The issue of whether or not to dissolve beleaguered utility operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) over their handling of the Fukushima nuclear crisis continues to inspire debate among politicians and government officials. In recent interviews, a member of the opposition party Democratic Party of Japan says the government should consider shutting it down, while the opposition’s industry minister says doing so would have negative repercussions.
Sumio Mabuchi, a lawmaker for the DPJ served as an aide to former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who was the country’s leader during the 2011 disasters. He believes that since the government is now using taxpayer money to deal with the leakage of contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, they should also consider letting the company go bankrupt and nationalizing it. He also thinks the solutions that are currently being looked at, like the construction of the frozen soil wall to keep the contaminated water from flowing into the ocean, might not work. Instead, they should look into clay-like materials to construct the wall. He believes that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a mistake in telling the International Olympic Committee that “everything is under control” when it comes to Fukushima because it contradicts all the other news coming out, talking about the crisis and so the international community will now be asking, “Is it really under control?”
Meanwhile, Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said that liquidating TEPCO will make it even more impossible for the victims of the nuclear accident, most of whom are still displaced from their homes, to collect compensation from the company. He also said that a move like that will drastically affect the country’s electrical supply. He once again pledged that the government will do whatever it takes and it can to fix the problem at Fukushima. Motegi is the head of the task force set up by the government to tackle the leakage issue and to facilitate the decommissioning of the crippled nuclear reactors at the plant.
[ via Asahi Shimbun ]