Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Business Federation chief criticizes gov't over response to nuclear crisis

Hiromasa Yonekura, head of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), has criticized the government for its response to the crisis at the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

"The accident was caused not by problems involving the management of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) but by the massive natural disasters. In particular, I think the government's response was very wrong," Yonekura told a news conference on Feb. 27.

"Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) workers stationed near the plant escaped shortly after the accident. However, TEPCO workers did their best to bring the crisis under control without fleeing," he said. "The government should apologize saying, 'We're sorry about NISA workers fleeing the scene.'"

Yonekura referred to the fact that NISA inspectors stationed near the power plant evacuated to an off-site center on March 12, immediately after the crisis broke out.

The government's fact-finding panel on the nuclear crisis stated in its interim report in December that questions remain as to whether the inspectors' decision to evacuate at the time was appropriate. Read More