“Town of Death” Minister Resigns


Japanese are wondering what has become of their politicians, after the latest resignation of a minister after only a week in office, for calling the evacuated reactor-despoiled towns of Fukushima “towns of death.”


Yoshio Hachiro, the 63-year-old Democratic politician appointed as Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry one week ago, initially caused an uproar when he toured the poisoned nuclear disaster zone around the stricken nuclear reactors at Fukushima.

He described the evacuated settlements to the press:

“Not a soul is to be seen in the towns and villages surrounding Tepco’s Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor – truly, it is a town of death.”

Local politicans, the mass media and the opposition LDP all made a concerted effort to hound him out of office, accusing him of “depriving people of hope” and making “remarks unbecoming of a cabinet minister.”


He later withdrew the remark and apologised, saying he “had given disaster victims the wrong impression.”

He is also said to have rubbed his jacket on a reporter after having visited the zone, telling him “I’ll give you radiation.”

Shortly after this media circus geared up, his resignation was announced by the Prime Minister.

Online, the reaction appears to be divided between those rejoicing out of sheer partisan hatred for the Democrats, and those who have deep misgivings about politicians being forced to resign for stating what are widely regarded as indisputable facts:

“That was fast!”

“What an idiot.”

“He sure carved his name into the history of incompetent ministers.”

“Why the hell is he resigning over something like this? He’s only encouraging idiots and the mass media even more.”

“He never did anything, but at least he can call himself a former minister.”

“I thought he was dead right in striking a note of crisis.”

“Should he resign over something like that? It really is a town of death in those places. If he wants to revive them, what’s the problem?”

“I’m more concerned about him ‘giving radiation’ to the journalist.”

“This hysteria about bashing people for saying anything about Fukushima is creepy. I’m worried about the quality of the Japanese these days.”

“Why is he being made to resign for stating facts? You can’t just wash these areas off and re-inhabit them.”

“What an idiot. But he was right about it.”

“Does the Guinness accept records for fastest resignation from a cabinet post?”

“What’s wrong with this country’s politicians?”

Fukushima vs Chernobyl:



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    Comment by Anonymous
    05:44 11/09/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Dog looks shooped!

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:51 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The dog from the Japan photo is obviously a photoshop job. The light is wrong at the tail, and it looks like it's been bathed, combed and had a haircut. No way it's a wild dog.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:31 15/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think it's an illusion caused by the fuzziness of his tail and the jarring color difference between him and the concrete. Why would they photoshop a dog into the scene?

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    22:07 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I bet it will mutated to become DOGZILLA!

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:33 11/09/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    No deserted town is a real deserted town without the random dog.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:06 11/09/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Japan doesn't have tumbleweeds...?

    Avatar of macona
    Comment by macona
    06:28 11/09/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    No, they have tumble-dogs. Slightly more mobile and don't require wind to move them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:51 11/09/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    It's called plastic bags.

    Avatar of kazaza2
    Comment by kazaza2
    06:46 11/09/2011 # ! Quality (+0.9)

    The area looks like a scene out of Fallout 3 and he gets hit with a shitstorm for telling the truth.

    Maybe the CEO of TEPCO and the rest of Board of Directors should be forced to take up residence there to show everybody how safe it really is. You know, "to give the people hope".

    What a bunch of phony, hypocritical bastards. At least the US doesn't have a monopoly on shithead political hacks and a toadying press.

    Avatar of Karasu123
    Comment by Karasu123
    10:17 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'm not sure I agree about the last part, but I definitely agree it's absurd that he resigned and felt pressure to do so. There's a difference between being a pessimist and telling it like it is. Sometimes, people need a wake-up call, and to really understand this was a disaster that shouldn't be swept under the carpet and forgotten.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:36 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nah, I think they are aiming for the fastest resignation for Guinness record period :)

    But seriously, when s*it happens and everything goes really bad, most of them will resign as usual and some innocent person will take upon that dump. The cycle repeats till Godzilla is form

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:24 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Actually, the key reason of his resign was because he said “I’ll give you radiation.”.
    He rubbed his clothes against the news reporter and made this joke.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:15 12/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I thought the jacket rub comment was pretty funny myself, a far as the town of death goes it's the truth no? Ffs... Robbing people of hope my ass. That place is fucked for a long long time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:58 12/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think that's funny, he's making a joke about how everyone is frantic about it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:23 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Maybe that "I'll give you radiation" was made up to make him look bad.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:49 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    People want hope, but all there is in those towns is radiation. I like the irony how a politician who is supposed to give hope (?) by just telling the truth is losing his position.

