Panel at Tokyo University with Charles Casto

→Japanese

On October 9th, I was invited to speak on a panel entitled “Nuclear Energy; Post-3.11” at the Hongo campus of the University of Tokyo. The panel was moderated by Prof. Osamu Sakura of the University of Tokyo, with panelists, Kyle Cleveland of Temple University, Mr. Charles Casto, who is a long-time veteran in the field of nuclear power plant operation and regulation in the US, Mr. Tetsuro Fukuyama, who was the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary at the time of the accident, Mr. Tatsujiro Suzuki, who represented Chair of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission during 3.11, and Mr. Yoichi Funabashi, the former editor-in-chief of the Asahi Shimbun and director of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Private Independent Investigation Commission and myself.

The panelists had many opinions and we had a very engaging discussion. We had a large audience, including with NHK, National Broadcasting Station. When it came to the question and answer session, as it is often the case, many people gave their own views rather than asking questions. I had talked to the moderator, Prof. Sakura beforehand but perhaps this is the style of panel discussions in Japan.

Towards the end, we were joined by Mr. Hosono, who was a special advisor at the time of the accident (later Minister) and was the liaison between the US and Japanese governments and TEPCO.

I brought to the attention of the audience, the excellent 300 page report, “Crisis Management: A Qualitative Study of Extreme Event Leadership” by Mr. Casto, who wrote the report based on his experience during the Fukushima accident and now holds a PhD.

The panel discussion covered many topics but one of the major points was that “Japan was not in line with IAEA guidelines regarding the “defense in depth” standards for the evacuation of residents.” This is widely known by experts in Japan and around the world and it was pointed out that the necessary measures have yet to be put in place in many nuclear power plants in Japan.

What should be the next step? There is a tendency for many people to get bogged down by the details but I have focused on the fundamental issue. The National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) not only covered the technical details of the accident but also the societal and structural issues in Japan, which served as the background to the Fukushima nuclear accident. Thus, I repeatedly explained that the accident was just the tip of the iceberg and that the fundamental problem lay in the governance structures in Japan, seen in the issues of regulatory capture and the separation of powers among the three branches of government.

The following day, I was delighted to receive an email from the simultaneous interpreter at the conference:

“Dear Mr. Kurokawa, thank you for the symposium yesterday. I am XX and did the interpreting at the symposium. What you said left a very strong impression on me as I was listening from my booth and it made me feel that there are many things we citizens must do as well. I would like to follow your work and look into these topics myself. I wish you all the best and would like to thank you again for yesterday.”

After I responded immediately, the interpreter wrote back:

“Thank you for your response. Since the symposium, I have been reading and listening to your work and I look forward hearing more from you in the future.”

It is wonderful that such exchanges can take place so easily via the internet.

Mr. Casto and I were on the same page about many things and the day before leaving Japan, he paid me a visit and we discussed many matters over a nice dinner together with some of my friends.

My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 6 (2)

→Japanese

I share with you the 6th 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)

6. What is accountability? (2)

Generally, in many Japanese organizations, the lack of a sense of responsibility at the individual level is a fundamental problem. The higher one’s position is in an organization, it should be that they not only have more authority, but also greater responsibility. However, when a problem arises, people in positions of power are often able to get away with “the responsibility to explain” and avoid taking individual responsibility. It is often the case that after a scandal, people in top positions apologize on national television and the problem is forgotten soon afterwards.

When an accident occurs and other countries are involved, determining the root of the responsibility causes major conflicts even if an agreement is reached in the end. In a globally connected world, there must be greater transparency in the authority and responsibility in Japanese organizations. The lack of transparency in the decision-making processes in Japanese organizations makes them bound to lose global trust.

Considering Japan’s presence in the world, as one of most known woman scholars Chie Nakane has stated, Japan is still quite sluggish from an international perspective. She further states that although Japan has overwhelming strengths as an economic and technological power, a Japanese leader who can express clear opinions with an international impact has yet to appear.

