politics

At least 10 groups dealing with disaster kept no detailed records of meetings

27 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2012 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

27 Comments
Login to comment

Why am I not surprised?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

no no tape recording, everything went into the incinerator.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

not even a tape recording?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Reading this story and the one a few days ago about Okada apologizing for no minutes at a privous disaster meeting has caused me to lose all faith in both the LDP and the DPJ. May the building collaspse during the next Diet session and destroy them all. But at the same time I am disappointed by the lack of anger by the Japanese public; no dissent whatsoever. A few years ago I read an article by a NPB executive on why baseball operations in Japan are so shoddy compared to those of the US. His reply was that "Japanese fans are like carp in that they will swallow anything you give them" so there is no reason to give them the best because they won't complain. I guess that comment applies to disasterous government practices as well, I'm sad to say.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Assuming they themselves were not complicit in ordering that no meeting records be kept, politicians are now duty bound to give us the names of those guilty of gross dereliction of legal duty. Symbolic though it may be, an axe needs to be taken once and for all to that hydra headed beast TEPCO. The time to hesitate, let alone wallow in the mire, is through. The longer they delay, the less likely the possibility of effecting real cultural change in the "we know best" bureaucratic mindset.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It really makes one wonder exactly what it will take to rouse the Japanese population from their political coma.

Well, we already know that a mag 9 quake, devastating tsunami and radiation contamination threat wont, and quite honestly I cant really think of anything stronger. Even if the entire government linked arms and skipped through the streets completely naked except for their neckties singing "We are screwing you over, average Taro, screwing you over screwing you over..." average Taro would still shrug, say "sho ga nai ne" and strive to maintain the wa he has had drilled into him since kindergarten by...er...the government!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just as most of the details of ww2 never found their way into Japanese textbooks, we are actually seeing the Fukushima/radiation side of the disaster being swept under the rug before our very eyes. People being encouraged to return to areas that are of highly dubious safety, citizens and farmers being told that shovels and hoses can enable them to live and farm highly contaminated areas ( they can't. It doesn't work) The highest politicians including the PM denying they were given worst case scenario dossiers ( lies) and not recording the minutes of who knows how many meetings.A govt that has placed its own scientists and doctors in the positions of greatest influence, holding back SPEEDI info that made people evacuate into the plume of Fukuichi, an agricultural ministry who selects a small safe sample of produce to prove the safety of food,while not preventing farmers from selling their goods wholesale to the market, and everyday some minister or scientist admitting that they withheld data since March.. That doesn't even begin to tell us what Tepco knew and what this government has aided them in hiding and fudging. Revisionism in action.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If this is what happens in the management of a disaster, what secret, undocumented meetings have occurred t o discuss the increase of the consumption tax and any other issue vital to the survival of the Japanese economy? Again, do vote for any incumbent. ""Out with the old (any age) and in with the new (anyone who is not already in the system." Even the PTA keeps better records about a meeting than the government.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada has instructed ministers to create summaries of the meetings by the end of February, an official at the Cabinet Office said."

And seriously, what on earth is this going to prove, and how is it a solution? I could just make anything up that I wanted to if asked almost a YEAR after the fact to 'summarize' what was said and done in the meetings. Criminals!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“I doubt it was intentional on the part of the government. But I suspect government officials lacked a clear chain of command to order the creation of the records."

I don't, nor do many others doubt it was intentional.

“This failure has deprived us of the possibility of studying what exactly happened” immediately after the disaster, he said."

And that's one reason precisely why!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

adding to a growing picture of chaos in Tokyo’s disaster response

LOL. It's not a "picture" any more -- it is a GIANT mural. Japan, acclaimed by itself and the world for decades, as so precise and meticulously organized was shown to be the "all show and no go" society that it really is. Lots of process and busy-work, but no real results for years caught up with the country. Crisis did not bring out the best in Japan's government/ministries. Just showed them to be the bumbling, stumbling, cluelees, men they appear to be.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Quite right Scrote. The only problem that Japanese journalism is spineless. If you want decent information on anything related to the 3/11 disaster you must go to the foreign press.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The law hasn't been followed. The Japanese "journalists" should be asking: who is responsible? who will be punished? how will they be punished?, instead of just regurgitating Okada's "apology".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“This is symbolic of the recklessness of the government,” said Hirofumi Nakasone of the leading opposition Liberal Democratic Party.

The recklessness began with the nuclear policies of the LDP. The DPJ, which is nothing but an LDP double, is only carrying on the tradition. But that aside, it is obvious that the bureaucracy-dependent Japanese government is perpetually derelict in crisis management. This something I saw first hand as a survivor of the 1995 Awaji-Hanshin earthquake. Just as in the 3/11 disaster, people formed spontaneous self-help groups while the central government drooled and was more often than not a hinderance, like when they refused foreign aid for us. The LDP politicians would periodically fly in wearing obligatory fatigues, pull severe faces, say something useless and fly back to Tokyo in time for cocktail hour.

This current revelation does not surprise me. In the Newtonian mindset of a typical Japanese manager of any sort things going drastically wrong is simply not in the program. When it happens they quite literally lose their minds because there are no easy precedents to fall back on. I can easily see these teams doing either of two things: all talking at once in loud hysterical voices or simply staring at each other with blank faces and occasionally uttering, "Eh?" Whatever, it is entirely plausible that these people were so much at a loss and so chaotic that they did not think of who would take notes.

