The Asahi Shimbun made "grave mistakes" in publishing a story based on a confidential government interview of Masao Yoshida, the late chief of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, as senior editors didn't thoroughly verify its content, a third-party investigation team concluded in a report released on Wednesday.

The major newspaper retracted the story Sept. 11. Billed as a scoop and based on a transcript of the interview, it said hundreds of workers fled the crippled plant in violation of Yoshida's order to stay within the facility's compound amid the nuclear crisis in March 2011.

The three-member Press and Human Rights Committee concluded that Yoshida's instruction was vague and not clearly delivered to workers, so the Asahi should not have reported that the workers "violated" the order and "fled" the plant, as claimed in the article that was published on May 20.