"The State of Japan, not TepCo, should compensate victims of the
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster"
Says Head of Japanese Business Association,
In Bid To Reconnect Us With Our Feelings
Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Nippon Keidanren business leaders' (employer's) federation, a man obviously motivated by a desire to reawaken everyone's numbed sense of outrage during this crisis, had the chutzpah to tell AFP in an interview in Paris that Tepco does not owe anybody any compensation, whatsoever, for anything. That, he assures us, is Japan's responsibility.
After all, if it wasn't for Japan, there would be no country in which to have the disaster, right?
Almost as (un)believable: No one, no one could possibly have predicted the earthquake and tsunami. He really said that.
Taking advantage of the stunned silence, he did not stop there. Perhaps he saw this sort of confrontation as sport, much like Mr. Tony Hayward. According to the AFP he chided the state for blaming Tepco: "They are getting away from taking any kind of responsibility" they had to the victims of the disaster, "So I am openly criticising the government in respect of compensation...."
Let him, let Tepco, get away with this and just watch: next it will be Tepco itself among those victims to whom the State owes compensation. Oh look, here it begins in his very next statement. "And those Tepco people, who are really working hard, have also lost their families and homes and they are working just in front, exposing themselves to higher level radiation."
"If by 'work with,' you mean..."
Do not misunderstand me. I think the people putting their lives on the line at the Daiichi plant deserve our deepest respect and gratitude. They also deserve Tepco's, which, if failed and too-few radiation monitors, increased maximum dose standards, and faulty, inadequate protective gear (for starters) are any indication, they are not getting. In fact I think it is an understatement to say that Tepco has failed to respect or appreciate their workers adequately.
These are not 'those Tepco people.'
These are the people employed by 'those Tepco people.'
In the case of such an extreme catastrophe, it is the Governments responsibility --- because it was Government standards to which Tepco was forced to adhere! "Tepco built this plant on the basis of a safety standard which was set by the government and they have been operating in accordance with Japanese regulations."
Some people's children.
I am too floored to think of a proper analogy.
source - AFP, via Google news.
The Good News:
(Gentle Readers, hopefully it will remain so):
Tokyo Electric Power should face unlimited liability for damages stemming from its crippled nuclear power plant, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said on Monday, indicating Japan's government will take a hard line against the utility in its rescue plan....
The decision on who bears compensation costs will hinge in part on the interpretation of Japanese law, which states that a nuclear plant operator can be granted an exemption from paying damages if an accident was caused by "a grave natural disaster of an exceptional character".
Edano has repeatedly said he does not believe the accident at Tepco's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant should qualify for that exemption. On Monday he reiterated that stance and said Tepco should not be offered the relief of a payment ceiling.
"At a Diet session in 1961, a grave natural disaster of an exceptional character was explained as one beyond the imagination of humankind," Edano told a parliament committee. "The (March 11) earthquake was a very large one, but it was of a scale that had been experienced by humankind in the past."
"The scheme needs to enable Tokyo Electric to get investment-grade ratings ...."I think everyone involved in making the scheme shares the same view that we are not bailing out Tokyo Electric, rather we are trying to protect the system....
...isn't funny how they call it a 'scheme' ("スキーム", there appears to be only one way to properly translate it, according to Google and Jim Breen. Linguistic analysis to the right - click to, hopefully, enlarge)....
Other Tepco related news:
On Tuesday, the government released about 5,000 bits of data showing hourly predictions from March 11th. The information appears on the websites of the Nuclear Safety Commission and other entities..... Such data had been withheld for fear of causing panic.
Goshi Hosono, secretary general of the joint task force set up by the government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company,... apologized on Monday for the delay.... He said that he now believes that panic can be avoided if proper explanations are offered. Hosono promised to release data promptly in the future.
Physicians for Social Responsibility, a U.S. nonprofit organization of medical experts, has condemned as “unconscionable” the Japanese government’s safety standards on radiation levels at elementary...
Yes. So does Arnie Gundersen.
Be seeing you.