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AP Interview: Japan woefully unprepared for nuclear disaster, ex-prime minister says via The Washington Post

TOKYO — Japan was woefully unprepared for last year’s nuclear disaster, the country’s former prime minister said Friday, and suggested that the crippled Fukushima plant should not have been built so close to the ocean on a tsunami-prone coast.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Naoto Kan acknowledged flaws in authorities’ handling of the crisis, triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, including poor communication and coordination between nuclear regulators, utility officials and the government Kan headed at the time.

But he said the disaster — the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986 — laid bare a host of an even bigger man-made vulnerabilities in Japan’s nuclear industry, from inadequate safety guidelines to crisis management, all of which he said need to be overhauled.

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