Environment

Kan Told ``Tokyo Residents May Have to Evacuate Due to Nuclear Crisis``

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan said in an interview with Kyodo News that he learned shortly after the nuclear crisis erupted at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant that around 30 million people in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures may have to be evacuated in a worst-case scenario.

Kan told Kyodo that he contemplated the chaos that would have ensued if such a measure had been taken. ''It was a crucial moment when I wasn't sure whether Japan could continue to function as a state.''

After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged the plant, Kan instructed several entities to simulate what would happen in a worst-case scenario and received assessments that people living in areas located 200 to 250 kilometers from the power plant, encompassing a large swath of Tokyo, would have to be evacuated.

''I felt that the risk was at its highest during the first 10 days (after the disaster struck),'' said Kan, who resigned last month as prime minister amid criticism over his administration's handling of the disaster.

He also said when the disaster occurred, there were no effective safeguards in place because ''We had never foreseen a situation in which a quake, tsunami and a nuclear plant accident would occur at the same time.''

PanOrient News


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