31 January 2014, 20:25

Japanese radio host told to keep silent on Fukushima radiation, resigns

Japanese radio host told to keep silent on Fukushima radiation, resigns

A commentator for the morning show on the Radio 1 Japanese radio station resigned after he had been asked not to speak about nuclear power and the problems at the Fukushima plant before the end of the gubernatorial race. The company says that they simply wanted to present several points of view on the air.

Professor of Economics at the University of Toyo in Tokyo, Toru Nakakita who regularly provides commentary for the radio station, says that he was asked to change the topic of the speech he had prepared for the upcoming live broadcast after he had shown its sketches to the show managers. After reading his text, the director of the program asked the professor to wait with the subject of the nuclear power until the gubernatorial race is over, "because it will affect the opinion of the audience during the voting," Nakakita quotes the director of the program.

In his commentary, the economist intended to discuss the fact that the cost of decommissioning of Japanese nuclear power plants reflects inadequately on the balance sheets of public utility companies. Moreover, he planned to tell about growing operating costs of nuclear power around the world, in the light of the recent surge in insurance premiums and security costs.

Representatives of HNK company, the owner of Radio 1, argue that they wanted the broadcast to be impartial as well as to observe the principle of saturation coverage. Furthermore, according to them, they simply could not find an expert with the opposite point of view on the issue in time. "It would have been possible, if we could have shown another expert opinion with an opposite point view in the near future, before or after the broadcast with Nakakita. But since we got it the day before the scheduled broadcasting, we then decided to limit to put some limits on the content of the program during the election campaign and asked Nakakita to change the subject of his speech," - representative of HNK company explains. According to his words, since the topic is very painful, one-sided view of the problem can significantly change the course of voting.

Nuclear energy is one of the key points of the current gubernatorial campaign. This subject came to the fore after the former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, a staunch opponent of nuclear power, announced his candidacy for the election. One more reason why this topic is so important for the Japanese is the recent accident at the Fukushima NPP.

The accident at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant was the result of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in northeastern Japan, March 11, 2011. A 14-meter tsunami wave came following the tremors, it flooded four of the six reactors and disabled the cooling system which led to a series of explosions and a meltdown of fuel rods of the reactor. When the accident happened, there were 25-35 thousand fuel rods at each of the three reactors of the plant. It was the second largest nuclear catastrophe in the world after the Chernobyl disaster.

Voice of Russia, RT

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