politics

Kan to forgo PM's salary until nuclear crisis brought under control

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it is going to be a long time - hope he likes cup noodle. all joking aside - it is nice to see him man-up. wonder if that shimizu character would do the same - plus the jokers in the LDP that are actually responsible for the nuclear mess.

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If he is apologizing, and now forgoing pay, this suggests he takes personal responsibility for the disaster. Wrong message. If that is the case, why stop with forgoing pay? Might as well resign.

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Very nice of Mr. Kan to do this. Now, ALL politicians at ALL levels of government, including City, Ward, Prefecture, Assembly persons should at least forgo bonuses this year. The country's population is shrinking, yet overpopulated with politicians. Politician per capita far exceeds the U.S.

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A bit of a joke since we all know Japanese pols make their real money through kickbacks and cushy jobs awaiting them after retiring from politics

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A good gesture and hopefully the TEPCO bigwigs do the same (^-^)

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A bit late. He should have the balls to make a call about his performance and explain why he's doing this.

Doesn't make a whole lot of sense really. Nuclear wasn't his decision and it's been around for awhile, as have these reactors. What is the message he's trying to send?

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Heart seems in the right place, but a more practical message would have been to continue drawing his salary and bonuses and donating the entire amount to earthquake relief. That might have spurned imitation.

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That's OK. I hear Hatoyama's mom is giving Kan a huge monthly allowance.

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A lot more than most in his position would do, I applaud the gesture

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"Kan’s planned pay cut was announced after Tokyo Electric, the operator of the Fukushima facility, said Tuesday that some of its top executives will receive no pay for an unspecified period of time from this month."

Why only some? Why not ALL?

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Aa a politician, it's a nice gesture to amend things with the voters. But the real question is: do they will remember come election time. Methinks, the disaster happens on PM Kan's watch and no matter what he tries to do, his party or himself will pay a heavy price.

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One of the most annoying things about Japan can be the priority given appearances over actual meaning. This is just another theatrical stunt equal to, and no more meaningful, than all that bowing and apologizing.

What the nation needs is leadership by people prepared to get work done and to have meaningful plans to achieve results.

Instead we get yet another plastic facade that has no more meaning than a piece of gomi in the streets of the ruined towns in the north.

It amends nothing, accomplishings nothing and is quite obviously a political gesture given where solutions are needed.

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It's difficult to understand why Kan feels responsible for the Fukushima disaster. He should be pointing out that it was the LDP and TEPCO that conspired to ignore historical data on tsunamis and earthquakes and build nuclear plants in areas known to be at risk. It was the LDP and TEPCO that colluded in covering up accidents, falsified safety records etc.

The next time the LDP start mouthing off, Kan should bring up these points and have them explain themselves. Where are the apologies from the LDP? They should be grovelling in the mud.

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This is like washing the windows of a house that is on fire.

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This is a useless gesture. What difference does it make if he gets paid or not? If he is incompetent, then instead of not getting paid, he should be fired, not allowed to work for "free" and still screw things up.

If he is proven to not be able to do the job effectively, then he shouldn't be there. Not getting a salary is not going to solve anything. So now is he saying, "since I am not getting paid, please work harder and don't take any personal time or forgo your own self and sacrifice for the 'company'" That type of mentality is part of what has gotten Japan in the situation it is in now.

My advice, if you want to cut salaries, start by getting rid of those whose job was to ensure that safety regulations were properly enforced and they weren't, and start holding the officials responsible and if they can't come up with a plan to work out start firing them and start looking for people who may actually know what they are doing. I am sure that there are some in the government/industry who do know what to do, but because they are not in the "right position" are overlooked.

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I thought this was a huge move, but hes doing it AFTER TEPCO did it. Also, hes still drawing salary as a public employee. So hes not exactly going hungry.

Still, I think its a move in the right direction. As for calls for his resignation. I think those people would be happier with NO Prime Minister at all. After Koizumi (Not my fave PM) Japan has been through... what? like 17 Prime Ministers in 5 years? These guys have no sack whatsoever, and no ability to withstand the tough stuff. When the going gets tough... The Japanese PM resigns.

I hope that trend comes to an end. This guy Kan seems to have to stuff! He may not make all the right calls, but neither does he quit at the first sign of adversity.

Everybody else wants his job, but I DOUBT they'd do any better than RESIGN under whats hes been under. Everybody wants a JOB, but nobody wants to WORK. Not only is Kan willing to WORK, but willing to do it for less money!!

Hang in there KAN!!!

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yeah. glad he did it. its a good symbol. better than NOT doing it, but it is pointless. Unless all the other big wigs do it too. It is pointless. the amount of money is s drop in the bucket. lets just hope other people do the same. most politaians can. most COEs can as well. Just look at Clinton. He made millions while in office even if you subtract his entire 4 years pay. Steve Jobs doesnt take ANY salary, but make millions a sec from stock options.

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Perhaps salary cuts for government employees will come next.

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@timtak Ditto! I agree.

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@timtak Ditto! I agree

Beer99 -- absolutely. Starting with the folks at the ministry that is supposed to oversee nuclear safety.

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@Beer99 & herefornow Mine comment was just a prediction, whereas yours extollation. I do too, but I am also a government employee ;-;

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Perhaps salary cuts for government employees will come next.

I hope that this is just sarcasim. The reason why this would be a bad thing is that you will have people who will do nothing but cover themselves to make sure that no mistakes are made. When they do that, you will come right back around to the situation we have now, where no one will want to bring up bad news, in fear of them being held responsible and getting their pay cut.

The way I see it, you have many people in government/executive positions that will at all costs make sure that they "system" is working smoothly with no problems. Not brining up any bad news that can be seen as a problem.

