Matsuura takes over helm of JAEA

JIJI

Former senior nuclear regulator Shojiro Matsuura assumed the post of president at the scandal-shaken Japan Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.

Matsuura, 77, said he will make the utmost effort to promote JAEA reform by encouraging its workers to renew the agency.

Matsuura’s predecessor, Atsuyuki Suzuki, resigned in May to take responsibility for safety check flaws at the JAEA’s Monju fast-breeder nuclear reactor in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture.

Matsuura joined the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute, a predecessor of the JAEA, in 1961, and served as head of the institute between November 1998 and March 2000. He also took the post of chairman of the now-defunct Nuclear Safety Commission, a predecessor of the current Nuclear Regulation Authority.

Explaining the reason for accepting the JAEA presidency, Matsuura told the news conference that as a person who experienced the last war, he thought he “should not desert in the face of the enemy.” “When the parents’ home is on fire, it is impossible to disregard it as a past place.”