    It's like the prove that politicians are supposed to be lying and everyone who tells the truth will lose his job.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:00 24/01/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'll give you radiation. * gives uranium *

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:42 12/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Hee hee, I'm giving you radation~" :poke poke:


    Comment by Anonymous
    08:35 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sarcasm is a good way of criticism.
    He was just telling the reporter that the reports he was probably recording at that moment are too exaggerated.

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    18:27 13/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Japanese politicians covering their ass and nobody having the guts to say the truth and standing up to the tyrants at TEPCO. Just another usual day in Japan. Sadly.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:40 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    It usually goes like this:

    1. A guy from a particular party who holds some important portfolios say something that may or may not be offensive.

    2. In the beginning, maybe only 4 in 6 billion people even care about what he said.

    3. Opposing party sees fit to kill his character with that otherwise trivial quote and employs all the connection it knows in the old media to start a smear campaign.

    4. Humans(well, most of us anyway) are groupies, so when something is so heated up in old media and broadcasted for days, they suck it up and are like "NO, WE CAN'T TAKE THIS SHIT EITHER!"

    5. Guy from no. 1 quits.

    Both LDP and DPJ have employed this kind of tactic countless of times already. Hell, it's the same all around the world.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:56 12/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually Japan is much worse than general.

    And here in China we are quite the opposite.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:40 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree with the shitstorm thing, back in 9/11 New Jersey Governor (and other leaders) announced it was "safe" to work in ground zero, looked what happened now!

    At least Hachiro give a more accurate warning.
    The US has a lot of monopolies, Verizon for copper phone lines in the Eastern Boarder. No one else provides lan phone service other than VOIP.

    Apple is an way a monopoly completely controls competition with software for their hardware products. iphone with no expansion slot really? buy a more expensive higher memory model, really?

    Then the food engineering.... don't want to go into that..

    Al Gore vs Bush election, stop the vote count???? What happened to democracy?

    Two things US is better
    Freedom of speech, you won't get shot or throw in jail like some other countries.

    Almost completely censorship free

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:57 12/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, how many times were you going to count the votes? It is going to come up slightly different every time and there's no way in hell it will end with Gore getting a majority without there being calls for recounts.

    Tho I dunno, didn't follow it too closely, maybe the hard recount hadn't been done yet.

    Avatar of Surrender Monkey
    Comment by Surrender Monkey
    07:05 11/09/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Reminds me of the US where anyone saying anything criticizing the 9/11 memorial media hype or the political posturing it's producing is being tagged as "Un-American".

    What's ironic is in 75 years nobody will care about the 9/11 memorial, it will be just another graffiti strewn monument to history. Fukashima may still be uninhabitable though. Telling the truth or expressing a dissenting opinion is certainly hazardous in either country.

    Avatar of VillainousHanacha
    Comment by VillainousHanacha
    10:27 11/09/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I doubt the 9/11 Memorial will be graffiti-strewn any time soon, even if we count decades as being soon. The Vietnam War Memorial in DC has a constant police and guard presence in order to prevent such things. And given how much this memorial was forced down our throats, and given that the NYPD is the NYPD, there will be little chance of it.

    But in the idea that it will be forgotten in a little while, that is definitely true. All memorials have plenty of (often forced) fanfare upon building and opening, but then are forgotten and become relics that no one pays attention to (Though as a New Yorker, I am insanely fucking tired of having 9/11 rammed down my throat all the time. Expecially now that the memorial is close to done and the news constantly talks about it. And the fact that my College is full of posters about it).

    But as for this, I really don't see much wrong with what he said. Sure, it's a bit blunt, but there is a lot of truth to it. It may not be exactly true in a literal sense, but it works well metaphorically. As for that radiation comment, It could have just been some black comedy on his part.

    But if it really was some black comedy, than it's truly a god damn shame that he "resigned", because Politicians with a sense of humor are so hard to come by these days, no matter what country you are talking about.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:57 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because all over the world, being a bitch is a societal norm...

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:58 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Fukushima isn't "inhabitable" now, in fact neither is Prypriat. Radiation levels per se are probably below what you have in higher altitude cities.

