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What to make of disclosure

September 11, 2014

Govt. panel member reacts to interview release


Sep. 11, 2014 - Updated 12:20 UTC+2

A member of the Japanese government panel which investigated the 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has noted the significance of the release of interviews with people involved.

Non-fiction writer Kunio Yanagida said the panel interviewed officials of the plant operator, TEPCO, and the government, under the condition that their testimonies would not be disclosed so they would not be held responsible for what they said.

Yanagida said the government's disclosure of the interviews is significant and would impact investigations if a similar accident were to occur.

He pointed out that the government needs to give the public a full and logical explanation as to why it released the documents.

Yanagida criticized the government for not making enough effort to lead the investigation into the accident. The cause of the accident is unclear, even though 3-and-a-half years have passed since the crisis.

He said he hopes the release of the documents will give experts from various fields an opportunity to look into the accident from their own perspectives.

Most of the disclosed documents are testimonies of the government officials who had dealt with the accident.

Yanagida said their testimonies may help provide a look at the nation's risk management, but accounts by engineers and operators who responded to the accident on the site are more important in providing the big picture.

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