when the "big one" hits Tokyo, they won't be prepared and it will be a free for all. Like last time. This time though, I hope they don't blame the foreigners and go on a killing spree.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The Govt lied, so what, they been lying to the masses for decades and will continue to lie to them.

Anyone who thinks their govt is honest trust worthy and has the publics general interests at heart is deluded.

The PM and other top officials would have had their escape route and plan clearly sorted and ready to be executed at a moments notice, you can be assured it would have been a save my ass first policy. Like the capt of the italian crusie ship.

Politicians are liars, they cover up, hide and liar its their natural characteristic.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Should there ever be any future emergency, I doubt the population will believe any statement issued by the goverment. When they were frugal with the truth in relation to Fukushima and the extent of the contamination, they lost the trust of the population.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hoserfella is RIGHT!!!!!!

Ivan - very bad analogy. The difference in March was passengers had the option of getting out of the plane before it crashed. Those who did the smart thing and left the Tokyo area made the right decision.

@gyouza You bet WRONG!!! The problem here is your limited scope. You assume that only Japan's government would manage a crisis on that scale. You can't. A FULL BLOWN nuclear meltdown is bigger than Japan's contingency plans.

You've got South Korea to the West and Americans stationed over here. You think we couldn't do it? You think American's military isn't up to the task. Wrong!!! Think outside the box. That's the problem with having Oyaji at the helm of a nation that is supposed to be modernized.

It would have been the biggest mass evacuation in history. The world would respond with countless flights and freighters and ships to evacuate them all. It can be DONE!!!! Yeah America would come through like that. We'd do it. We'd get the job done. Even civilian pilots, bush pilots and retired veterans would come. That's just how we are. The Japanese government was wrong in it's decision to withhold information.

No, it's all about money. There would be bills to pay for an evacuation on that scale. Most countries would naturally give Japan plenty of time to pay for lets say the fuel. However most countries would volunteer their resources. It would have been the greatest homestay program ever. But no, Japanese PRIDE blinded those old fogies.

Panic comes from the lack of alacrity and lack of faith in the government. The coffers are more important than the poeple. So I agree with Hoserfella. He was spot on.

@gyouza and Ivan In America we have a saying: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. America's servicemen and armed forces personnel are born of this. If there was anybody that could evacuate a million + or more everyday...it would be them. They have the organization and logistics to pull it off. Furthermore, Japan is NOT alone. The World would respond.....put aside all your political differences, religion, etc. We believe in human life. Japan's government had no reason to lie other than protection of it's assets.

It's fair to say there would be tension and people would overreact naturally. However once they see those flights overhead. Once they see those arm patches from countries all over the world and Japan's military servicement order would be restored.

What happened to your "Impossible is Nothing"?

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Net, I think many foreign countries would offer to help. Would, however, the Japanese government accept it? They have a very bad track record of saying no and going about screwing things up. Kobe, 3/11...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is just the tip of the iceberg. It'll take years and perhaps even decades to learn the truth of not only how bad of a meltdown Fukushima went into, but to what extent the Japanese government covered up and 'spun' the information. Err on the side of caution and stay away from Fukushima and any and all food grown in the region. The Japanese government should be helping people to relocate outside of Fukushima, but they are doing the opposite. The Japanese government should ban all food and building materials and soil from Fukushima, but they are doing the opposite. (Why would anyone want to spread radioactive food, soil, etc. around Japan?) Is the Devil himself in charge of all this? This disaster is a total nightmare for Japan, and it seems like the world and even many Japanese would rather just forget all about it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Japanese government kept their citizens in the dark? Wow - what a surprise! The men in suits running this joint really don'd think much of Japanese people.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

That's the problem with having Oyaji at the helm of a nation that is supposed to be modernized.

You had an Oyaji in the form of George W at the helm of your nation for nearly a decade.

No, it's all about money. There would be bills to pay for an evacuation on that scale. Most countries would naturally give Japan plenty of time to pay for lets say the fuel. However most countries would volunteer their resources. It would have been the greatest homestay program ever. But no, Japanese PRIDE blinded those old fogies.

