New York Times, August 23, 2013: Opposition lawmakers here have demanded that [Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe stay home and declare a state of emergency. “The nuclear crisis is real and ongoing, yet the government continues to look the other way,” said Yoshiko Kira of the opposition Japan Communist Party, which made significant gains in parliamentary elections last month. “The government should declare a state of emergency right now, and intervene to stop the outflow of contaminated water,” Ms. Kira said at an anti-nuclear rally outside Mr. Abe’s office in Tokyo. Mr. Abe remains popular, and it is uncertain how large a liability the crisis at the Fukushima plant will become for him. But it has become increasingly clear that the latest problems may be too large for the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, to handle.
Radio Free Europe, Aug 24, 2013: Komei Hosokawa, professor of environmental sociology at Kyoto Seika University in Japan, says that international assistance will be needed to deal with the mounting issues. “TEPCO hasn’t been working very [well] to handle the situation, and the Japanese government is sort of utterly lost,” he says. “The government at the moment is very reluctant to issue an SOS, but I think we should. It’s really an emergency going on.”
Published: August 24th, 2013 at 12:39 am ET