The crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant’s erstwhile manager Masao Yoshida had recorded a video diary for human resources development consultant Hideaki Yabuhara. Just yesterday we spoke about how Yabuhara feared for the mental safety of the Tepco workers, as cutbacks are affecting counselling sessions. And now this video diary regarding Masao Yoshida’s in-the-moment feelings towards the disaster and Tepco’s role, further goes show how important it is for corporate Japan to acknowledge psychological help-tools.
Hideaki Yabuhara is a volunteer counsellor who has been visiting the Fukushima plant once a month to speak with the 250 workers there. Japan is a country where in the corporate culture, managers are supposed to contain their human side and a public display of emotions is frowned upon. So you can imagine what a huge step this video is. As rightly put by Yoshida, the human element has been lost amongst the mechanical corporate world.
In the video, Yoshida goes on to talk about the real fears that he and his workers faced during the actual hydrogen explosions. For a moment he thought they would all die. His heart goes out to his team because none of them for even one moment thought of deserting the operations, despite the huge risk of radiation contamination. In fact all of them felt it was their moral duty to stick around and help Tepco see this through. So much so that them being painted as villains is really traumatizing the workers. People seem to have forgotten that these workers faced the same damages as the rest; marriages got called off, families were separated, relatives died, homes were washed away… their pain was equally real as the rest of the country.
However, despite what was going on in the outside world, the Tepco workers dedicated themselves to relentlessly work on the crippled plant and bring things back to order. This straight-from-the-heart message by Yoshida may shock some, but the bottom line is that Tepco needs to continue to provide mental care to its workers.