Local residents and environmental groups have reacted angrily to the announcement that prosecutors have decided to drop the charges for responsibility for the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.
As Japan nears the third anniversary of the March 11 earthquake that crippled the plant, no-one has been held accountable for the second-worst nuclear accident in history, despite the independent investigative committee set up by the government concluding in July 2012 that the accident was “man-made disaster” caused by shortcomings in Japanese corporate culture.
“Absolutely no-one is taking responsibility for this huge accident and when all these people are suffering,” Aileen Mioko-Smith, of Kyoto-based Green Action Japan, told The Telegraph.
“The investigation clearly stated this was an accident created by humans, not a natural disaster, but the judicial system here has now decided to side with the powers-that-be,” she said.
“The government will be happy with the decision, but it is completely irresponsible,” she said. “And I fear that failing to prosecute in this case will lead to another disaster in the future.”
Even if we accept that it was indeed human error that led to this disaster (something I’m entirely unsure about myself) this does not therefore lead to the conclusion that someone, somewhere, is criminally responsible.
Because, sadly, sometimes shit just happens. And for something to be a crime then the sequence of events has to be at least vaguely forseeable. And, oddly, no one really did forsee the idea of a massive earthquake followed by one of the world’s largest ever tsunamis.