Reconstruction official hit for ‘offensive’ tweets

Kyodo

The Reconstruction Agency is considering punishment for its senior bureaucrat responsible for providing support to people affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, for allegedly posting disparaging tweets targeted at specific Diet lawmakers and civic groups, agency officials said Thursday, the same day the bad-mouthing came to light.

Yasuhisa Mizuno, 45, is now under investigation by the agency over the Twitter messages.

“I went to a meeting to listen to those sh**head leftists heaping scorn,” Mizuno allegedly tweeted after attending a meeting in March in Tokyo organized by a civic group supporting Fukushima disaster victims. He represented the agency at the meeting.

“I wonder why, but I didn’t feel offended. I just felt pity for their lack of intelligence,” he continued.

He reportedly posted over 600 messages since joining the agency in August on loan from the Funabashi Municipal Government in Chiba Prefecture, where he served as the deputy mayor. He started his career as an internal affairs ministry official.

Mizuno’s early messages were signed using his real name; he later switched to a pseudonym.

Lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties called Thursday for removing Mizuno from his position.

Fukushima disaster victims also voiced their anger over the tweets.

“He probably thinks this is other people’s business. I’m shocked at the childish attitude he took toward his work,” said a 48-year-old woman from Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, who now lives in Niigata Prefecture with her family.

A 31-year-old from Fukushima who lives in Yamagata said he wants Mizuno to be fired, and also asked the government to push things forward so victims can reconstruct their lives.

The Reconstruction Agency was established in 2012 to promote reconstruction and revitalization of the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011.

Tainted fish contaminated near Fukushima No. 1 plant

A fat greenling caught off Fukushima Prefecture last August that contained a high concentration of cesium was contaminated in waters near the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, a Fisheries Agency report said Thursday.

Fishermen are increasingly concerned that radioactive material has been escaping the coastal facilities of the ruined plant since the March 2011 meltdowns.

The fish “did not get contaminated in waters far away from the nuclear power plant,” the agency said.

The fat greenling was caught about 20 km off the coast and contained 25,800 becquerels of radioactive cesium — 250 times more than allowed by the government.

The agency’s report said the tainted fish probably came from near the crippled plant because other greenlings caught at the same distance from the coast had low levels of cesium.

The agency carried out a study between November and March to determine the place and timing of the contamination. An internal examination of the fish indicated the contamination took place during the spring and summer of 2011.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. took a step earlier this year to prevent fish living in the plant’s seaside areas from escaping by installing nets at the mouth of a bay.

“Because highly contaminated fish live inside the bay, we need to continue taking preventive measures, including culling,” an official with the agency said.