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Regarding William Pesek’s May 30 article, “Nuclear meltdown digs hole for Tokyo as Tepco sullies Japan’s brand image”: I am sure that few readers will fault Pesek’s analysis characterizing Tokyo Electric Power Co. as a “symbol of the incestuous ties between government and industry.”

My only reservation is his statement that both the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party refuse to join hands in a grand coalition to tackle the crisis. Prime Minister Naoto Kan proposed just such a coalition on March 19, only to be rejected by LDP leader Sadakazu Tanigaki.

Without apparently sparing a thought for the national economy or the victims of the disaster, the opposition parties have simply vilified Kan for his so-called failings, parroting the “lateness” of the government’s response, even though International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors themselves described it as exemplary.

Obviously, before making any decision, the prime minister must rely on accurate information from “experts,” namely, Tepco and the nuclear regulators. Tepco’s history of lies and coverups, and its corrupt relationship with regulators, is notorious. It seems unreasonable to have expected Kan, after one year in office, to undo all of the damage from 50 years of LDP misrule.

If any more evidence were needed of the opposition parties’ cynical disregard for the national interest, the no-confidence motion fiasco is proof positive of their unsuitability to govern.

Kan may not be the most forceful or charismatic leader, but compared with Tanigaki or the DPJ’s own Ichiro Ozawa and Yukio Hatoyama, he appears to be an honest and dedicated reformer, and capable of guiding Japan through the present crisis.

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.

ivor paul

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