This reads like a fairy tale.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

How would that have helped anything?

People would have a little faith in the government and be able to make decisions based on information and not lies and cover ups? Here's the problem. People don't trust the government here so any inkling that there is a problem, people panic - and hoard food like the did all over Japan. If the government was more open about such things, people would be able to make decisions based on fact, not assumption that the government is holding back the worst of the news.

An example of this... The food I see from the Tohoku is probably safe. However, I won't even think of buying it because I don't trust the government when they tell me it is safe. If the government had come out from day one and said "This is bad, we aren't going to sell it and everything else is safe and certified!" and followed through on it, I would be okay with purchasing produce from Tohoku. What has happened though is "Everything is fine!". "Oh wait, yes, that beef was contaminated. Sorry." "Everything is okay now. Oh Except for that rice..." See the issue? People only panic when they don't know what is going on and aren't prepared for it. Lying to the public isn't preparing them or helping the matter in the future.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Im not surprised about the governments reaction. Preserve the wa. very japanese. What i'm more surprised is the fact that now that this is out in the open more japanese people arnt outraged by it. I don't hear much news of widescale protest to this kind of abuse of power. Japan is a peculiar country indeed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It would have been the biggest mass evacuation in history. The world would respond with countless flights and freighters and ships to evacuate them all. It can be DONE!!!! Yeah America would come through like that. We'd do it. We'd get the job done. Even civilian pilots, bush pilots and retired veterans would come. That's just how we are.

Well, maybe you are right. But maybe the filmIndependance Day (and Battlestar Gallactica) was fiction. I agree with you though, it did look kind of real!!

:) x 5,000!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

contd...

Anyway, the point is (back on topic now, sorry Moderator) explicitly advertising the worst case would have resulted in unneccessary panic - hence it was wiser to not to reveal it UNLESS it had a likely chance of being close to reality. It was a distant threat, not a likelyhood.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Perhaps they could let Japan know what the worse case scenario is if a huge quake hits tokyo in the next four years - so people can start to prepare?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Making millions of people panic even further probably would not have helped very much

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The real issue here is what is the role of government and elected officials. Bureaucrats make policy decisions here but are not elected. Elected officilals are involved in implementing decisions....both have a duty to be honest and transparent, particularly in situations of a life-threatening nature. At the same time, mass evacuation of Tokyo ( even if possible) would have led to a potential collapse of the economy. So for the survival of the nation, they made the right decision....individuals be damned. Final point: what gives officials the right to decide for the citizenry what is in their own best interests?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That many people living near each other is bad news in any situation. I've said it before, that we are not that far off from being cave men again. I couldonly imagine the mass exodus and the chaos that would've come with 35 million heading toward Yamanashi, Shizuoka, Kanagawa and beyond. With that said I'd of glady taken in a family or 2.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every country has emergency plans for a variety of scenarios, they aren't made public unless acted upon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope they wikileak that document.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

it's not only japanese gov that is hiding things, it's also every gov in the world...@__@ don't trust em!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ kurisupisu

I found what you are saying, Man O Man The folks are not allowed to testify as to what is going on with them and their children in terms of the radiation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftaz7o7UfHo&feature=player_embedded

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=fukushima+people&view=detail&mid=B9E10FF396AB0BCAAA13B9E10FF396AB0BCAAA13&first=0&FORM=LKVR38

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Can any of you imagine what a mad rush for the exits by 35 million people would've been like??? I get chills even trying to picture such a stampede!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Final point: what gives officials the right to decide for the citizenry what is in their own best interests?

When telling them could cause a situation that endangers lives. Citizenry at large could easily guess what the worst that could happen, and probably beyond worst case - in fact most did.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every country has emergency plans for a variety of scenarios, they aren't made public unless acted upon.

And how are they going to let the public know what the plan is and what they should do if communication system are out like they were in Tohoku? Wouldn't letting them know now be better?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There you go, peeps. When there's a REAL threat of the worst coming from within you won't hear a thing about it. As for the tiny document -- how is it they can compile a 'worst case scenario' in so few pages when a document to make a claim about suffering is more than 60 pages long (TEPCO claim documents)?

