Saturday, July 07, 2012

Fukushima: "C'est la faute à l'homme"

Kiyoshi Kurokawa
Photograph ©JLK 2012

"...donc si on suit la logique de la commission d'enquête du parlement japonais sur l'accident nucléaire du 11 Mars 2011 de Fukushima: "Fukushima, c'est la faute à l'homme!" Oui il fallait y penser et Voltaire n'y est vraiment pour rien!" -quotes from my Facebook wall, url down this post.

Fukushima parliament investigation commission president, Dr. Kurokawa invited at the press club today, he was grilled about the different version of reports provided in Japanese and in English. Problem, the English version is not the translation of the original document in Japanese. It is the translation of notes of the commission chair Kurokawa who criticized the Japanese culture and the traditional system applied by the country saying it is responsible for the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Fukushima Parliament Investigation: Confusing Chair? A report of my fellow colleague Mure Dicky of the Financial Times had this written in today's edition of the FT on the Fukushima investigation commission by the Diet and the estrange sometimes "agent provocateur" and eccentric scientist chair Kiyoshi Kurokawa, chairman of the Diet's Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (following my post of Friday). 

Quotes of FT article titled "Fukushima crisis 'made in Japan': "... In a message prefacing the English language summary of the commission's final report, Mr Kurokawa blamed the plant's failure on "our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to 'sticking with program'; our groupism; and our insularity". "What must be admitted – very painfully – is that this was a disaster 'Made in Japan'," he wrote. "Had other Japanese been in the shoes of those who bear responsibility for this accident, the result [might] well have been the same." In his preface to the Japanese version of the report, Mr Kurokawa offered a more measured critique of the cultural background to the crisis, blaming the mindset created by postwar effective one-party rule, seniority systems and lifetime employment rather than the nation's culture as a whole."

End of quotes.

Things you can say in English and things you cannot say in Japanese? So again a question: Why on earth a Diet investigative commission on Fukushima report has 2 versions for the same gatherings of facts, analysis and recommendations? 

"Ignoratio Elenchi in Latin". A "red herring in English". Is there an intentional attempt to mislead or confuse the Diet, the readers of the report? 

Now the thing is certainly about Kurokawa Sensei's strong personality, I do not dislike it at all. But as I know of it, it might not exactly fit the Establishment of Japanese politics, cultural, and science world. On this, here is an insightful report - interview of Kiyoshi Kurokawa, earlier August 9th 2011 in the Tokyo Weekender. "Kiyoshi Kurokawa the Maverick" always feels he is surrounded by enemies, quotes: “(When I worked) at Tokyo University, in a way I was surrounded by enemies,” Kurokawa tells me. “I’m very outspoken, and so the Japanese establishment hates me. I’ve had some negative experiences through that, so that’s why I’m always speaking to the younger generation. They are the ones that matter for our future and can change their lives.”

Question: do you change the society by shooting at it as one friend of the press put it yesterday? Mister Kurokawa might very well feels very lonely in the future although he certainly did a very interesting job to shake the walls. Something an other Maverick I know a little, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, perfectly understood before to retire definitely from front politics.

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