Business, Economics and Jobs

Naoto Kan, former Japanese Prime Minister, blames advisors for missteps during nuclear plant meltdown


Debris scattered before the sixth reactor building of stricken Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant to the journalists at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan on Feb. 28, 2012.


Yoshikazu Tsuno

Naoto Kan, who was Japan’s prime minister during the March 2011 nuclear reactor meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant following an earthquake and tsunami, blamed his advisors for government missteps today, the Associated Press reported.

Speaking to a parliamentary panel investigating the disaster, Kan said the government’s nuclear experts and Fukushima Dai-ichi plant officials did not provide him with adequate information about the meltdown, CNN reported.

"I was frightened and felt helpless," he said at the hearing, according to the AP. "You can't expect a nuclear expert to be prime minister or cabinet minister, so we need top regulatory officials to provide expertise and help us. We didn't have those people."

More from GlobalPost: Japan nuclear fall-out: Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, posts annual loss of nearly $10BN

He described Japan’s nuclear emergency preparedness law as a failure, since it did not provide guidance for an accident requiring the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people, the AP reported.

"Everything anticipated in the law was inadequate, and we had to go through all kinds of troubles that we didn't need," he said, according to the AP.

Kan also slammed Japan’s pro-nuclear bureaucrats, businesspeople, regulators and academics for not showing remorse for the disaster, CNN reported.

Kan said he favored dismantling all nuclear power plants, according to CNN. "I would like to say to the Japanese and to the world – the safest nuclear policy is not to have any nuclear plants,” he said.

More from GlobalPost: Celebrations as Japan shuts down last nuclear reactor