Liberal-Democratic party (LDP) Secretary-General Nobuteru Ishihara is under fire for remarks he made this week in which he likened the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to a facility used by the Aum Shinrikyo cult to produce deadly sarin gas in 1995.
Ishihara's original comments were made Thursday on a TBS television program in which he said that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant "Satian" should bear the financial burden of the cleanup in towns in the no-go zone around the plant. "Satian" was the name given by Aum cultists to a building in which they produced the sarin gas and other weapons, TBS reported.
However, on Thursday night, Ishihara held a news conference in which he withdrew the comment, claiming it was a slip of the tongue and not a deliberate attempt to draw a comparison between the two.
Television commentators on Friday criticized Ishihara, who has declared his candidacy for the LDP presidency, for the insensitivity of the comparison.© Japan Today