Kishida makes fact-finding visit to Chernobyl


Japan's foreign minister traveled Sunday to Chernobyl in Ukraine, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, to compare notes on relief efforts following Japan's own disaster at Fukushima, officials said.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida's trip is "the first visit to Ukraine by a Japanese foreign minister over the past seven years," a spokesperson for the Japanese embassy told AFP.

As part of his three-day visit, Kishida went on a fact-finding mission to Chernobyl with the aim of sharing experience in overcoming the consequences of nuclear disasters, the spokesperson said.

In Chernobyl, he met with the station's director, an AFP photographer said. No other details were immediately available.

On Monday, he will hold talks with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara.

The two men will discuss cooperation in studying and overcoming the consequences of nuclear disasters in Japan and Ukraine, said a spokesman for the Ukrainian foreign ministry without providing further details.

In March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant in northeast Japan.

While no one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the meltdown at the reactors, large areas around the plant had to be evacuated, with tens of thousands of people still unable to return.

The explosion at reactor number four at the Chernobyl power plant in the early hours of April 26, 1986 sent radioactive fallout into the atmosphere that spread from the Soviet Union across Europe.

According to Ukrainian official figures, more than 25,000 of the cleanup workers from then-Soviet Ukraine, Russia and Belarus have died since the disaster.

The two catastrophes are the world's only nuclear disasters to have been categorized as level seven on the United Nations' seven-point International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).

© (C) 2103 AFP

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That's a start.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

A little late but better late than never.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Japanese government and the Japanese media have to accept the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl and is now rated as the worst nuclear disaster in history cos of the huge amounts of radioactive water leaking into the sea and the huge amounts of radioactive waste that is piling up.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I hope he has a team of engineers, scientist and emergency workers with him. I highly doubt he has the ability to understand the complex needs of the triple meltdown at Fukashima that must actually be NOW the worst and greatest disaster created by humans. Or it could just be a PR stunt!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

According to Ukrainian official figures, more than 25,000 of the cleanup workers from then-Soviet Ukraine, Russia and Belarus have died since the disaster.

Wow these numbers are high it will be interesting to see the numbers of people dying off who perfromed the cleanup effort in japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The Japanese government and the Japanese media have to accept the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl and is now rated as the worst nuclear disaster in history cos of the huge amounts of radioactive water leaking into the sea and the huge amounts of radioactive waste that is piling up.

Why? None of the international bodies seem to think that's the case.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

"Chernobyl in Ukraine, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster". Surely the worst nuclear disaster is Fukushima, it has released considerably more radiation and continues to do so. Not to mention the fact that it still seems to be far from being under control. As mentioned above it's about time the Japanese press and government accepted this and started doing something about it.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Note the Chernobyl disaster is still ongoing and not even begging to be solved. The Russians have no more idea what to do than the japanese. They just abandoned a huge area and hope they can keep all the nuclear rod entombed forever. They have already had to re-entomb it once and they will keep having to do it for the foreseeable future.radioactive.

Meanwhile none of the other European countries have yet bothered with any long term studies on people that shared that radiation, probably for fear there would be a mass exit from most of Europe if people new just how bad it was, But just keep watching the cancer rates. The radiation is still in the soil, in the crops, and the animals raised in Europe. Lies and cover ups have been the game all through the development of nuclear power. There are still a few places in the Southern Hemisphere that do not have nuclear power, yet.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Here we go again. A typical fact-finding government mission for people who know too little to begin with to be in charge. All the facts have been out there for a long time about Chernobyl and many experts from that Russia and Ukraine have written books and given talks. Some have visited Japan. The Kan, Noda and Abe government at any time over the past 2 plus years could have convened an international crisis management convention and brought in experts from around the world to look at how to address all the issues Fukushima, indeed the world's worst industrial man-made disaster in history. Instead they left it up to the incompetent management team (not engineers) at TEPCO and to the bureaucrats who forgot to regulate in the first place. Now they send this fact-finding mission to give the impression they are doing something.

