In any democratic setup, the separation of the three powers of the Government, administration, legislature and judiciary is a core necessity, with independent organisations acting as watchdogs necessary for the proper functioning according to democratic principles.
The United States of America has the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to fulfill this role. Functioning under the legislative banch, ie, the Congress, it used to be called the General Accounting Office (the Japanese equivalent being the Board of Audit of Japan) till 2004, after which it changed to the present name.
This organization has recently published a report titled ”Nuclear Safety： Countries’ Regulatory Bodies Have Made Changes in Response to the Fukushima Daiichi Accident”, in which the NAIIC Report has been mentioned 6 or 7 times.
I am happy to have been part of the Commission, the first of its kind in constitutionally governed Japan, that has set a precedent for the further reforms that are urgently needed in the structure of governance in Japan. The NAIIC report has exposed the fragilities inherent in the present structure in a clinical and precise manner that can be likened to a medical check-up using a whole body CT scan, with us pointing out the problems that need to be remedied to the patient, in this case, the Japanese government.
A controversial point I made in the report was shown through my pinpointing Japanese ‘culture’ and ‘mindset’ as important causes of the accident, something for which I was heavily criticized by some media. However, the IAEA and the GAO have both acknowledged this proposition, judging from the fact that the IAEA is hosting a ‘Workshop on Global Safety Culture – National Factors Relevant to Safety Culture’, the 8th-11th of April. The first of its kind to approach Nuclear Safety from this standpoint, it is a encouraging response to the lessons learnt from Fukushima.
Interestingly, I have not been sent a notification nor an invitation by both the Japanese government and the IAEA. It is through an overseas colleague of mine that I heard about this workshop.
I had a similar experience in 2012. I leave you think about why, and to reach your own conclusions.