As a hint to solving this issue, this book by Mr Sakon Uda has argued for the importance of the obligation to dissent, and I encourage everyone to think deeply about what this entails. The obligation to dissent is extremely important in any organization. Jack Welch, the President and CEO of GE, has pointed this out as a significant element of corporate culture for successful companies (1). Rather than taking the passive attitude that nothing can be changed, it is critical to express one’s opinions regardless of one’s age and position in order to move a company in the right direction. Every member of an organization must do this and keep in mind that being critical will have positive effects on you, the organization and others. I would like to spread this awareness and encourage you to change your way of thinking by 180 degrees, through learning about the process of NAIIC and reading Mr. Uda’s book. The world is constantly moving and Japanese organizations are by no means immune to this ongoing change.

References:
1. Jack Welch and Suzy Welch, (2005). Winning. New York: Harper Business.

→ 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

My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 6 (1)

→Japanese

I share with you the 6th 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)

6. What is accountability? (1)

Many major corporations and governmental offices in Japan tend to firmly maintain order based on the rigid vertical relations between organizations and individuals, which is considered common sense in Japan. Even if this results in illogical or unfair situations at times, most people continue to follow these rules out of the belief that their companies will last forever and they must hold onto their jobs no matter what.

After Japan was defeated in World War II (WWII), the nation regained its confidence due to high economic growth in the Cold-War period but this gradually hardened into arrogance. The Iron Triangle of government, industry and bureaucracy, as well as academia and media formed the pillars of a structure of irresponsibility. This was built upon the myth of the infallibility of the bureaucracy, which was the same framework during WWⅡ.

In such a society, those at the top in positions of power and responsibility often act as if the issues they must face are someone else’s problems. Shirking their responsibilities, they refrain from speaking up as they should. They hold the misguided belief that there is nothing they can do about these issues. This mindset formed the background to the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.

This book by Mr. Uda sharply points out that each individual who belongs to an organization must think about and deal with this problem. It would be a good reference book for people who work in large organizations, such as major companies and bureaucracies to reflect upon.

During these past twenty years, the word “accountability” has been used frequently. For some reason, in Japanese the term is translated as the “responsibility to explain,” which is a phrase that does not express the same level of seriousness. It is an example of the meaning being ‘lost in translation’ when translated from a foreign word into Japanese. In English, the meaning of “accountability” is stronger than mere responsibility, going one step further to indicate the act of carrying out the responsibility of the position. James C. Collins also touches upon this in How the Mighty Fall (1). This is a point that I have brought up numerously during the NAIIC press conferences. I have often inquired just how those in power in Japanese society plan to take responsibility when they fail to carry out the work they were appointed to do.

Kiyoshi Yamamoto has written an academic book on accountability, entitled Thinking About Accountability- Why it Became “Responsibility to Explain”(in Japanese, published in February 2013) (2). Issues in Japanese society, such as the Fukushima nuclear accident, the Olympus scandal, and bullying in Japanese schools prompted Mr. Yamamoto to write this book. He points out that the decision of the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (NINJAL) to translate accountability to “the responsibility to explain” had a large impact.

In the first chapter of this book, he draws attention to the high value placed on accountability in the governance in the US. He points out that this is signified by the renaming of the General Accounting Office (GAO), which is under the authority of Congress, to the Government Accountability Office in 2004. In chapter two, he reviews the reasons why accountability was translated in Japan to mean “the responsibility to explain.” In the eighth chapter, he goes on to examine accountability in Japanese society, taking into consideration the particular elements of the social fabric. Here, similar to Professor Chie Nakane, he discusses the vagueness of the role of responsibility within Japanese social and power structures. Furthermore, he argues that the disciplinary aspect of the word accountability is rarely used in the responsibility to explain. In the Chinese language, which does not have katakana characters and only uses kanji, accountability is translated as literally, “questioning responsibility.” He argues that the Fukushima nuclear accident and WWII were typical cases in Japan, in which responsibility was vague and never pursued. He cites Masahiro Shinoda and also looks at the relationship between public media and politics, for example, highlighting the differences between NHK and the BBC.

–To be continued.

References:
1. Jim Collins, (2009). How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In. New York: Harper Collins. [Translated into Japanese by Yoichi Yamaoka (2010)].
2. Kiyoshi Yamamoto, (2013). Thinking About Accountability- Why it Became “Responsibility to Explain” [In Japanese]. NTT Publishing.