Much too little, much too late.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

They send someone to pick up expertise from the Russians on how to deal with this and they send the Foreign Minister??! I will be impressed if someone can tell me where he obtained his doctorate in nuclear physics from. Otherwise what is the point? Surely they are better off sending someone who even knows what questions to ask? Unless this is just a PR stunt. But surely not???

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What a joke! Earth to foreign minister & rest of j-govt, there is NO NEED to go to Chernobyl to get facts.

This putz like many 1000s of govt & bureaucrat type is just on holiday at his countries expense, some things never change

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I would be interested to know what notes Kishida-san will come back with. Something along the lines of...

'They poured concrete on it and left it, lot's of concrete......'

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ get real

This is nothing at all! It's just a visit and a very formal one at that. Japanese do formal things very, very well, as we all know. There is nothing to learn from this trip because Fukushima is different and it's right now!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Are we to expect a full report from the minister after the fact-finding holiday... I mean visit? What do you think it will contain? A good opening line would be "If I had done this two and a half years ago..."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

An act just to show concern when the very dereliction of duty and responsibility is so evident. What can a minister who doesn't understand nuclear learn or do making such a visit? This is no different from Abe wasting money and time trying to sell nuclear technology to oil rich Middle East countries. Are these the right people to lead Japan who create and wade into domestic and international problems again and again??????

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money.

What could they hopefully learn that can't be emailed or discussed over the phone?

This is just cover to make it look like they're "doing something" or somehow "reaching out" as if they're going to somehow get some magical knowledge simply by physically visiting Chernobyl.

If they REALLY wanted to fix the problem, they'd send an ALL POINTS BULLETIN to the world:

Please help us. We don't know what to do. Anybody with any ideas, come on down.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ima sara??

They do this now 3 years in?

This is a big weltering mess, and they just let it go on getting worse. Why weren't teams from many other countries, including Russia/ Ukraine, brought in right when it happened? (Well we all know why, because they were ashamed to admit a problem, because they didn't want the public to know the truth, and because nuclear accidents that happen in Japan are different because the are Japanese).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What is going to storm the Diet to-day?Radioactive waste is causing concern.But it's a welcome development that the Heads of State are meeting in Russia.Japan may stop generation at nuclear facilities.Russia may continue helping others by setting up nuclear power plants.Even America lifts sanctions over nuclear programme in Iran.I say START or Stop.Or we shall cease.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a farce.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )


He's a cabinet minister admitting that international know-how is needed.

That's a start, and a clear message to TEPCO to get the finger out and buy assistance from abroad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Call a spade a spade, he is trying to figure out how other countries handled this so they can go home and re-sell it has Japanese nuclear safety.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Only two and a half years after the fact.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

And has he found the fact of why the Russians could stop a nuclear meltdown 30+ yrs ago while Japan with its advanced technology and love of all things can't?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Personally to add here I heard the report of the chief physicist engineer of Chernobyl in a franciscan seminary room so there was simultan translation from ukrainian language he spoke to german and he died later of leucemia near Edenkoben Pfalz, he had an overdose of radiation too. Still we hold the mission of delegation of European member in the Asian society of physicists and there was been a long history of war between Germany and Russia and Ukraine, anyway I asked my student to switch language settings on my Samsung from german to japanese and she could for reports of japanese essays Frankfurt and Tübingen, we had Koreanistik and a marriage in Hong Kong and we prefer SONY, so our best wishes are with Japan while we still are language impaired, the delegation of Japan visited Pennwell productions print Germany and US and Institute of semicondutors MPI Stuttgart from Sendai, we can only report here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ get real

Is he/are they actually going to allow foreign experts in to go and see exactly what has happened and take readings themselves etc? Or is he just asking for ideas? It all seems very low-key considering.

A good start would be to stop building water tanks out of lego and move them away from the coast!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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