President of Japan Nuclear Operator May Resign Over E-Mails, New York Times, July 7, 2011:
The president of a nuclear plant operator said on Thursday that he may resign as a result of a scandal over faked e-mails that has added a bizarre new twist to a decision whether to allow Japan’s idled reactors to restart in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. [...]
The governor, Yasushi Furukawa, has become the center of national attention as he deliberates over the reactors [...] As the first governor to face such a decision since the March disaster, Mr. Furukawa is widely seen as a bellwether of sorts for how other governors may decide. [...]
[T]he mayor of Genkai, the plant’s host community, told Kyushu Electric that he was withdrawing his previous support of the restart. The mayor, Hideo Kishimoto, told reporters he felt like he was “being mocked” by the company. [...]
Kyushu Electric Power Busted for Using Shills to Promote Pro Nuke Views at Genkai Hearing, EX-SKF, July 6, 2011:
[...] From Yomiuri Shinbun (3:27AM 7/7/2011):
Toshio Manabe, president of Kyushu Electric Power Company, held a press conference on July 6 and admitted that when a hearing organized by the METI took place in June regarding the restart of the Reactors 2 and 3 at Genkai Nuclear Power Plant (in Genkai-cho, Saga Prefecture), his company had instructed the subsidiaries and part of its own employees to send email messages during the hearing expressing support for re-starting the plant.
President Manabe apologized, saying “It eroded the confidence in the hearing. I apologize wholeheartedly.” In response to the Yomiuri reporting, he indicated that he may consider resigning over the issue.
The hearing was held on June 26 in Saga City, attended by 7 “representatives” of the Saga residents handpicked by the national government. The questions and answers session was broadcast live on the cable TV and on the Internet. Opinions and questions were sought via emails and faxes, and part of the emails and faxes were discussed in the program.
According to Kyushu Electric, the instruction was sent out via email from a manager-class employee at the Nuclear Power Generation Division of Kyushu Electric headquarters to one employee at each of the 4 subsidiaries and Kyushu Electric’s 3 nuclear operations (Genkai Nuke Plant, Sendai Nuke Plant [in Kagoshima Prefecture], and Sendai Nuclear Plant Office). It required the recipients to send in opinions and questions from the pro-restart point of view that would elicit sympathy from the Saga residents, and to connect on the net from their private homes.
Yomiuri even has a photo of the said email instruction. And it says, in part:
[...] They should access the website for the live net broadcasting, and as the hearing progresses, take the stance of a private citizen who approves of re-starting the [Genkai] reactors, and send in the sincere opinions and questions that will elicit the sympathy from the residents in Saga Prefecture. [...]
Published: July 7th, 2011 at 11:32 am ET