Did they keep records of THESE meetings?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If it came to a mass evacuation it would probably be by Sea and Air cause like NetNinja says. There are many countries whose air craft carrier ships and more would get the people out. Japan is supposed to have an exit plan, especially in a worse case scenario it's just silly if it doesn't. You would not have panic if there is a plan in place, like Tmarie stated. It's only common sense.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What I find abhorrent is not only did they withhold info about possibly needing to evacuate, but they cut off the gasoline supply to the area. They claimed they were short of gas, and yet when I made it out (with gas gauge on "E") I found plenty of gas at almost every station I stopped at.

There were lineups at gas staions in Tokyo, Saitama and Gunma for up to a kilometer long. Seems to me they could have easily trucked in gasoline from other areas if indeed there was a shortage (but I suspect not.)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"the possibility of causing excessive and unnecessary worry"...They really don't get it, do they? Giving real information fully is the only way to go. But they are not going that way. That is an "absolute guarantee of causing excessive and unnecessary worry", right from the get go!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Here's the problem. People don't trust the government here so any inkling that there is a problem, people panic. If the government was more open about such things, people would be able to make decisions based on fact. People only panic when they don't know what is going on and aren't prepared for it.

Well said, tmarie.

Can any of you imagine what a mad rush for the exits by 35 million people would've been like??? I get chills even trying to picture such a stampede!

I get chills, too. But I still don't agree with the government hiding things. The document should open to the public, analyze it even further, make simulation, try to get the best idea how to evacuate 35 million people, how to minimize chaotic situation and so on. This little volcanic island has become more seismologically active after 3.11. The Fukushima plants are still unstable. We don't know when another big earthquake would damage the plants and wind might blow toward south to Tokyo region. Better prepare for the worst case scenario.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ineptitude, on so many levels. And we have been warned a big shake is on the way does anyone believe all will go well. The last year has been lies and denial, it's not save and not getting safer...get out or risk being in the news.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

yasukuni -So you had to make the decision, if it "blows", do you hit the highways and get stuck, or stay inside in Tokyo. Everything I read suggested that at the very worst it would involve staying indoors for a day or two.

unless another earthquake forced you outdoors!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But, this article fails address just how much radiation people were and have been exposed to far outside the exclusion zone, including the greater Tokyo area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

well i don't exepect any change, no riots in fukushima or kantou, Jgov is happy with the obedient gullible japanese citizens.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

its just added fodder for everyone to create for or against opinions..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@tmarie I answered your question. My response was factual but I sarcastic at the same time so I was politely modded. To answer your question: Yes, Japan would accept the world's assistance in the event of a major evacuation. Unfortunately you have to be intelligent enough to answer this rhetorical question. Yes, they would accept it...The rhetorical question is what would they do with it? That's a rhetorical question okay. I speak volumes at times.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The government have mishandled the atomic disaster since the first minute of the first hour, and continue to do so. They have placed people's lives at risk by the slow response to evacuating people from around the nuke plant and then directing them in the wrong direction and into the path of clouds of very high level radiation.

The Fukushima government received more than ¥100 billion from TEPCO over the years plus unofficial money. Part of it was suppose to be used for plan to evacuate in the case of an atomic disaster. They failed the people too.

In the age of the internet why wasn't an info site set up from the very first moment and even now almost 12 months later, there isn't one government web site, in all languages giving us all the information we all need.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's not just Japan that keeps their worst case scenarios quiet. Any government would want to avert mass panic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Again, this is no surprise. A country so devoid of leadership and basic competence at the top. Quietly, and secretely guided by back-room scum like Ozawa and faceless bureaucrats, none of whom with anyone to answer to. The one lesson to be gained from this is that we're all in this alone. In the next crisis, don't wait for instructions from the Japanese government. Rely on your own intuition.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

hoserfella,

Very well said.

