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2014年9月 2日 (火)

福島・吉田調書 「撤退」も命令違反もなかった

The Yomiuri Shimbun
No ‘full retreat,’ no disobedience in 2011 nuclear crisis response
福島・吉田調書 「撤退」も命令違反もなかった

The so-called “Yoshida file” has been brought to light in its entirety.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所事故を巡る「吉田調書」の全容が明らかになった。

The document is a collection of statements by Masao Yoshida, former manager of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, that give his account of the facility’s crisis in March 2011. It was produced as a record based on a series of interviews he gave to a government committee tasked with investigating the disaster before his death.
 政府の事故調査・検証委員会が、吉田昌郎元所長から生前に聴取した証言の記録である。

Most of the facts revealed by Yoshida in the interview transcript were included in a report released by the investigative panel. Still, the Yoshida file is highly valuable in that his account attests to the great difficulties experienced by workers struggling to contain the nuclear crisis while vividly recounting his feelings after the disaster erupted in the wake of the catastrophic 2011 earthquake.
 事実関係のほとんどは、政府事故調の報告書に反映されている。とはいえ、事故対応に当たった作業員の苦労や、吉田氏の心情を生々しく伝える貴重な資料だ。

The onslaught of the tsunami generated by the Great East Japan Earthquake resulted in a power outage at the nuclear facility, meaning the loss of electricity needed to cool its reactors. Water had to be poured onto the reactors, which also had to be vented.
 津波により、原発冷却に必要な電源が失われた。原子炉に注水し、圧力も抜かねばならなかった。

As the situation was growing increasingly serious, Yoshida was issued a rapid series of instructions from then Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other top government officials as well as TEPCO’s head office in Tokyo. He was pressed to pour water onto the reactors and implement other measures to halt the escalation of the crisis.
 事態が切迫する中、当時の菅首相ら官邸サイドや、東電本店から、注水作業などを催促する指示が矢継ぎ早に来た。

Yoshida’s frustration and anger toward them is evident in the document, which quotes him as saying, “I still resent them for offering no effective support.”
 「効果的なレスキュー(支援)が何もないという、ものすごい恨みつらみが残っている」と、吉田氏は不満を口にしている。

His account states that Kan and other figures intervened despite their lack of accurate information about the disaster. This resulted in delays in the work to defuse the crisis and undermined the morale of the personnel. A grim lesson must be learned from this.
 現場の状況を踏まえぬ菅氏らの過剰介入が、作業を遅らせ、士気を損なった。重い教訓である。

Setting facts straight

The document also says Yoshida reacted angrily to Kan’s assertion that the prime minister greatly hindered TEPCO from “fully retreating” from the scene of the crisis. “I even want to say, ‘Who was talking about retreat?’” he is quoted as saying in the document. According to the records, Yoshida also said, “No worker assigned to the scene tried to run away.”
 菅氏が、東電の「全面撤退」を阻止したと主張している点についても、吉田氏は「誰が撤退なんて話をしているんだと言いたいぐらいだ」と反発し、「現場は逃げていない」とも述べている。

In its May 20 morning edition, The Asahi Shimbun said it had obtained a copy of the transcript, reporting that the workers had retreated to the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant in violation of an order issued by Yoshida.
 吉田調書を入手したとする朝日新聞は、5月20日付朝刊で、作業員が吉田所長の命令に反し、第二原発に撤退したと報じている。

However, the transcript indicates that Yoshida never perceived his subordinates’ evacuation to the latter plant as disobedience of his orders.
 だが、調書を読む限り、吉田氏は、部下が指示に違反したとは認識していない。

He told the investigation panel that while his instructions were being conveyed to his subordinates, his remark, “I didn’t say, ‘Go to 2F,’” was interpreted differently from what he had meant. 2F refers to the Fukushima No. 2 power plant.
 吉田氏は、「2F(第二原発)に行けとは言っていない」が、指示が伝わる過程で解釈が変わったと説明している。

The record says Yoshida praised his subordinates’ decision to evacuate, quoting him as calling it “even more reasonable” for them to take refuge at the latter facility, though personnel needed to halt the crisis were excluded from those evacuees. The crippled plant was in a dangerous state due to high radiation levels.
 その上で、作業に必要な要員以外は「2Fに行った方がはるかに正しい」と、退避を選択した部下の判断を評価した。現場は、放射線量が高く危険な状況だった。

The circumstances surrounding the workers’ evacuation were also detailed in the investigation committee’s report. The Asahi’s report in question is confusing.
 退避の経緯は、政府事故調の報告書にも詳述されている。朝日新聞の報道内容は解せない。

Before his death, Yoshida had asked that the document not be publicly released. He believed the record could be misinterpreted by readers unless it was put into a proper context. However, his account has begun to take on a life of its own, partly due to the Asahi article.
 吉田氏は「文脈等をふまえなくては誤解を生む」と、調書の非公開を求めていた。しかし、朝日新聞の報道などを受け、証言は独り歩きを始めている。

The government reportedly intends to make the transcript available to the public, in the belief that the widely accepted perception of his account runs counter to the wishes of the late Yoshida.
政府は「かえって本人の遺志に反する」として、近く公開する方針だ。

The workers who fought the crisis have also been praised overseas. But a mistaken notion about Yoshida’s testimony has been spreading, as illustrated by an article in a leading U.S. newspaper based on the Asahi story. The U.S. report read: “[H]undreds of panicked employees abandoned the damaged plant despite being ordered to remain on hand.”
 作業員の奮闘は海外でも称賛されてきた。だが、朝日新聞の「撤退」報道に基づき、米紙が「作業員が命令に反して逃げた」と報じるなど誤解が広がっている。

The transcript quotes Yoshida as saying, “I was truly moved” by workers’ desperate efforts to defuse the crisis despite enormous danger. The government has good reason to publicize the document to defend their honor.
 吉田氏は、危険を顧みぬ作業員の事故対応に、「本当に感動した」と語っている。彼らの名誉のためにも公開は妥当な措置である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 31, 2014)Speech

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