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August 21 2011

TEPCO Apologizes and Shares Video From Inside Fukushima Daiichi

Ever since the Japan Earthquake-Tsunami of March 11, Tokyo Electric Power company (TEPCO) has remained rather quiet about how things are going at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The Japanese are not known for their desire to lose “face”, so to make admissions of fault sometimes take longer than we’re used to here in the West, but at times, you have to wonder about the person who ends up giving the apology is the one to do so.  In this case, it is the general manage of the plant. Masao Yoshida,  who is shown int he below YouTube video apologizing to the people of Fukushima, and explaining where they are in their clean-up of the nuclear waste.  While I understand this was the man in charge at the time of the disaster, he was certainly not the man who designed the power station or made the decisions on how much it could withstand.  I’m also not sure there was much he could have done to stop a combination of an earthquake and tsunami that actually shifted the entire planet on its axis.  Yes, it’s good to finally get some insight as to what is happening there, but I don’t think we can put too much blame on this guy.

In general, things are not good.  While repairs and containment continue, the residents of the region are moving out in droves – and who can blame them – the economy is devastated and radiation is showing up in the food chain now.  No matter what they do at the plant at this point, damage has been done that will impact the entire country for years to come.  Having people show up on video to apologize is just the way of the Japanese, but it seems pretty useless.  I was in Tokyo in 2001 during the anniversary of the surrender to the United States, and despite nearly 60 years having passed at that point, I was shocked to see the prime minister issuing the annual apology for the war and the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Um … okay, apology accepted … I think we can move on now.

Still, with only a little over five months having passed since March 11, this video at least gives us some insights, but at the same time makes you realize just how much is still left to do.

Please remember you can help by checking out the Japan Earthquake-Tsunami Relief. It has been over a month since the tragic events of March 11th, but they still need our help.



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