Japan feared evacuation of 30 million in nuclear crisis, ex-PM says
Residents of the area near the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the crippled Japanese nuclear plant are tested for radiation earlier this month.
September 19th, 2011
11:13 AM ET

Japan feared evacuation of 30 million in nuclear crisis, ex-PM says

After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami off Japan damaged the Fukushima Daichi nuclear reactor, the Japanese government was presented with a scenario which would have required the evacuation of half of Tokyo and the entire width of the main island of Honshu, former Prime Minister Naota Kan says in an interview with Kyodo News.

The evacuation zone would have covered all areas within 200 to 250 kilometers (125 to 155 miles) of the nuclear reactor, meaning about 30 million people in Tokyo and its surrounding areas would have needed to be moved, according to the Kyodo report in The Japan Times.

Kan said he feared such an evacuation would have resulted in chaos, according to the report.

"I wasn't sure whether Japan could continue to function as a state," he is quoted as saying.

Kan also said Japan was not prepared for the disaster resulting from the 9.0-magnitude quake.

"We had never foreseen a situation in which a quake, tsunami and a nuclear plant accident would all happen at the same time," he is quoted as saying.

Kan resigned in August after widespread criticism of how his government handled the aftermath of the quake. His approval rating plummeted.

As of early September, more than 75,000 residents who live within 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) of the crippled nuclear plant were still unable to return to their homes because of high radiation levels.

Toshio Nishizawa, president of Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the Fukushima plant, has said he hopes to achieve the second phase of a cold shutdown of the plant before a January deadline.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Earthquake • Energy • Japan • Natural Disasters • Nuclear • Tsunami
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Scottish Mama

    Another reason to get off our duffs and start renewable energies.

    September 19, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Amish and Andy

      Scottish Amish women are hairy like gorrillas

      September 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. too nice

    I agree Scottish Momma. Sometimes I think the Amish have it right.

    September 19, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT ( Somalian pirate & fisherman )

      amish chicks are hot... haven't seen a fat one yet... plus they way they churn butter turns me on!!!!

      September 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amish and Andy

      Amish women are not hot. They are hairy.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. amish abrahim

    Buggies are safer. Our lifestyle is better.

    September 19, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      I was thinking more electric sun generated.lol

      September 19, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Scottish Mama

    They are self sufficient.

    September 19, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. amish abrahim

    Wind and solar power is incredible. Also hydroelectric.

    September 19, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. s kel

    We should use Bedrock as a example , dino power was sooo cool.

    September 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. eg

    i love milk!

    September 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      With or without steroids?

      September 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amish and Andy

      With steroids and smegma

      September 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RUFFNUTT ( Somalian pirate & fisherman )

    good thing they just coved up the contamination threat...
    .
    the old standard "police squad" technique... "nothing to see here, move along"

    September 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    Amish people wouldn't be on here, people...think about it....

    September 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Scottish Mama

    Ya, but he/she is playful. Should I say marshmellows?

    September 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Catholic Priest

    Does any one need me to babysit their kids for the weekend? Im really really good with kids visit us at mybaby sitter is a preist.org

    September 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RUFFNUTT ( Somalian pirate & fisherman & kcmo resident )

    amish people can get on here... their internet is just real slow...

    September 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sunflower

    "Could not continue to fuction as a state"..... Hmmm.... Really? Ever think that is PRECISELY WHY they didn't sound the alarms and evacuate all those poor people..... It's called collateral damage...... We'll see the widespread effects of this bad decision in a few years when many of them start trying to have healty babies.....

    September 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amish and Andy

      I did not evacuate, but took me over 7 hours to walk home.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amish and Andy

      I did not evacuate, but took me over 7 hours to walk home.n

      September 19, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Charliecharliecharlie

    About 50,000 gathered in Tokyo yesterday to protest nuclear power. This is the biggest demonstration so far, and for a country that is culturally averse to demonstrations and open disagreement, this is a huge deal. CNN, please do your job and cover this! There needs to be open and frank discussion about nuclear power in this country and the world!

    September 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Amish and Andy

    What is with the Amish thing today?

    September 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
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