Fukushima crisis caused by Japanese obedience, panel says

6 years ago by in Featured, Japan

Human wilful negligence was the main factor that caused the disaster at the Fukushima plant and also made possible the nuclear crisis that followed, according to a parliamentary panel that presented a report on Thursday.

What happened at the Fukushima plant was a “man-made disaster”, the panel said, saying the plant’s operator, regulating institutions and Japan’s government carry the biggest responsibility.

Moreover, the ingredients that led to the disaster can be largely tracked down in the Japanese culture, the authors of the report said.

“What must be admitted — very painfully — is that this was a disaster ‘Made in Japan,'” the report said. “Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with the program.'”

Specialists concluded that Fukushima staff was not prepared for the eventuality of a devastating tsunami.

A panel of investigators from the government concluded in December that poorly trained operators at the Fukushima plant misread an essential backup system and waited too long until water was pumped into overheating reactor units.