What would be more effective, in my opinion, is holding accountability to the supervisors, and the superiors who did nothing to prevent problems. I can't blame a nuke plant worker/owner for an earthquake and tsunami. But I can blame them for what we are finding out after the fact about some of their shoddy procedures with taking care of waste issues, or some of the other items that are coming to light about the design and other infrastructure problems as well as not being upfront about the issues.

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I'm with Alphaape on this one. Pathetic and lame. I went out this GW. Japanese spending money left and right. The trash can was full of beer cans. Now I'm not saying don't drink but I am saying this man doesn't need to give up his salary to impress me.

What he needs to do is to get people to stop shopping and buying Prada bags. We don't need Ipads right now. Give that money to your own people and stop asking other countries to foot the bill for you.

There's an article on this site about a Hotel offering dog services at weddings for 65,000yen or more. A ridiculous waste of money but we all know that somebody is going to do it. You're still treating animals better than humans.

This is a country that gave Permanent Residence to a seal over people who were married to Japanese women who wanted to stay together.

My point is: Don't be ridiculous. If this is the best idea this man can come up with as PM then fire THIS guy and get someone who get the country focused on healing instead of wanton drinking and shopping.

I don't agree with China's human rights abuses but we might all agree that if this nuclear disaster thing happened on their soil more than salaries would be cut.....heads would roll...literally.

Bush and Kan, neither know how to handle disasters. There you go. Put you in the same sentence as Bush.

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Great ...now let's wait for Tanigaki and the rest of LDP dinosaurs and Kan's critics to respond in kind...yeah, I'd like to see that!

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How about quiting Mr. Kan? You are in the way for Japan recovery. You don't have any vison nor leadership skills and yes...I say you are pretty dumb.

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Nice gesture PM Kan! I wish all politicians especially those critical to him will do the same thing.

"JT know-it-all" commentators are calling for PM Kan's resignation, however they can't even present alternative politicians who have balls to take responsibility in handling big crisis like what we have right now. While there may be opportunists for the PM position but their hearts are far for the people. They aim for the premiership only for personal selfish agenda.

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Nice gesture but he`s loaded anyway.

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he`s loaded anyway.

Kan is reportedly the least loaded Japanese PM since disclosure started in the 1980s. Last year he disclosed assets (real estate, time deposits and securities, not including ordinary savings) of 22.4 million yen; the average in his cabinet is 32.86 million yen, Hatoyama declared assets of 1,442.69 million yen. The previous record for lowest assets was Koizumi, with 50.1 million.

The PM and his ministers should forgo their executive salaries, not because of the nuclear crisis, but because of the economic crisis. When talk of raising taxes and rising unemployment stops, then they can have their perks back.

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I want to see him also grow a beard too, until it's over.

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Anybody got any word on that coward Shimizu's intention re. his salary? Or has talk of taking responsibility brought on another bout of dizziness?

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I read that Shimizu and 7 other TEPCO directors will return their salaries "for the time being."

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Oh no. An "out of control" "nuclear crisis" that has neither killed nor injured anyone.

Well, if Kan can't save us from this calamity, he certainly should be lashed with a wet noodle.

It would all be harmless fun if there weren't more serious issues to be tackled. Cleo alludes to that, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. Frankly Kan can't do jack about Fukushima, so he ought to do something else for the rest of the country.

And while the rest of Japan is watching paint dry in Fukushima, we in the rest of Tohoku are watching the death toll INCH to 15000. It was at 14987 today, so only a few more bodies to go before we hit the magic number. Then maybe Kan will care. I doubt it.

I find it odd that people are transfixed by a non-disaster as they ignore the real one. Manipulated by media much, everyone?

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An "out of control" "nuclear crisis" that has neither killed nor injured anyone.

Maybe no one is dead (yet) and I certainly don't subscribe to the 'OMG get out of Japan NOW!' school of thought, but it isn't true that no one has been injured. Whole towns have been evacuated, people's lives uprooted, animals left to starve, businesses destroyed. People and companies far away from Fukushima are finding they can no longer sell their produce. Only this morning elevated levels of radiation in tea farmed 300 km away in Kanagawa were reported. Injury isn't only physical, but psychological and economic.

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Nice gesture for Kan. How about the big share holders, and the top brass fo Tepco. They should follow Kan's gesture and musch more return some of the profits their momney earned. Leave the ordinary employees alone. They are not responsible for the top brass decisions and plannings.

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what caused the damage to nuclear reactor was not tsunami or earthquake but lack of inteligence. First of all Japan is one of the most advanced countries in the world in the technology and since. However dinousours in the government with their old and out of update laws are killing this country. I had a personal meeting with Mr. Mayashi hayakawa, he is the top of the earthquake and tsunami preduction department in Japan. In our meeting I wtryied to introduce Israeli machine that can predict earthquakes and tsunamis 2 days before it happens. he told me Japanese government actully restricted earthquke and tsunami prediction. They said it is impossible to predict when and where tsunami or earthquake is going to happen, this law was probably made 50 years ago, now with todays technology we can predict exact location and time of earthquakes. japan has not have this technology yet but Israel builded this machine already. Imagine if you could know about such big earthquake and connected to that tsunami as well. We could save 25.000 lifes, we could shut down the nuclear reactor and cool it down and prepare some emergancy team, we could evacuate old and disabled people from the area, and maybe most important we could save Japanese economy. The expected damage on Japanese economy is more then 6 Trillion US $ or even more, this machine costs only 5 million US$ and it covers 700 KM square. I hope somebody from Japanese government read this and take some action.

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