As the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster remains, people have extended their blame to government officials at the time of the incident. People in the country, especially Fukushima residents, filed complaints against 40 people, not just against TEPCO, but also against former Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Some of his cabinet members were also included. However, Kan claims that he and his administration responded appropriately to the incident and that he should be spared from criminal liabilities. Even prosecutors stated that the former prime minister is unlikely to be charged.
People blamed the former prime minister of negligence, charging him of delayed orders to the operator of Fukushima nuclear power plant. Two of his cabinet members – then Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda, and then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano – were also blamed. People believe that the reactor’s internal pressure might’ve been lessened if Kan ordered TEPCO to take necessary measures. The morning after the Tohoku Earthquake, Kan visited the power plant, which many believe led to distraction among those who were working to prevent further escalation of the disaster.
Mister Kan responded to the prosecutors in a document stating that “there was no problem” on his immediate response to Fukushima disaster. He also said that his visit to Fukushima power plant caused no problem. Enclosed within force majeure, experts believe that there was no way the government, as well as TEPCO, could anticipate the destructive events that would unfold following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake because of “lack of unified knowledge.” Some believe though that both were aware of the possible risks of the facility.
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