A Surprise from the New York Times


In recent days, the situation at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant has been extremely unstable. It has become widely known all over the world. In this day and age, it is not possible to keep things hidden.

The current situation at Fukushima has been reported in overseas media as a major scandal. The New York Times is no exception. On September 4th, it was front page news on the late edition (PDF), and they quoted me in the article (it can also be read in electronic version). This New York Times article was partly reported in the Japanese media.

But what surprised me was that my words were chosen to be the “Quotation of the Day” More than just pleased, I was surprised. It shows how much of an impact it has.

The following is the chosen quote:

“Water keeps building up inside the plant, and debris keeps piling up outside of it. This is all just one big shell game aimed at pushing off the problem until the future.”

The interview was conducted by Martin Fackler, the Tokyo Bureau Chief for the New York Times. He has also published a book titled, “Credibility Lost: The Crisis in Japanese Newspaper Journalism after Fukushima”(Futaba Shinsho, in Japanese), which critiques The Japanese news coverage after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.

The world is watching. The Fukushima accident occurred in a country that is one of the few major economies in the world, and has been evaluated highly in the areas of science and technology, engineering and manufacturing. Although the earthquake and tsunami set off the accident, it was still unexpected and shocking. What is more, it has been two and a half years since the accident but neither TEPCO nor the Japanese government has established any mid- or long-term plans.

It is vital that we gather wisdom and intellect from the world and prioritize transparency. It is very worrying and it is imperative that something must be done.