Sunday, September 7, 2014

40-Year-Old Minister of Economy Declares "Contaminated Water Is Under Control", and "Effect of Radioactive Materials Is Completely Blocked" at #Fukushima I NPP

dutifully parroting her boss, PM Shinzo Abe.

Thanks to the recent cabinet reshuffle by PM Shinzo Abe, Ms. Yuko Obuchi (link in Japanese) became the Minister of one of the most powerful ministries in Japan, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), at an extremely young age (for the Japanese politics) of 40. She is the daughter of the former LDP Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi who died in 2000. Right after his death, Ms. Obuchi "inherited" her father's constituency and was elected to the Lower House at the age of 26.

So far, she has already pledged to restart nuclear power plants in Japan by "making safety our priority." She visited Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on September 7, and gave us her expert assessment of the situation.

From Reuters Japan (9/7/2014):


Minister of Economy Obuchi says contaminated water at Fukushima I Nuke Plant "is under control"


Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yuko Obuchi visited Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant for the first time since her appointment. She spoke with the reporters after the visit, and answered the question of whether the problem of contaminated water was under control. She said, "Overall, I think the situation is controlled."


Minister Obuchi said "individual incidents continue to happen, but looking at the result of the monitoring, the effect of radioactive materials inside the plant harbor is completely blocked."


One year ago at the International Olympics Committee in Buenos Aires, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a speech for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and said the contaminated water at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant was "under control." Ms. Obuchi, who became the Minister of Economy on September 3, thus follows the official view on one of the top priorities for the Abe administration.

The effect of radioactive materials is blocked, not radioactive materials themselves. Whatever that means.

The approval rating of the Abe administration jumped as much as 10 points after the cabinet reshuttle. Ostensible reasons include a number of female ministers, including Ms. Obuchi, as if it is a good thing.

Taro Yamamoto, who won the seat in the Upper House on his appeal to anti-nuclear, anti-contamination voters, has an astute observation (link in Japanese) about the Abe administration doing something to boost popularlity and the possibility of Abe dissolving the Lower House and calling a snap election in fall. Yamamoto thinks that may be the only way that the Abe administration can gloss over the failure of "Abenomics" and survive. He says LDP and Komei may be the only parties with enough organization and money to prepare for an election with very short notice.

I think he may be right. I for one just cannot imagine Ms. Obuchi controlling (or pretending to control) the bureaucrats in the most powerful ministry, or overseeing (and pretending to control) TEPCO in the decommissioning of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. I think she (and other female ministers) are for show, to boost the popularity of the Abe administration in preparation for a snap election soon.


Anonymous said...

Ms. Obuchi and Mr. Abe are right. I say this although I wholeheartedly disagree ,,, and I am right, too.
The issue is that it is undefined what "under control" means, and so it means entirely different things to different people and hence becomes meaningless. It is a term that unfortunately works extremely well to create a false sense of accomplishment in complex problem situations, especially when people are little inclined to inform themselves and make their own determination. It is easily and conveniently interpreted as "problem solved," and that's what we all love to hear; no further effort of any kind required on our part.

By my definition - and to look at just one aspect of the water and overall situation - daily total radiation release to the sea of 157 billion becquerels is a far cry from it being under control.

Anonymous said...

Obuchi says ' the effect of radioactive materials inside the port is completely blocked' !!!

Yet another damned liar - Japanese politics seems to have an endless supply of these fuckwits willing to sell their integrity for political currency.

If the effect of radioactive materials is confined to the prt, why are the nearby fish still showing very high contamination? How does she explain the presence of FD radioactive materials in fish thousands of miles from Fukushima?

If the effect of radioactive materials is confined to the prt, surely the contamination levels in the port must be increasing at an astronomical rate given the constant flow of trillions of bequerels of radiation into the port on a daily basis.

What the fuck? Does she think she is King Canute reincarnated?

And still the Japanese people suck it up in mindless acquiescence.

There is no hope left for Japan.

Anonymous said...

You get the government you deserve. Apperently Japan doesn't deserve anything better than Abe and his lying gang, as most Japanses seems to be happy with this.

Vyse Legendaire said...

Goebbels would be proud.

Anonymous said...

Nuking FUT$!

Anonymous said...

More pesky women in politics. If only they'd just stay in the kitchen where they belong and the leave the running of Japan to the brilliant male octogenarians who have guided it so well over the past 20 years.

Woman, just shut up and get my coffee.

Yosaku said...

Hi *mscharisma*,

You might want to be careful about that 157 billion becquerels number. It seems to come from a random anonymous website where the resident translators (if you can call them that) mistakenly thought that the Japanese character 億 meant billion. Whoops. See:

As a general matter, the only "anonymous" website I trust is this one.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Yosaku,
Thanks for the warning although I'm a little at a loss understanding what you are saying in terms of the Japanese character being misread. The Tepco chart shows how much daily radiation release?


arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

mscharisma, I took a look at the link that Yosaku posted. The number is one order of magnitude too big...

In Japanese, 1億 is NOT 1 billion, but 100 million. 150億 in TEPCO's chart means 15 billion, NOT 150 billion.

It's one of the very basic mistranslation that beginners commit.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

One should realize that there is but ONE way to ALWAYS get to the truth of all of this. Since these sub-humans are only capable of telling lies 100% of the time then, this in the ONLY TRUTH one should ever expect!

Anonymous said...

Obushi hard working to support Abe nuclear repositioning maneuvre
Nobody cares

Anonymous said...

Bada-bing bada-boom.

Another one bites the dust

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