These clowns (this is the most polite word l could put here) have totally mishandled this whole situation for the outset and as angry as people are at them l am more disappointed at the people of Japan. While those government people have been caught time and again lying, hiding the facts, delaying release of information, and downplaying the issue the response by the people of Japan has been equally disappointing where have been the mass protests, where are the demands for these idiots to stand down, the demands for justice and timely information. Its almost like the people of Japan have been conditioned to not question even when faced with this type of disaster and sadly this type of blind subservience will lead to their downfall. The government has shown through its actions it doesnt deserve the support and trust of the populace. And sadly the people have been quick to critisise foreigners as being flyjin, and running away and will argue with foreigners who dare question the government. Maybe if this anger was directed at the government rather than those who where trying to protect themselves and their loved ones then we might be better informed.

The problem in this isnt the flyjin, the foreigners or those that question, the problem is the government, TEPCo and those hiding the truth.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is always easy point a finger. Remember there is always three pointing back at the person doing so.

It is also easy to look and criticize after the fact.

What would you have done, if you had to make the decision?

The point is that no one knew or will know what will happen for sure when it comes to nuclear energy and nuclear power plants because there are infinite scenarios. Given that... with more information than you and I could ever get regarding Japan and its people, those in a position to make a determination, made a decision.

That decision was a :life or death" decision for possibly millions.... and that decision was "made" (in the past.)

Digging for "fault finding" will not make things better. However, finding the mistakes and errors, evaluating them and FINDING WAYS TO MAKE IT BETTER is most important.

I would like to see more people "contribute" reasonable options, better ideas, sound process and any positive methods of improving the situation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There are people in J Govt fighting for change, Masako Mori of the LDP is one. She brought a gentleman from Fukushima who has been exposed to high amounts of radiation so he could testify before the Upper House Budget Committee BUT Masako Mori was told that the gentleman could not testify and she told the Committe like it is. She got Heart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftaz7o7UfHo&feature=player_embedded

0 ( +1 / -1 )

kazetsukai -

What would you have done, if you had to make the decision?

Unlike the government of Japan, I would have at least made one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

kazetsukai

It is also easy to look and criticize after the fact.

Given that the J government has hidden the facts until long after with regards to most of this disaster then what else is there to do but criticize after the fact

The point is that no one knew or will know what will happen for sure when it comes to nuclear energy and nuclear power plants because there are infinite scenarios. Given that... with more information than you and I could ever get regarding Japan and its people, those in a position to make a determination, made a decision.

Yeah like the decision to dump the radioactive water into the sea and not tell anyone immediately, like the handful of contaminated cows that were processed for food that latter became thousands and were still feed to the public, like Edano saying day after day "no immediate health affects, the list goes on and on. The id1ots in power mishandled this from the outset and still arnt being held accountable.

Digging for "fault finding" will not make things better. However, finding the mistakes and errors, evaluating them and FINDING WAYS TO MAKE IT BETTER is most important. I would like to see more people "contribute" reasonable options, better ideas, sound process and any positive methods of improving the situation.

Ok here is my contribution and ideas. Its quite simple other nations should make a study of this disaster, the leadup, the actions that the j government and TEPCO took. They should write a report on it detailing all the details and points, then they should write on the front of the document in massive red letters "WHAT NOT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF NUCLEAR DISASTER". Then they can go through every point and write the opposite of what the Japanese have done and then you will have a blue print for how to handle this type of disaster.

How does that sound?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just a thought...

Did anyone notice how the article was written?

It appears that the article not only give a story, but also an invitation for thought and argument... Not slanted as much as "inviting" argument and "negative reaction"?

It troubles me that many articles do that.....

Is there a reason.... or a motive.....?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Utrack,

There are people in J Govt fighting for change, Masako Mori of the LDP is one.

