“It was a failure”: Ex-Prime Minister Murayama apologizes for supporting nuclear power — Says gov’t yet to tell public why Fukushima Daiichi crisis occurred

Published: April 10th, 2012 at 6:41 am ET
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Follow-up to: NSNS: Secret Japan nuclear bomb program covered up using nuclear power industry -- Enough to build arsenal larger than China, India and Pakistan combined

Title: Ex-prime minister Murayama expresses regret over supporting nuclear power
Source: Kyodo
Date: April 9, 2012

Former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said Sunday it is regrettable that he changed the then Japan Socialist Party’s policy to an acceptance of nuclear power stations while he was in office. [...]

Murayama expressed opposition to the government’s efforts toward resuming idled reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, saying the government has not yet provided a satisfactory explanation to the public regarding why the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant occurred. [...]

“It was imprudent and it was a failure. I want to apologize [...] I’m filled with a strong feeling that I should not accept nuclear power stations so I can make up for my mistake” – Tomiichi Murayama, Japan’s Prime Minister 1994-96

Read the report here

Published: April 10th, 2012 at 6:41 am ET
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26 comments

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26 comments to “It was a failure”: Ex-Prime Minister Murayama apologizes for supporting nuclear power — Says gov’t yet to tell public why Fukushima Daiichi crisis occurred

  • Carbon 14

    Perhaps when you were in power, such a noble stance could have been more effective. The scent of freshly printed yen must have been too much of a temptation.


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  • enoughalready45 enoughalready45

    The former prime ministers, government officials and others that were pro-nuke that can no longer deny the real dangers of nuclear power should hold a joint press conference to make a statement against the re-start of the nuclear plants in Japan.


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    • Hot Tuna Hot Tuna

      Great idea… and broadcast it live internationally like the Superbowl. Makes me wonder if a civilization may have already existed on another planet that reached the same conclusion may have tried to broadcast the revelation to the rest of the universe. Maybe a transmission will arrive for us a few centuries too late.


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  • Atlantis

    One of the most important news ever.
    Well, truth outcome nuke-lies anyway. The sad point is that it requires so many land and lifes to admit it.


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  • Failure across the world of leaders, then lies to insult and damage people further !


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  • StillJill StillJill

    And still,…..no one falls on the sword!
    Honor is DEAD! :-(


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    • HoTaters

      To admit such a mistake publicly in Japan is worse than having to commit seppuku. It means the person must LIVE WITH THE SHAME for the rest of his/her life. It is worse for a Japanese person than death. It shows true courage. It means complete loss of face, which is the worst thing imaginable for a living person, to live with such shame.


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      • HoTaters

        I mean making the admission then living with the shame and loss of face is in some ways worse for a Japanese than admission, then taking one's life. That's why I say it is an act of courage to confess and then live with the consequences.

        Do we really want to be thinking others should have to die for their mistakes? Is it our call to judge the state of their hearts and consciences? What if they have remorse? IMHO it's better to have remorse and accept responsibility, and possibly to change, than to die without coming clean.

        I suppose this depends upon how one views having to answer to God in the afterlife. Personally I wouldn't want to be judged by the "Sons of Thunder" standard or I'm eternally doomed.


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        • HoTaters

          I just cannot wish death on anyone, no matter how morally corrupt I think that person may be.


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          • StillJill StillJill

            "Falling on the sword", can be another way of saying 'taking responsibility for.' Perhaps you are hearing with judgement?


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            • HoTaters

              OK, I understand.


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              • HoTaters

                It's just that I studied Japan and Japanese history, and seppuku is a very, very serious thing in their culture. I just think it has very strong connations given their culture and is not a term to be used lightly.


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                • HoTaters

                  Not only that, but it's ritual disembowelment. It's very, very gruesome. And it was historically considered a form of capital punishment. Please let's be culturally senstive when we discuss things like this, and be considerate to our Japanese brothers and sisters. I'm sure you didn't intend for it to sound offensive.

                  Maybe one of our Japanese friends here could comment on whether or not I'm reading too much into this.

                  It was public execution, and often involved killing one's self slowly and in excruciating pain, in front of spectators.

                  It's only because of the gravity of what "falling on the sword" really means that I mentioned it.

                  "While the voluntary seppuku described above is the best known form, in practice the most common form of seppuku was obligatory seppuku, used as a form of capital punishment for disgraced samurai, especially for those who committed a serious offense such as unprovoked murder, robbery, corruption, or treason. The samurai were generally told of their offence in full and given a set time to commit seppuku, usually before sunset on a given day. If the sentenced was uncooperative, it was not unheard of for them to be restrained, or for the actual execution to be carried out by decapitation while retaining only the trappings of seppuku; even the short sword laid out in front of the offender could be replaced with a fan. Unlike voluntary seppuku, seppuku carried out as capital punishment did not necessarily absolve the offender's…


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                  • HoTaters

                    http://www.funeralwisdom.com/?p=77

                    "But not many Westerners, know that there was another form of seppuku. Unlike the the seppuku that we saw in Kurosawa movies, in practice the most common form of seppuku was obligatory. It was a form of capital punishment for disgraced samurai, who committed a serious offense such as unprovoked murder, robbery, corruption, or treason.

                    i must respectfully disagree as the statement implies it's just about honor. in reality there is more too it. but again respectful disagreement.

                    In obligatory seppuku the samurai in question were generally told of their offense in full and given a set time, usually before sunset on a given day, to end the life. If the sentenced refused to “cooperate”, it was not unheard of for them to be restrained. Then the actual execution to be carried out by decapitation while retaining only the trappings of seppuku – even the short sword laid out in front of the victim could be replaced with a fan. Unlike voluntary seppuku, the obligatory one did not necessarily absolve the victim’s family of the crime. Depending on the severity of the crime, half or all of the deceased property could be confiscated, and the family stripped of rank."


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                  • StillJill StillJill

                    "especially for those who committed a serious offense such as unprovoked murder"??

                    "Fear NOT he who can kill the body. Fear, rather HE who, after the body dies,…can kill the soul".


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                    • HoTaters

                      But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.


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                    • HoTaters

                      Yeah, and I need to be really, really careful about the calling people fools part, myself! So I don't consider myself exempt on this one by any means! Something I've got to work on.


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          • Radio VicFromOregon

            HoTaters, having many close friends in my life who have migrated from Japan, both are deeply serious acts of courage, but, seppuku can also have a lingering doubt of possible cowardice. Mr. Murayama's public apology will remain in the public mind forever, while in his death by his own hands, he would soon be forgotten. This is akin to George Bush making a press conference at his ranch to announce that he regretted the invasion of Iraq while he was president. Not going to happen in his case! This is groundbreaking.


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            • HoTaters

              I agree, in some sense sepukku (or suicide) would more or less be the "easy way out." Far harder in Japanese culture to admit a mistake and live with the shame. We Westerners aren't particulary good at admitting our errors and apogizing either, are we? Some exceptions of course. I just find it very exceptional for this man and even the former PM to be admitting they are wrong and taking the consequences.


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    He was ill-informed about nuclear power. All governments are, except Germany, and a few others.


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    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Hey, Merkel is as pro-nuke as one can possibly be. She will have to testify to the inquiry committee about a nuke cover-up she was involved in when she was leading the Ministry for Environment in the 90's….


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Yep, but now is a different story. Much.


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