Naoto Kan was going to speak yesterday on the one-month anniversary of the quake, but was interrupted by severe aftershock — so he spoke today.
He says the period of restoration starts today.
“The reconstruction from this massive earthquake is not just about restoring… we must create a new a better future than before.”
He mentions creating higher ground areas that are not vulnerable to earthquakes and earthquake-proof chambers. “We must build a society that is resistant to natural disasters.”
“I’m hoping that members of the opposition party take part from the stage of drawing the blueprint.”
Now he’s talking about Fukushima. The reactor automatically came to a halt with the earthquake, but with the following tsunami cooling function broke down. They have raised the crisis level to the most severe based on calculations of how much radiation is being emitted. The crisis is getting better step by step, but there is “no reason for optimism.”
As for paying compensation, the primary responsibility lies with TEPCO, but the government will assure that adequate compensation is paid.
“As of today, while paying respect for the people suffering, we should not exercise excess self-restraint… I urge you to enjoy consuming products from the disaster zone.”
“We must renew the determination that we had in the post-WW2 period, and we must tackle the large reconstruction task that we have after this earthquake.”
A reporter asks what prompted Japan to raise the crisis to level 7. Kan repeats his previous statement: greater contamination was detected. However, the crisis has been getting better step by step. Still “we have no reason for optimism.”
A reporter asks him to respond to big losses in Sunday’s elections and requests that he resign. Kan says all of the elections are finished, he will wait to respond to that.
A reporter asks him again to say whether he will resign due to his bungled response. Kan defends his response, saying he mobilized the JDF and other rescue forces on the first day of the crisis.
A reporter asks about Japan’s future nuclear policy. “At the same time as demanding better safety from nuclear power, we must pursue clean energy.”