I have been trying to follow her, Masako Mori. She has been in Fukushima all the time and giving very good information what is going on there. Unfortunately, mainstream media is not very interested in her and she hardly ever speaks on TV (that I know of). Mainstream media except NHK is sponsored by TEPCO and they get lots of money for ads and commercial and so. There are some good Japanese journalists, such as Uesugi Takashi, but they are fed up with mainstream media companies and they left. Now they are working on internet news and blogs. There are some good politicians and journalists fighting for change, but they are not heard by the public, unfortunately.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Netninja,

The world would respond with countless flights and freighters and ships to evacuate them all. It can be DONE!!!! Yeah America would come through like that. We'd do it. We'd get the job done. Even civilian pilots, bush pilots and retired veterans would come. That's just how we are.

Sounds good. Thank you "operation tomodachi". My question is, where are they going to take those 35 million Japanese evacuees?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great !

Glad got the responses.

Now that we know the government is mired in not only misinformation but also in "late" information, how best can we resolve the problem?

Is there a system we can suggest the government to set up?

If the media is a way to access the the government, how can they help?

Or are there others that can help?

The point is... how can we make the changes that will be of benefit to all concerned?

And... may I suggest, that the method NOT be like that used by anti-whaling group now in the news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Blair Herron

She is a real public servant who is fighting for the rights of people. I got that just by listening to her for the 2 minutes before they cut her off in the middle of her speech. The video recorder was probably so that no one watching the video can know what else she had to say to the Upper House Budget Committee

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I meant: the video recorder was probabl STOPPED so no one watching the video can know what else she had to say to the Upper House Budget Committee

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You would not have panic if there is a plan in place, like Tmarie stated. It's only common sense.

Common sense would be letting the public know ahead of time what procedures they should follow if "worst case" comes true. With no TV, no internet, no radio and no phones (which is exactly what happened in Tohoku) people didn't know where to go or what to do. Imagine 35 million people trying to figure out if they need to get to an airport, a port, another prefecture via road or train... Why not set something up with scenarios like "If x happens, you should do 1, if y happens, you should do 2'? That is how many, many companies , military... prepare for worst case scenarios. They then have practices and the like to ensure people know what to do. Indeed, I don't expect the whole of Tokyo to have a one day practise but let's be honest, having the government pretend they have a plan and not let the public know if a recipe for disaster. Tohoku is a FINE example of people not knowing what to do - how many schools sent kids home, how many people rushed out to the water thinking it would be safe? How many people got in their cars and started driving only to be stuck in traffic? How many people started to hoard things? Tokyo? That is 35 million people doing the exact same them in much, much closer quarters.

Personally speaking, I expect ZERO help from Japan and will do whatever I can to get in touch with my embassy and other Canadians to get me and my husband the hell out of here. Japan has proven time and time again they aren't prepared.

Besides, what IS the worst case scenario? Earthquake (of course), large spread fires, tsunami, nuclear explosion... Oh wait, we've already had that. Add in Godzilla and Mothra??

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Blair, not only that but how are the people going to get to the ports for the help and what ports??

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Patrick, I know it would be the earthquake but people don't get what goes with that. Mass fires due to the gas lines, no communication abilities... Thousands without shelter, food and well, no idea where to go. God help Tokyo if they got a massive quakes AND a tsunami.

And Godzilla!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

TEPCO didn't run worse case scenario's to train its plant operators and discover all the weak links in the plant. It didn't update the safety of the plant even though new data on safety had been available.

Require all power companies owing nuclear power plants to run worse case scenario's at least 4 times per year with all results summated to the atomic safety agency. When new safety data becomes available require all power companies to update their atomic plants.

Limit the life span of reactors to 30 years.

TEPCO didn't have an emergency manual.

Ensure all the atomic power companies have a full and comprehensive emergency manual and run regular training course so that every single employee at the plant knows what do.

In the first hours there were many problems about decision making and who was responsible for making them.

This has to be decided before any emergency. Who is in control and who do the operators take orders from. Being an ex engineer, my view it that the people on site, the plant manager and all the engineers are the ones in the best position to make those critical decisions. Like pumping sea water into the reactors.

All prefecture governments which have atomic plants in their prefecture have received ¥billions from the power companies.

Ensure some of that is being spent on running worse case scenario's. Ensure there's an evacuation plan for those living within 20 kms of an atomic power plant. Build enough purpose built emergency accommodation to house those people. These could be used in any emergency.

