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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 July 18 - 24  > JCP Shii visits quake-hit areas
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2007 July 18 - 24 TOP3 [JCP]

JCP Shii visits quake-hit areas

July 19, 2007
At the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station, Shii stated, “As far as nuclear power plants are concerned, an excuse of ‘far greater than thought possible’ can never be acceptable. The government must review the current safety standards.”

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on July 18 visited the quake-hit area in Niigata Prefecture to conduct an on-the-spot investigation into the disaster caused by the strong earthquake two days before.

At an evacuation center in Kashiwazaki City that suffered the most extensive damage, he was briefed on the extent of the damage by a city official, encouraged victims taking shelter there, and promised them that the JCP would make its utmost effort to assist them in order to help put their lives back to normal.

Asked by reporters about his impression of the visit, Shii stressed the urgent need to provide victims with enough food, water, and medical care. Pointing out that when they rebuild their homes they can really put their lives back to order, he said that the JCP will urge the government to provide them with government compensation for home rebuilding.

Nuclear power plant

Shii also visited the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station where a fire broke out and radiation leaks occurred due to the earthquake.

Inside the plant, the pavement cracked in places, bricks surrounding facilities undulated, and part of the ground sank a few centimeters.

Pointing out the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had advised TEPCO to solve problems regarding inadequate fire-fighting measures at the power plant two years ago, Shii demanded that TEPCO establish a team specialized in fire-fighting.

JCP House of Representatives member Yoshii Hidekatsu at a Diet committee meeting on June 14 already took up the question that the IAEA had raised and demanded that the government carry out a nationwide survey and take measures to correct defects.

Concerning the issue that tremors far greater than anticipated at the time of the plant design actually occurred, a plant official said, “We were reviewing our quake-resistant design in accordance with the new government guidelines. The earthquake hit this plant before we finished the evaluation.”

Shii stated, “When it comes to nuclear power plants, an excuse of ‘far greater than thought possible’ can never be acceptable. The government must review the current safety standards.” - Akahata, July 19, 2007
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