On the other hand, I have my suspicions that what they said in the hours and days after the triple disaster was so mad that they destroyed their minutes. Either that, or what they knew and when they knew it was so damning that they wanted to keep it from the public.

The government, it is not certain, often did not release damning information about the nuclear until long after the fact. They may well be keeping damning information away from us at this moment.

Here is something from the AP ("Japan Kept Silence of Worst Case Nuclear Scenario, January 25, 2012) that is an example of what I am talking about< http://news.yahoo.com/japan-kept-silent-worst-nuclear-crisis-scenario-123131536.html?ugc_c=yKkkr2D12QB5aYQwDh3jcetrlVwlV3rASzSsL3cxG6bO0.A7zr43gCPnaSZNMfvW3Q_Yb.74Fzn9Vg0s_eEBxI2hDYNgXO3.ctGss0bzSPH0XcJwB8NPE.09157_MMgnCSv6Tv9.Pchn0uMtY_NhBr_7Q4p94G72LNqFek1WFXuv1KZLXxP9l1ypT.4uc2edSbugB.sQ.iKolZqPIcH79m7yA8TVTI5OteCxTtLQ3PGdEQgNqTXvAc9G74cgFw--&bcnv_s=e&ugc_scnv=1&ll=2 :

TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese government's worst-case scenario at the height of the nuclear crisis last year warned that tens of millions of people, including Tokyo residents, might need to leave their homes, according to a report obtained by The Associated Press. But fearing widespread panic, officials kept the report secret.

There may be missing minutes somewhere, either written or recorded.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How convenient for them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All politicians seem to be very incompetent about any disaster management. At lest one of ministers should have thought of the recordings of meetings but no one did. And also Bureaucrats seem to be very incompetent about it. They knew they had to keep records of any crisis but they did not because they were not instructed by their ministers. They intentionally did not keep records because they do not wanted to be accused later about what they did over the disaster.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not surprising at all. In Japan, people do not like to write things down, make firm, recorded agreements, or have any permanent record that could embarrass in the future. For anyone who knows the way Japanese business operates, decisions are made before any kind of meeting is held. These decisions are worked out behind the scenes with various underlings performing message delivery services. At the point where an agreement has been reached, and no disharmonious disagreement could possibly occur, a meeting is held and the public facade of being able to reach an agreement quickly without any dissent is purveyed. In this case, no records would be kept because there was likely a lot of disagreement about how to do things. This would reflect badly on those involved, and as we all know, mentsu is the most important thing...even if it means unnecessary deaths and discomfort for the plebes.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I wrote to officials in Japan about 100 letters, how to predict the time, strength, and the epicenter of the earthquake. http://tron.ru/2012_predictions_earthquake_Japan/ No one answered. And there is still medicine for children Fukushima, but for some reason, officials in Japan do not even want to listen. Then the Japanese people will pereplachivtat billions of dollars.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It really makes one wonder exactly what it will take to rouse the Japanese population from their political coma.

Words fail trying to describe just how unfit these politicians are to "govern".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

gaijinTechie: "Do Japanese really hate their children that much?"

Aside from the shocking stories of parents killing their kids that make so many headlines these days, like any other nation I'm quite sure the Japanese love and cherish their children. The problem here is the ineptitude of the government itself, and the indifference and complete lack of motivation for the people to do anything about it. Time and time again the government has PROVED said ineptitude and screwed everyone over, and we are headed for a pretty bleak future, but all you hear is "shouga nai, ne".

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posh! Why keep records? It is very unlikely that Japan would experience another earthquake or any other disaster, so why bother?!? Preparing for bad times is very un-Japanese!!

Sarcasm aside, how does one teach a child who obviously does not want to learn nor prepare for the next? Officials made sure that the same mistakes will be repeated in the next disaster. Do Japanese really hate their children that much?

Co-operating with people determined to lose, now that's an interesting question the rest of the world will soon begin to ask. One can't take anything seriously unless there's "NPO" written first on the letterhead.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@miyagidad - anybody shocked by this has been asleep over the past 100 years!

Authority and no responsibility... classic Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They can not be telling the truth. How else were they supposed to do their jobs if not for the records of the meetings stating who is assign to what during the crisis. You can not run a government without records and they have them there is no way they do not have them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada has instructed ministers to create summaries of the meetings by the end of February, an official at the Cabinet Office said.

An order which by its very nature will render those "summaries" useless, since they'll likely be created out of thin air by bureaucracy flunkies who probably weren't even present at the meetings to begin with...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

to have nothing sounds downright like they wanted nothing of what was going on to be recorded, and sounds downright illegal.

illegal in democratic nantion only.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

anybody shocked by this has been asleep over the past 10 months

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Isn't this against the law? I can see somewhat panicked minutes and hectically put together summaries, but to have nothing sounds downright like they wanted nothing of what was going on to be recorded, and sounds downright illegal. Get ready for Okada's next round of apologies, and for nothing to change. So much for 'transparency' and any and all claims that the government did 'nothing wrong' in their responses to the disasters.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites