A message from the President of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation
We established the “Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident” in September 2011. This commission will operate independently of the Japanese government’s Investigation Committee on the Accidents at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station of Tokyo Electric Power Company (hereafter referred to as “the government’s investigation committee”), established earlier this year. The mission of our independent investigation commission is to identify the causes of the various accidents and the factors related to the resulting damages, to determine the realities behind the failure to prevent the spread of damage, and to analyze the overall structural and historical background behind the accidents from a position that is autonomous of the government effort. While we are confident that the government’s investigation committee will submit a fair and exacting investigative account, we also plan to evaluate the government’s interim analysis in our own report. Publication of our Japanese-language report is slated for the end of February 2012, with release of the English version planned for next summer.
We believe our private-sector investigation into the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is of historical significance for the following reasons:
- Our independent commission will investigate and categorize the after-effects resulting from damage to this massive piece of technology – the safe use of which is a major challenge throughout the world – using the considerable expertise available to us. Passing along these findings – as lessons learned by our current generation – to future generations represents a major responsibility.
- We will investigate and evaluate the government’s performance and its implementation of public policies from a private-sector position that is independent of the government and the nuclear power industry. This will help strengthen the oversight functions that are essential to the development of a healthy democracy.
- The relevance of these accidents and related damages are not restricted solely to the technical and operational collapse of nuclear reactors and nuclear power plants. They also highlight a governance crisis involving corporations along with municipal and central government agencies, as well as something inherent in the way Japanese citizens think. We believe it is important to carry out a rigorous review of these points and thus draw lessons in order to rebuild Japan’s “national foundation” in areas such as future energy policies and national security policies, as well as with regard to national governance and leadership.
- We will register our report as a globally shared piece of intellectual property to ensure it can be used as an intellectual and policy reference in the future. For this reason, we will disseminate the report to the rest of the world in English. To assist in drafting the report, we will form an international advisory team consisting of globally known experts in this field. The final product will reflect their opinions and incorporate actual quotations from their input.
- After releasing the report, we will join hands with globally influential universities, think tanks, and media to work on advocating necessary improvements.
Already we have been able to obtain commitments from some of the most respected experts from various relevant fields to serve as members of the “Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident.” In addition, researchers, lawyers, journalists and other experts who have been working on this issue in their respective fields have joined the working group that will draft the report.
As the investigation progresses, more and more questions will naturally arise. We believe there are a multitude of issues, both primary and secondary, that demand clarification. As we resolve these matters, we hope to share our findings, reference materials, and any insights gained with the public. This is why our website now features a page dedicated to the independent investigation commission, where citizens are invited to contribute their own information and perspectives to the initiative. We hope that you will support our efforts.
Chairman of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation
Program Director of the “Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident”