More than a month has passed since the Nuclear Regulatory Authority was inaugurated on Sept. 19. The NRA started in a deplorable manner. In a political maneuver, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda used a provision of the relevant law and appointed the five commission members without Diet approval.

Given the suspicions the public harbors toward the NRA due to the way in which its members were appointed, it is imperative it strictly oversee matters related to nuclear power generation free from the influence of politicians, government ministries and agencies, and the power industry. But the staffing of the NRA’s secretariat, the Nuclear Regulatory Agency — which is composed of up to 473 officials and workers — raises concerns because many of its high-ranking officials used to work for government ministries and agencies that promoted nuclear power.

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