Tepco Scrambles at Damage Control
Tepco was scrambling Friday to do damage control after one of its senior executives contradicted the Prime Minister’s assurances that the situation was “under control”.
The executive, Kazuhiko Yamashita was speaking at a hearing in Fukushima prefecture. When asked about Prime Minister Abe’s remarks to the International Olympic Committee, he said, “I think the current situation is that it is not under control.”
Tepco later issued a statement that read :“It is our understanding that the Prime Minister intended his statement ‘the situation is under control’ to mean that the impact of radioactive materials is limited to the area within the port of the power station, and that the densities of radioactive materials on the surrounding waters are far below the referential densities and have not been on continuous upward trends. According to this understanding, we share the same views.” The company also said that Yamashita was aware that the contaminated water was only affecting the inner part of the harbor.
It seems Tepco and the Japanese government are more concerned about appearances than substance. When someone comes forward and speaks honestly, it is downplayed and spun to mean something else. It is long past time for word games and subtleties. The people of Japan and the entire international community deserve a frank assessment of the situation. It is natural for any government to try and reassure its people in the face of difficulty, but when those reassurances veer from the truth, it only causes more anxiety. I hope Mr.Abe will stop playing politics and be more open and honest when he addresses this issue. Not only Japan, but the whole world is listening.