Thursday, September 19, 2013

Shinzo Abe at Fukushima Daiichi: "よろしくお願いします"

"The future of Japan is on your shoulders, 
the government will step forward and take concrete measures, I rely on you, Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu..."

Shinzo Abe at Daiichi today.

Arrived at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Plant at noon today. Shinzo Abe was wearing white tyvek protective gear, with a full-face mask and a red helmet. He had a label on his back saying "Prime Minister Shinzo Abe" written in black. He visited Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant during a three-hour tour. First stop of the plant tour was the command centre, where Abe greeted about a dozen workers who patrol the site.

"As I stated in Buenos Aires, Abe said, I am convinced that the contaminated water leaks have been confined to an area of 0.3 square kilometre within the cove next to the plant. In light of that, I will work hard to counter rumours questioning the safety of the Fukushima plant." --A few days ago, Kazuhiko Yamashita, a senior Tepco official, said the water leaks were not under control--

FDI plant chief, Akira Ono said Tepco is patrolling the tanks four times a day, using 90 people. They are also planning install water gauges to keep tabs on the water volumes in the tanks. Ono hopes to replace the rubber-jointed tanks with welded tanks by the end of the year.

Shinzo Abe ordered the plant operator to address all the leaks within six months, he gave instructions for decommissioning of two reactors R 5 and R 6, also inspected storage tanks holding radioactive water and water treatment equipment.

"The future of Japan is on your shoulders," Abe said during a visit to the plant's command centre. "The government will step forward and take concrete measures. I am counting on you to do your best."

(Pool Report of our FPIJ reporter)

This "rumours" thing is an issue that will have to be thoroughly monitored, as freedom of press and constitutional rights of freedom of speech for employees or public servant, providing this is not as matter of national security, could be at risk, foreign observers say. The border line is thin.

Interesting meeting was organised by the ambassador, the nuclear attaché, and the press and communication attaché at the French embassy about Fukushima and the follow up of the visit of French president Hollande, with a few French journalists correspondent in Japan Thursday. The ambassador reaffirmed to the five of us that Japan is in need to reopen 12 reactors in a context of new safety rules. There is also a need for Japan to learn how to communicate better. France has developed an important and comprehensive cooperation with Japan on nuclear industry for the last 2 decades.

A few hours after prime minister Abe visit on Daiichi, on September 20th at 02:25am, early morning, a new earthquake of M5.3 jolted the region near Fukushima Daiichi. Tepco denied any impact on the plant.

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