National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) -5: An “Unexpected,” Encouraging Message Received at the Start of the Commission


As NAIIC is the first independent investigation commission established by the National Diet in the constitutional history of Japan, we faced many difficulties, especially in the beginning when we were getting the Commission on its feet.

The first Commission meeting was held in Fukushima on December 18th and 19th.  One can tell from the date of the second meeting, January 16th, held a month after the first, how much we were struggling to find the way forward.

It was this second meeting to which a journalist from the British publication, The Economist, came.  The journalist later wrote something rather unexpected in an article (although this actually had been one of NAIIC's aims).

The article has a compelling title: "Japan’s nuclear crisis; The Meltdown and the media".  It can be assumed from the initials that the journalist who wrote it is Mr. Ken Cukier, who came to the second Commission meeting.  Moreover, the date of the article matches that of the meeting, indicating the quick work of the writer.

As we in the Commission were well aware of the heavy criticism the Japan National "Press Club" has received in the world, we made sure that the Commission meetings were accessible to the everyone in the public, even providing simultaneous English translation. This comes from our strong hope that the world will also watch and follow our Commission.

I was very pleased that this article accurately and immediately brought attention to this point.

In my column, I have mentioned a number of times (1, 2, I believe there are more articles, please search within this website) that The Economist is a weekly publication that I am fond of.

The article’s focus on this issue attests to its quality.

Although it is a bit delayed, I would like to express my thanks to Ken.