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Monday, 1 September 2014

Yoshida Interviews / Asahi insists N-plant staff disobeyed orders

September 01, 2014
 The Asahi Shimbun has reiterated that workers disobeyed orders from Masao Yoshida, the former manager of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, when they evacuated from the plant following the outbreak of the nuclear crisis there.

The Yomiuri Shimbun asked the Asahi why it reported that during the evacuation of Yoshida’s subordinates, “workers...disobeyed Yoshida’s orders,” in a controversial article on May 20 this year.

In response, the company’s public relations department said: “To examine the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 plant and apply its lessons to future safety measures, The Asahi Shimbun did not just repeat the contents of records of interviews in which Yoshida, who was in charge of the plant, answered questions from a government committee tasked with investigating the disaster.

“Instead, we picked sections of a highly public nature and of strong public benefit, and examined them against TEPCO’s internal documents and interviews with related sources.”

The public relations department also said, “During the interviews, Mr. Yoshida said, ‘As a matter of fact, I didn’t tell them to go to 2F [the Fukushima No. 2 plant],’ revealing that he had not ordered his subordinates to evacuate to the other plant. What he did order was for staff to temporarily evacuate from locations that had higher radiation levels and to stand by within Fukushima No. 1 plant buildings, where they could return to the site of the problems soon, as we described in our story.

“Retreating to the No. 2 plant located about 10 kilometers away was the act that disobeyed orders.”
Regarding the criticism that the article has prompted from relevant officials, The Asahi Shimbun said: “We will report on matters that we decide The Asahi Shimbun should report on, in our paper or our digital edition. We refrain from making comments on every opinion regarding our reporting.”

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun
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