There was a lack of real value info from both the government and TEPCO and this mostly remains the situation. All that bull shit about no danger to health?

Set up a web site, available in all languages used in Japan giving info and daily updates on what is happening at all the atomic plants.

I could go on with a very long list.............

4 ( +4 / -0 )

kazetsukai

Now that we know the government is mired in not only misinformation but also in "late" information, how best can we resolve the problem? Is there a system we can suggest the government to set up? If the media is a way to access the the government, how can they help? Or are there others that can help? The point is... how can we make the changes that will be of benefit to all concerned?

This is hilarious, do you work for TEPCO or the government? Are you that stumped for ideas that your actually trolling forums to get ideas how to handle your crisis. So Sad

And... may I suggest, that the method NOT be like that used by anti-whaling group now in the news.

And why is that, it gets people discussing the issue, it may also be the wake up call the Japanese need to get their heads out of the sand. Or would you prefer things stay as they are with the government releasing bits and pieces of information and the public accepting this?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Utrack,

If you google video 森まさこ議員, you can get lots of youtube videos that she is speaking, mostly Diet proceedings on NHK and Cafe Sta(β) of LDP, but English translation is unavailable.

She has been back and forth between her Tokyo office and her Iwaki Fukushima office. She is very much supported and trusted by the local people in Fukushima. She has clearly stated that she is anti-nuke although she is an LDP member.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hoarding Food etc is not due to mistrust of the Government and its info, it is fear/uncertainty to how everyone else may react, and as that potentially could be irrational, the rational thing to do becomes to prepare against the irrationality of others.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Totally vindicated right down the line. Love it. Got out on March 13th and stayed away until is WAS not the worst case scenrio. Those saying, 'So what?'... err. Excuse, but any government needs to act towards the worst case scenerio where tens of millions of people, you know, 'people' are threatened. To not do so is... well, beyond words. You don't walk up to the worst case and pat it on the head and say, 'Hello' from a best scenerio stand point you grab it, examine it and THEN walk backwards to where it actually resides, and in this case it pretty much was worst case! Stay safe people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are two scenarios; govt releases information ; mass panic Govt hides information, still panic. So which do you think they are gonna chose?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tmarie and Zichi pretty much cover it all for me. God help us in Tokyo when a big quake happens. We've got more chance of divine intervention than any government one....they'll already be out of here, in their helicopters,fiddling away foverhead while the rest of Tokyo burns.

Really admire Masako Mori. She's standing tall there and won't be beaten down. Good luck to her and the Fukushima people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hoarding Food etc is not due to mistrust of the Government Yes it is. If people trust their government to get things back to normal in a few days, people won't run out and start stocking up for weeks and months. Christ, toilet paper was stocked up by some! If people have faith that things will be sorted out and they won't starve, they won't hoard.

There are two scenarios; govt releases information ; mass panic Govt hides information, still panic. So which do you think they are gonna chose? Perhaps you should go back and read a post of mine with regards to WHY people panic. Very clearly outlined as to why I might panic if something were to happen and why I don't bother trusting anything the government says here.

Sam, I agree. Though I like to think that the PM will stay so he can be the PM that stayed - while the rest of them run away screaming like little girls while the public is forgotten about.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

`Dramalama,

Yep.

That's why I don't blame anyone for leaving back then, I don't blame anyone for not wanting to live near nuclear power plants, and why I don't like them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The use of 60,000 to 80,000 nuclear gypsies used by the nuclear power companies has to stop. Mostly untrained people who move from atomic power plant to atomic power plant.

The power companies use these temp workers to lower their own wage costs. They receive none of the benefits, like sickness or vacation payments which company employees would receive. They receive no pensions on retirement.

All worker at a nuclear power plant from the lowest job to the highest need to trained and qualified. They need to fully understand the safety standards, and emergency procedures.

