• Chikushino, Fukuoka


Regarding the May 2 article “Kan’s leadership poor” (poll): No matter how poor Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s handling of the recent tragedies may or may not be, it withers in comparison with the news media’s thirst for the blood of a hapless scapegoat.

Nobody has faced this scale of triple tragedy in the world before, so there is no way of deciding if anybody else could have done better or would have ended up doing even worse. Judging by the opposition (Liberal Democratic Party’s) record, it is extremely doubtful that there would have been any improvement.

There was the famous incident in which the Japanese fishery high school training ship Ehime Maru was sunk, albeit accidentally, by a U.S. submarine off the south coast of Oahu, Hawaii (Feb. 9, 2001). The LDP prime minister at the time, Yoshiro Mori, was playing golf. On hearing the news, his first inclination was to finish his round. OK, so the scale of that incident may have been much less, but tragedy is still tragedy, and if the LDP had been in power since March 11, there is scant evidence to suggest they could have manned up any more.

The only certainty is that the mistaken nuclear road which Japan has been going down for the last 50 years was all under LDP control, just as was the implementation of its false safety standards to combat tsunami and earthquakes.

The failure of Japan to confront these matters could never have been redressed in the pitifully short time that the Democratic Party of Japan has been in charge, especially as its status has been steadily eroded by opposition, one-time allies and the media alike. Responsibility for the perfect storm that brought Japan to its knees should be laid only at the feet of those responsible — Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the LDP. However, the focus has shifted to Kan because he is an easy target for media vultures.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

david wood

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