→ 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
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→ 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

My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 5

→Japanese

I share with you the 5th 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)

5. The Problem of the Groupthink Mindset

The “groupthink mindset” (Footnote 1) that this book examines is a deep-rooted problem. “Groupthink” is a challenge observed in many countries around the world but it is especially prominent in Japan. For example, when many Japanese people leave university and start working in a company, they believe that they will continue to belong to that organization. In the case of the central government ministries and agencies, if they enter the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, or Ministry of Education, they believe they will stay there or somewhere related for a lifetime. If they start working at TEPCO, they believe they will start and finish their career within TEPCO. The same goes for banks, trading companies and other big corporations. This is simply common sense in Japan.

For this reason, when people introduce themselves, they first say, “I belong to XX Bank,” “XX Ministry,” “XX Prefectural government,” “XX Electric Company,” without anyone blinking an eye. However, it is not the same overseas. Instead of saying, “I belong to XX Bank,” most people abroad would say, “I am a banker,” and the conversation would then go to “What kind of banking?” and “Where do you work now?”.

In Japan, rather than a particular field or sector of work, they define themselves by the organization or company they belong to. A person’s social status depends on the status of the organization and the position within it.

This mindset is perpetuated by elements of the surrounding culture and manifests itself in everyday language. For example, there are many different words that can be used in the Japanese language to mean “I” and “you.” It is important to select the appropriate word for the situation, which signifies the relationship between the two people. In the case of the written word for the masculine form of “I,” different nuances are evoked depending on whether the kanji, hiragana or katakana form is used. Many words are also gendered and used differently by men and women. Furthermore, whether a statement is affirmative or negative is indicated at the end of the sentence (the speaker’s opinion, “I think” or “I do not think” comes at the end of the sentence). Using this sentence structure, it is possible for the speaker to watch the reactions of the person listening and adjust what one says according to the flow of the conversation. Many language experts have pointed out this tendency.

Many books have been written on this subject, such as Chie Nakane’s Japanese Vertically Structured Society (1967) (Footnote 2). This provides the background for understanding the mindset of many Japanese.

The Dynamics of Vertical Society (1978), which was written after Japanese Society, was recently republished as a paperback in 2009. In the afterword, Chie Nakane states, “My reflection upon rereading my humble work after thirty years is that I do not see the purpose of changing or editing what I have written, as this was a book analyzing collective behavior and presenting logical assertions rather than just a description of Japanese society.”

Regarding the effects of the trend of globalization occurring across the world, Nakane states, “Rather than changing the Japanese societal structure per se, I see various areas where a rip occurs and the ventilation has gotten a little better. I welcome this trend and it is likely that more people will be able to assert their own agency. The social structures of groupism existing in Japan have often worked to hold back individual assertiveness. Such structures can be considered to be not only one of the features found in Japan but also the reason why Japan is not adequately living up to the role of a global player on the world stage.”

References:
1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink (I felt the Japanese Wikipedia page’s explanation of groupthink fell short and opted to cite the English Wikipedia page instead)
2. Nakane, C. (1967). Japanese Vertically Structured Society (Tate -shakai -no -kozo. Kodansha.
3. Nakane, C. (1978). Dynamics of Vertical Society (Tate -shakai -no -rikigaku), Kodansha.

→ 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

My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 4

→Japanese

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.

References:
1. http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2012/1203kurokawa_award.shtmlhttp://kiyoshikurokawa.com/wp-content/uploads/typepad/aaasspeach.pdf (Award ceremony speech)
2. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/11/26/the_fp_100_global_thinkers?page=0,41#thinker63
3. Makoto Shirai, Acts of Parliament (2013), Shinzansha Publisher Co., Ltd.
4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bovine_spongiform_encephalopathy
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Norway_attacks
6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gj%C3%B8rv_Report_(2012)

→ 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

My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 3

→Japanese

I share with you the 3rd 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)

3. Building the NAIIC Team

As NAIIC Commission was the first of its kind in Japan, I had many concerns with the establishment and operation of the organization. The ten Commission members, including myself, were selected by the National Diet but I had the responsibility to choose the researchers and staff who would support the work of the Commissioners. It was difficult to find people who could work full time for only six months at the National Diet, as most people had their main occupations. Furthermore, finding the right project manager for the whole operation was key.

