I share with you the 4th section of my ‘Epilogue’ of the new book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organizations Fails’ by Mr. Sakon Uda, who served Project Manager of NAIIC.
Epilogue, ‘Obligation to Dissent’: What We Citizens Should Do Now
Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Chair of the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC)
4. Highly acclaimed abroad
The NAIIC report has received high acclaim abroad. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest science association in the world and internationally highly respected (this organization publishes the leading weekly journal, “Science,” as one of its many activities) selected me for the “Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award” (1). Moreover, the magazine “Foreign Policy” listed me as one of the “100 Top Global Thinkers 2012” (2). Although I was given these honors, it goes without saying that I represent the entire NAIIC team and accept them on their behalf. Even now, I remember feeling especially moved regarding the reason why Foreign Policy selected me: “For daring to tell a complacent country that groupthink can kill.”
In this past year and a half, I have been invited to give many lectures, speeches and interviews abroad. I have tried my best to take on as many as possible. The whole world watched the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and the subsequent response with great concern and I believe that spreading the message and promoting greater understanding of the NAIIC report is an extremely important part of the process of reestablishing international trust in Japan.
In particular, I have been asked by numerous nuclear experts abroad to give interviews and lectures on crisis management for major accidents. The world wants to learn from this severe accident. Unfortunately, however, many overseas experts have told me that when they ask the people with responsibility in the Japanese government, bureaucracy, TEPCO, industry and academia about the fundamental causes of the accident, the responses they receive are often vague and difficult to understand. They often express to me their frustration and disappointment.
When I speak at international conferences, many government officials and industry experts react with surprise and disbelief upon hearing that NAIIC was the first independent investigation commission by a newly enacted law by the National Diet, in the history of the constitutional democratic Japan (3). In the UK, for example, various independent commissions are set up each year. Particularly in the case of the BSE crisis in the UK (4), the British government accepted and implemented the recommendations of the report by the EU independent investigative commission, which had a very high level of transparency. The UK government implemented the necessary policies and after twenty years since the BSE incident, the UK Government was able to export beef. This is an excellent example of how a country should respond after its government has lost public trust.
In the US, there are over one hundred independent investigation commissions, especially by the National Academy of Sciences, set up at the requests of the government and Congress. In response to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, a two-year commission was set up in August 2012, with plans to submit a report in June 2014.
In Oslo, Norway in the summer of 2011, a bomb explosion hit central government buildings, followed by fatal shootings two hours later (5), coordinated by the same extremist. In response to this major attack, the parliament swiftly set up an independent investigation commission. The report submitted after one year of investigations (6), severely criticized the executive government for its lack of adequate supervision and intensely pursued the prime minister and cabinet to take responsibility. In November 2012, when the Prime Minister of Norway visited Japan, he requested to have a meeting with me and we had the chance to have an hour-long discussion.
I have had many opportunities to meet with people from the US, UK and French governments and nuclear industries. When examining the fundamental causes and background behind the Fukushima accident, I believe Mr. Uda’s book provides a hint to further understanding.
1. http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2012/1203kurokawa_award.shtml https://kiyoshikurokawa.com/en/wp-content/uploads/typepad/aaasspeach.pdf (Award ceremony speech)
3. Makoto Shirai, Acts of Parliament (2013), Shinzansha Publisher Co., Ltd.
→ My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 1
→ My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 2
→ My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 3
→ My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 4
→ My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 5
→ My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 6 (1)
→ My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 6 (2)
→ My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 7
→ My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 8