As Japan triumphantly was awarded the 2020 Olympics, TEPCO took the unusual step of posting an English message on its main web page.
The message reads, “We recognize that bringing the contaminated water under control is the most urgent and serious problem we must address, and we are tackling this by implementing not only emergency countermeasures but also fundamental countermeasures.” The entire English video message by TEPCO President Naomi Hirose can be seen here.
In the video, he denied there was concern over spreading radiation saying, “We believe that the impact on the surrounding waters is limited to the area within the port of the power plant. And that judging by the results of our monitoring three kilometers offshore there has been no impact on the water or the wider ocean.”
President Hirose said that TEPCO had long planned to release the statement; however, some believe that TEPCO released the video to help calm fears Japan would be an unsafe host for the 2020 Olympics. It should also be noted that last week, Korea banned seafood imports from eight Japanese prefectures over contamination fears. I suspect both played a major role in having the statement issued. Japan still has a tourism deficit since the accident and cannot afford more countries following Korea’s lead and prohibiting seafood sales.
Given how long the leaks have been taking place and the late date they were acknowledged, can the statement by TEPCO President Hirose be taken at face value? Should the Abe administration work with TEPCO as it stands or insist on cleaning house in order to clean up Japan?