Japan nuclear boss sorry for ‘better if North Korea hits Tokyo’ remark via SKY News

The regulator says he was only joking when he said he would prefer Pyongyang aimed its missiles Tokyo rather than a reactor.

A top Japanese official has admitted it was “inappropriate” to say he would prefer North Korea to attack Tokyo rather than a nuclear power plant.

Shunichi Tanaka, the boss of Japan’s nuclear energy regulator, claimed it would be better for Pyongyang to launch a missile strike on the Japanese capital instead of targeting one of the country’s five working reactors.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority head made the controversial comment while speaking to people living 215 miles outside Tokyo near a recently restarted reactor on Thursday.

He said: “If it were me, I think it would be much better to drop (a missile) on central Tokyo.”


A spokesman tried to play down Mr Tanaka’s remarks, insisting the nuclear chief was only joking and had later told reporters his comment was “inappropriate”.

Japan scaled back its reliance on atomic energy in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, when a nuclear power plant suffered three meltdowns after being struck by a tsunami.

The country shut down all of its nuclear reactors following the 2011 disaster, the world’s worst nuclear accident since the catastrophic Chernobyl event in 1986.

But it has begun restarting its nuclear reactors in the last few years, despite the concerns of locals living near power plants.

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