    The problem is when you stir up dust or soil. Once (or if) this is cleaned, there is no problem. Ukraine does not have the finances to do this in Prypriat, but in Japan with so little land I think it's just a matter of time until a cleanup becomes cost-effective.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:59 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    *Fukushima isn't "uninhabitable", lmao.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:00 12/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes it is, go read up on the acceptable does of mR per 8 hours per day, of an active out-doors person.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    10:04 12/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The easiest clean up might be to simply use In situ vitrification on the site of the reactors.


    The rest the worst would be strip away the top 3" of soil or just wait for rain and radio decay to make it safe which would not be as long as some people think.
    Many places are probably already fairly safe.

    But it needs to be surveyed before it can be declared safe as there may be hot pockets where the stuff has concentrated.
    It's these places that will be difficult to clean up and clean up may even resemble a mining operation.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    09:46 12/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    No they'll clean up most of the town only the site near the reactors is going to be difficult to remedy.
    Most of it will likely be perfectly safe in a few years even if nothing was done but the site of the reactors will have to have the top layer of soil stripped away.
    This will be a major operation almost on the scale of a small coal mine and may make use of similar equipment.
    As for disposal bury it in clay or an old salt mine.
    In theory it would be safe to dump in the open ocean a few hundred miles out far from any reef or sea mounts as it would simply disperse but it would not be politically viable.
    Option two make bricks out of it.

    I'd also not doing any fishing near the site for a few years but even there the radiation will eventually be dispersed.
    Most of it was radioactive iodine which is dangerous but not long lived.
    The total amount of long lived radioactive material released is probably a lot less then Hiroshima and Nagasaki which were rebuilt.
    The irony is the oil refinery that burnt down may likely have more lasting and wide spread effect on the environment.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:00 12/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree, except I think the 30-50km circle is already perfectly safe, even if you stay outside 8 hours a day.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:24 13/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, then when exactly will you move there or go on vacation? Shouldn't be a problem, should it? Even less since accomodation is extremely cheap there right now, so I hear ...

    Avatar of Maksu
    Comment by Maksu
    05:59 11/09/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Now that bastard Ishihara needs to follow this guy into resigning.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:27 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Ishihara is way worse then this guy

    Avatar of coquette
    Comment by coquette
    07:24 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Ishihara would be accusing this guy of not being Japanese. This guys only mistake was telling the truth. Ishihara is definitely worse.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:43 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ishihara doesn't quit. You need to remove him out of office by outside force(voting).

    ...I'm starting to think he rigged it.

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    05:51 11/09/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    What did they expect him to say? Towns of Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows?

    Avatar of kamiru
    Comment by kamiru
    12:18 11/09/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    he's a politician and he is telling the truth instead of lying. yup, he deserved to be sacked.

    Avatar of Satonaka
    Comment by Satonaka
    16:18 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    yup, pretty much how it works.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:38 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Fcuk I thought this was Ishihara

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:00 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Ishihara would never resign even if he said fukushima was heavenly punishment.
    On the other hand Ishihara is a republican, right?

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:41 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Oh that's why...
    Ishihara told them a lie, and this guy said the truth.
    Only people telling the painful truth shall resign it seems.

    Avatar of Satonaka
    Comment by Satonaka
    Comment by Anonymous
    13:13 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    So this guy; a minister resigns for saying "town of death", but a certain governor says "it was divine punishment and they deserve it" and he gets another term after apologizing?
    WTF Japan....

    Comment by StefanKinoshita
    06:14 11/09/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    As far as the "Town of Death" thing goes, he was just stating facts... that wouldn't be something to resign over.
    The "I'll give you radiation" thing was insensitive to those affected by radioactive incidents. That said, forcing a minister to resign over a couple of misplaced comments is ridiculous.

    Avatar of kazaza2
    Comment by kazaza2
    07:40 11/09/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I'd rather have a guy like this than some phony sanctimonious hack clucking his tongue and wringing his hands, knowing in your heart he could really care less.

    I'm sure he was just trying to relieve the stress of the situation with a little "gallows" humor as men will do. Unfortunately in this pussified overly PC "stick up your ass" world that's pretty much career suicide. I think we're the worse for it.

    Avatar of Bigall
    Comment by Bigall
    06:20 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Japanese population want the truth and yet, it seems they cannot handle the truth!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:44 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Jack Nicholson was right after all.

    Avatar of Bigall
    Comment by Bigall
    11:07 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just in the first Batman.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:01 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Is he ever wrong?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:54 11/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The truth is that he gave that reporter radiation. The reporter isn't expected to survive more than a couple weeks. It is truly tragic.

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