Even if the Commissioners had their own individual opinions, this in itself would not form a report. I knew that I would need an incredibly talented project manager who would be able to direct the operation and overall project while respecting the research by the Commissioners, which would form the basis of the report. Such an individual must not only possess the necessary capabilities and experience, but also be able to instinctively understand the sense of purpose and values of NAIIC.

So I wondered whom I should ask and who would take on such a role. Several people came to mind but Mr. Uda was the only one whom I could entrust with the position. Although I had not worked with him personally, I knew of his work reforming the Japan Postal service and governmental organizations. After speaking with him on the phone for fifteen minutes or so, he accepted the position. I remember feeling very happy and thinking that with Mr. Uda on board, there was a good chance of NAIIC being successful. We met a few times afterwards, leading up to the official ceremony of my appointment as Chair on December 8th at the National Diet.

As I had hoped, Mr. Uda understood and shared my view on NAIIC without needing any explanation. This was critical to the operation of the team. This project was the first of its kind in the history of the Japanese Constitution and there were only six months to compile and submit the report as mandated by the law. In order to recruit such top project management and to gather a team of highly capable staff, you must have a network of multi-talented people.

As I had expected, many problems arose during the course of the investigation but Mr. Uda and my stance towards the Commission did not waver throughout. This is one of the reasons why NAIIC was able to achieve the result of being evaluated highly by you and especially internationally.

This fundamental position of the NAIIC team allowed the compilation of the report to follow the steps of ‘presenting only the facts’, ‘avoiding the inclusion of personal views to the extent possible’ and ‘obtaining the consensus and signatures of all Commission members’. Moreover, the NAIIC report was reviewed by an independent body of peer reviewers, in the way that academic reports are peer reviewed. This reflected our wishes for the NAIIC report as well as the writing process to be peer reviewed by not only experts in Japan but from around the world, even within the many constraints that we faced.

→ 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

My ‘Epilogue’ of Mr Uda’s Book ‘Obligation to Dissent: Why Organization Fails’ – 2

→Japanese

I share with you the 2nd 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)

2. The stance we took at NAIIC

I would now like to turn to talk about the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC).

In my remarks to the National Diet upon my appointment as the Chair of the Commission(*1), I set forth my position of how I viewed NAIIC, the first independent investigation commission established in the history of the Japanese constitutional government; how I appreciated the weight of the mandate given to the Commission by the highest institution of the country, the legislative branch; and how I would operate the investigation.

Instead of speaking only to the members of parliament, government officials and TEPCO workers involved in the accident, I believed it was crucial to make my position clear to the Japanese public and to the other Commissioners in the public arena of the National Diet (as there was little time to even have proper discussions with the other Commission members beforehand). Thus, I set forth my position in the first three minutes and last two minutes of my speech when I accepted my duty as the Chair.

When receiving the official appointment, I stated the three key principles that were to guide the six-month investigation. Three key words represented the principles: the People, the Future and the World. Then, I stated this Commission is: (1) Commission of the people, by the people and for the people; (2) providing recommendations for the future from lessons learned from the past; and (3) bearing the responsibility to share the lessons with the rest of the world.

At the end of the ceremony, I gave the following remarks:

Today is December 8th, the seventieth anniversary of the Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. In August of each year, many television programs and documentaries that focus on the accounts of high government and military officials survived the Pacific War are aired throughout Japan. One phrase that often comes up in these survivors’ narratives is, “I knew what was happening and what I knew, but could not say what I had to say.” In the past couple of weeks, there have been TV documentaries on the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, which present the accounts of former executives of the nuclear power industry and the government high officials engaged in nuclear energy of Japan. When listening to their stories, I believe that many people of Japan have sensed a similarity between the narratives of those in the government of Japan and TEPCO and of those World War II survivors. This leads to the observation that in Japan, people in positions of high responsibility are repeating the same errors of those in high positions in the past and have not learned from history. I would like to contemplate and reflect on this.

*1
http://www.shugiin.go.jp/internet/itdb_kaigiroku.nsf/html/kaigiroku/025117920111208003.htm
http://www.shugiintv.go.jp/jp/index.php?ex=VL&deli_id=41488&media_type=

→ 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