For too long the nuclear power companies have been able to get away with too much.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Netninja, I loved your post about evacuations. You'd want some pretty smart people handling the landings and take-offs though. So ...that's a time when you'd hope they'd be humble enough to hand over logistics. Actually, I think they'd be better off having a system where the military takes over in a case like 3/11. Japanese politicians and civil servants are the last people I'd trust to act fast.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's wait for the next disaster and see just how bedazzled we are with the Governments response...if we survive? Can't vote but can use my feet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

and not being transparent, they might have just set up perfect circumstances for folk to panic next time something happens. I for one will not be relying on the government for information if/when something happens. I trusted them once with the wellbeing of my children and they failed me miserably"

Exactly. It's such a basic thing and what I tell my kids (AND my Japanese wife for that matter) re white lies. Trust is the basis of any relationship. When you don't have it you don't have much, and it only leads to more problems.

The irony is that after years of being attacked for my distrust of Japanese media and govt, I finally tried to believe them as much as possible. The one good thing that has come out of this is that my fiercely patriotic wife now understands me when I talk about the media/govt/old Japan. Millions of cynics have been born.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

civil servants are the last people I'd trust to act fast.

It maybe true. They were not acting fast enough. My husband is a civil servant (Japan Coast Guard). To be on his side, I think he did as much as he could. Didn't come home for a month and a half. U.S. military did great jobs, very quick!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The irony is that after years of being attacked for my distrust of Japanese media and govt, I finally tried to believe them as much as possible. The one good thing that has come out of this is that my fiercely patriotic wife now understands me when I talk about the media/govt/old Japan. Millions of cynics have been born.

I enjoy watching them eat humble pie. Sadly, I know far too many people who are still bleating on like sheep that the government here is good.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The title of this article implies that the government kept silent at the height of the crisis. Since the government is still keeping silent, we must still be at the height of the crisis. The other day within the span of a few hours the radiation levels went up double or nearly so all the way to Kyoto and the government said nothing. After allowing people to go about their business and children to play outside all day, TEPCO claimed it was merely stirring up dust near the 2nd reactor.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Blair Herron

If you google video 森まさこ議員, you can get lots of youtube videos that she is speaking, mostly Diet proceedings on NHK and Cafe Sta(β) of LDP, but English translation is unavailable.

Thanks, I will look up 森まさこ議員.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hey, YongYang am glad to see your comment. You called it early on and took a lot of heat for it too. You and yours stay safe too.

You don't walk up to the worst case and pat it on the head and say, 'Hello' from a best scenerio stand point you grab it, examine it and THEN walk backwards to where it actually resides, and in this case it pretty much was worst case! Stay safe people

2 ( +3 / -1 )

warnerbro

Since the government is still keeping silent, we must still be at the height of the crisis.

That's correct. It's not even one year since the 3/11 nuclear disaster. There's still a crisis at Chernobyl 25 years on. That's the problem with nuclear disasters. They go on and on for decades maybe even hundreds of years.

The crisis at the Fukushima 1 atomic power plant will be so until the molten nuclear fuel and the spent fuel rods are removed. TEPCO isn't even sure where the molten fuel is and for the near future have no idea how to remove it. Once they do know it will still take 20+ years.

Radiation at 70 million becquerels per hour (24/7) is still escaping from the plant. Up from 60 million in December. Radio active waste water is still getting into the sea, and is even on the sea bed. The most contaminated sea in the world.

There are many areas inside the no-go zone with radiation greater than 100 microsieverts per hour. 30,000 sq kms of the land mass is contaminated. Next month, radioactive pollen from cedar trees will be released.

There's still very a crisis!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Any of the dozens of posters here on JT who were throwing around terms like "flyjin" and saying anyone who did not buy the goverment line about the status of things last March care to re-consider? Seems like we were the ones who had the real grasp on the situation and not the folks buying what Odano and TEPCO were spewing out.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Freedom of the press in Japan fell last year to a ranking of only 22nd in the world, from 11th the year before, due to "excessive restrictions" on reporting the Fukushima nuclear crisis, according to the global nonprofit group Reporters Without Borders.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Blair Heron,

I agree with you. The Self Defense Forces, the Coast Guard, all special civil servants made an amazing effort and personal sacrifice during the 3/11 disasters.

