Yoshida wanted his comments on crisis kept secret

by Reiji Yoshida

Staff Writer

The government on Friday released a written request from Masao Yoshida, the late chief of the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, that a Diet investigation panel not publicly disclose any of the 28 hours of interviews on how he handled the March 2011 meltdowns.

The Diet panel received all of the records of the interviews that a separate governmental panel conducted with him from July 22 to Nov. 6 in 2011. Yoshida submitted the request to ensure that the records “will not be leaked” to a third party.

In the note, dated May 29, 2012, Yoshida said that he was worried his accounts might include factual errors because he was speaking from memory, several months after the nuclear crisis began, and that some of his comments about the other people involved might lead to “misunderstandings” if they were taken out of context.

“I request that (the Diet investigation panel) strictly manage (the records) so that they will not be leaked to a third party,” Yoshida said in the note, a copy of which was posted on the Cabinet Secretariat’s website.

Based on the request, the government has refused to release the records of the interviews. The Asahi Shimbun said it obtained a copy and has started publishing excerpts.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press briefing that the government released the entire text of the request to make Yoshida’s intention clear.