TEPCO Credibility: März 2011
TEPCO, Credibility, and the Japanese CrisisJPR Editors
Since the 9.0 quake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11 and the situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant rapidly degenerated, Fukushima residents and politicians, those most afflicted by the current crisis, have criticized the lack of information provided by TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) and the government. Prefectures with a concentration of nuclear power plants like Fukui and diverse citizens' groups have also sounded off, condemning the lack of information and delay in releasing critical facts to the public. A particular concern is that the government initially left far too much up to the company, was slow in establishing a headquarters to coordinate joint response, and initially accepted TEPCOs vague description of the situation and assurances, many of which have since turned out to be suspect. Tabloid Sponichi gives a credible account of an exasperated Prime Minister Kan Naoto blowing up at TEPCO representatives asking, "Just what the hell is going on!?" on the 15th. This is a question and, indeed, a tone shared widely among the general public. This hot probes TEPCO and its policies.
Posted March 16, 2011.
Reports from Tohoku: Assessing Death, Dislocation, and Flight of the VictimsMatthew Penney
The extent of the destruction caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan has shocked the world. An official report on the 20th listed over 8277 dead and 12722 missing - a great majority in the hardest hit areas of northern Japan. The "dead" are the number of the bodies found by police and rescue workers. The "missing" are those reported missing by friends and family. With whole communities swallowed by the tsunami, there is a strong chance that many victims simply have no one left to report them missing. The situation for survivors in the quake-hit areas around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi atomic energy plant has been particularly dire as many have been unable to leave their homes.
While the nuclear crisis has tended to monopolize international attention, new information continues to flow from evacuation centers and isolated areas concerning the humanitarian crisis in the Tohoku region. This report brings together a variety of recent Japanese press accounts in order to give a broader picture of the issues facing those in the areas hardest hit by the quake and tsunami. According to Japanese government reports, 392,000 evacuees are housed in over 2200 locations as of the 19th. While numbers as high as 500,000 were reported in the international press in the days following the earthquake, this seems to have been an unconfirmed figure based on a Japanese government estimate of 500,000 homeless shortly after the quake.
Posted March 20, 2011