What is the whole truth about the nuclear disaster that hit this nation three years ago? We have yet to hear a satisfactory answer to this question.
Public discontent about this fact was clearly reflected in a recent decision by an independent judicial panel of citizens concerning the criminal liability of three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. for the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The Tokyo No. 5 Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution said July 31 that the three should be indicted over the 2011 disaster, rejecting a decision by prosecutors against prosecuting them.
The panel’s action forces the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office to reconsider its decision to drop the case against the three former executives of the electric utility, which operates the stricken nuclear power plant.
In a national poll conducted by The Asahi Shimbun in July, 59 percent of the respondents voiced opposition to the plan to restart reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, against 23 percent who supported it.
When asked whether they thought that the lessons from the Fukushima accident had been incorporated into Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s energy policies, only 19 percent of the respondents said “yes,” while 61 percent answered negatively.
The committees set up separately by the government and the Diet to investigate the accident both ended their inquiries after about one year of work. Both panels called for continued efforts to reveal the whole truth about the triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant. But virtually no specific step has been taken to do so.
Given the scale and severity of the accident, it is obvious that the hasty investigations conducted by the two panels are far from sufficient. The records of testimonies and the massive materials produced by their inquiries have not been made available for wide use.