Must read article from Kansai Scene

I was tipped on this fantastic article about Japan’s on going nuclear nightmare and the causes behind it. This is a super read from someone who truly knows Japan, its culture, history, and inner workings! You must read this.

Here is a short clipping to whet your appetite, follow the link to read the whole article.

The nuclear crisis at Fukushima has created an obvious danger AND, IN TURN, TO government promises to improve the safety of this technology, if not eliminate it altogether. But can Japan’s nuclear power ever be safe?

Amakudari : Japan’s system of amakudari (literally, ‘descent from heaven’), in which bureaucrats retire from their ministries to take up lucrative positions in the companies they formerly ‘regulated,’ means that there is no real distinction between regulator and regulated in Japan. Indeed, it’s probably fair to say that certain powerful industries actually regulate the ministries that are tasked with regulating them. There is a simple reason for this, which anyone who has ever lived in Japan will immediately understand: in Japan, sempai is for life. Keep in mind that the retired bureaucrats who have become industry executives remain sempai to the younger bureaucrats who remain in the ministries (their former kohai). It is unthinkable that these kohai could effectively regulate their former sempai — for it would involve an inversion of one of the most fundamental relationships in Japanese life. Perhaps no industry is as rife with amakudari as the nuclear industry. Tepco is typical, with four company vice presidents between 1959 and 2010 coming from Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Commission, the main ministry tasked with overseeing the nuclear industry.

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