All the US military which had Sendai airport up and running within months. Japan will always be grateful to them for their great efforts.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

When it was someone else's problem (Chernobyl), Japan was telling the truth about the effect of radiation, particularly on children.

From 1993...

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/01/video-what-happened-to-chernobyl.html

3 ( +3 / -0 )

yes we all know now, if the government plays down a nuclear crisis we need to evacuate.

I knew it was serious when an aircraft carrier was parked outside 200 miles ready to evacuate people. But the Japanese government said, nnoooooooo.

Japan government is scary !!!! It goes to show your governments are not reliable when catastrophe happen. You got to have your own evacuation plan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I woul be very interested to know how many people who were privvy to that document actually evacuated their OWN families, just in case.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I woul be very interested to know how many people who were privvy to that document actually evacuated their OWN families, just in case.

Would love to know that to - doubt we'll ever find out!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hey, YongYang am glad to see your comment. You called it early on and took a lot of heat for it too

Utrack, the only thing YingYang took heat for was being one of the most shrill fear-mongerers on this forum. Theres a big difference between nervous queries and proclaiming armaggedon.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Seems the EU governments that told their citizens to get out of Tokyo quickly (and I think even arranged planes?) we're right on the mark. Having worked with Japanese government officials, their embassy staffs must have known whom to believe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Utrack, the only thing YingYang took heat for was being one of the most shrill fear-mongerers on this forum. Theres a big difference between nervous queries and proclaiming armaggedon.

hoserfella you just wrong, funny but wrong.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This report seems to suggest that the crisis is over? While exploding reactors look dramatic it is still the case that most of the radioactive material is still inaccessible ie melted into the ground. In mid January there was a radiation spike detected in Tokyo and reports of background radiation doubling as far away as Kyoto! Milk and other produce is showing an increase in levels not a decrease which shows that radioactive particles are becoming concentrated in the environment. The latest flu epidemic with over a million cases is most prevalent in Fukushima prefecture. A causal factor might be weakened immune systems due to ionizing radiation?

When workers at the plant show high levels of contamination from just inspecting the interior of the plants what will be the case when the nuclear material is being removed from the ground in the future?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When the population start to panic and rampage follows and control break loose, that would be the worst disaster scenario. I guess withholding vital info to the public to avoid panic is justified.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well if we take a step back and realize that if one is not stupid enough they could easily imagine the worst case scenario without letting the government tell us. If we have to rely on the government to tell us things we should already know then we are just blind people being led by the blind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let this be a lesson for the ages. If a government says not to panic, panic. Why is the government not held liable and all responsible members arrested for this? This is treason and manslaughter on a grand scale.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Even without this information, people were wearing long-sleeves, hats, and masks, and every supermarket in my area was emptied with people lining up outside for the meat shipment in the morning! I can agree with the government not wanting people to panic!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Think about this. If the population of Greater Tokyo "evacuated" that will put a stop to all commercial and administrative functions carried out by those people, i.e., Japan as a nation will pretty much cease to function. Paralyzed isn't even the word.

Power will stop, administration will stop, distribution will stop, telecommunication will stop, banking will stop, trade will stop, paychecks will stop.

Even if you assume that the rest of Japan will somehow have spare bed-space for 35 million evacuees (and tell me of an example in history where any society was able to absorb 35 million refugees in one go) the nation will be knocked back to stone-age subsistence living with pretty much immediate effect. Without distribution the entire country will enter famine within a matter of days, resulting in far more deaths and damage than any other scenario.

I can't believe some of you are suggesting that a couple of US aircraft carriers taking a few thousand "evacuees" would have made any difference whatsoever. It would have been a refugee/famine crisis unprecedented in history and the world has repeatedly shown that it is not yet capable of dealing with a crisis on such a scale.

Now THIS would have been the worst case scenario, and the government was absolutely right in doing everything it can to avoid it. Those of you who claim that the J-gov should have risked such a scenario for the sake of "transparency" have probably not thought well enough about the true implications of such a scenario.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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