My Perspective on the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC): Making the Democratic System Work


I have given my views on the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) numerous times on this blog and in many other media.

If Japan does not learn from the lessons of Fukushima nor change the many systematic problems of Japanese society, I believe that it is inevitable for this country to sink. My views on this can be found in the article, “Japan will Sink if it Does not Change Now” (English translation) which was run on October 11 in the Sankei Shinbun newspaper.

My opinion is also in the recent article “Self-Approved Personnel and the Return of Rule by the Nuclear Village” (English translation) which was run in the Tokyo Shinbun newspaper (and the Chunichi Shinbun) on November 8.

Post-Fukushima, it is difficult to tell what will be the future of Japan’s accident response, the direction of the energy policy and nuclear power, the new nuclear power regulatory committee, the processing of spent fuel rods, and other such discussions and policies regarding nuclear power.

However, it is clear that adequate time must be given to discuss these issues, and that the whole debate has become narrowed into the two camps of “denuclearization” and “embracing nuclear power.”

Further, it seems that the nuclear power issues are being dealt with in a cloud of opaqueness and ambiguity. As usual, the ideas are short sighted and there is low transparency.

What are your views on this matter?

The main message of our NAIIC report is that regarding these nuclear issues, the Diet, which is the legislative branch, must keep the executive branch in check.

The separation of power into the three branches is the foundation of a democratic system. Yet, in Japan, the ministries of the executive branch both make and implement policies. There is something wrong here. The functions of governance are not working.

Recently, courts have ruled that the malapportionment of electorates when the ratio of the most populous to least populous district is 1:5, is unconstitutional. Yet, lawmakers have not done anything in response. Both the public and the legislative body had accepted the ratio of 1:3 and 1:4. The judiciary has been weak and the legislative body has not dealt with it in a responsible manner. Please think about why this is so.

My hope is that you would consider my comments and take action to push lawmakers, who you have elected into office, to implement the recommendations by NAIIC.

Such awareness and behavior is one of the key fundamentals necessary to make Japan’s democratic system work (in Japanese).