A month ago, when we quoted an independent expert that “TEPCO has lost control of Fukushima” many took offense, despite all signs to the contrary. Perhaps the skeptics will reevaluate their position following today’s news reported by AFP, which cited Kazuhiko Yamashita, who holds the executive-level title of “fellow” at Tokyo Electric Power, who finally admitted what those not mired in prejudice about the state of nuclear energy refuse to accept, that the nuclear plant was “not under control.” This promptly led to the government, which last weekend learned it would host the 2020 Olympics and promised that Fukushima would not be a concern by then, to scramble and “reassure people on Friday that they have a lid on Fukushima.” Unfortunately, the lies, like the radiation in the plant, are now finally seeping through and more are becoming fully aware of just how serious the catastrophe truly is, and drove yet another steak through the heart of the official narrative by Prime Minister Abe as they “flatly contradict” his assurances.
In a meeting with members of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, Yamashita was asked whether he agreed that “the situation is under control” as Abe had declared at the International Olympic Committee meeting in Buenos Aires.
He responded by saying, “I think the current situation is that it is not under control,” according to major media, including national broadcaster NHK.
News of his comment prompted a rush by the government and TEPCO to elaborate on Yamashita’s remark, saying he was talking specifically about the plant’s waste water problem, and not the facility’s situation in general.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Abe’s right-hand man, separately said Yamashita was repeatedly pressed by DPJ lawmakers when he made the remark.
The view of TEPCO as a company does not contradict Abe’s statement, Suga added.
Actually no, it does. What is more humiliating is that the admission comes a day after an official PR campaign was launched to ease the world’s concerns that Japan really has no clue what it is doing.
Japan’s reputation as a ‘safe pair of hands’ gave it the edge to win the race to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The decision immediately boosted investor confidence – despite the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the International Olympic Committee that the Fukushima leak was not a threat to Tokyo and took personal responsibility for keeping it safe,’ writes leading economist Professor Dr Stefan Lippert in World Review.
Persistent concerns over the leak of radioactive water from the nuclear power plant had dogged Tokyo’s Olympic bid. The crippled nuclear plant is about 250 km (155 miles) north east of Tokyo and there are fears the amount of contaminated water is getting out of control.
But winning the bid gave shares in Japan ‘an instant lift with construction companies, real estate and tourism expecting to benefit from the economic impact of staging the games,’ says Professor Dr Lippert.
This is expected to create 150,000 jobs and have a US$30 billion economic impact for Japan while boosting the mood of investors and spurring Japan’s economic recovery after two decades of lacklustre growth and the March 2011 triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.
‘It will support the popular belief that that Japan’s turnaround has finally begun, and contribute to the upbeat feeling in Japan since the beginning of Abenomics,’ he adds.
Dr Lippert believes that the International Olympic Committee’s decision on September 7, 2013, emphasises that the international community sees Japan as a haven of stability and wealth in the region.
‘Internationally, the vote is as an expression of confidence in Japan and its revival,’ he says.
If that is indeed the case, than the “international” community should be embarrassed at being complicit with a lying government, which will do everything in its power to misrepresent reality, and boost a flailing economy courtesy of the funding surrounding the 2020 Olympics even as the human cost of such a plan is, effectively, unknown and potentially unprecedented.
Finally, for those curious about the real state of play, we repost the four summary charts showing what the current situation at Fuku truly is: