“Town of Death” Minister Resigns

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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.”

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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.”

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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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