Fukushima and the Tokyo Olympic Games

Dear Friends,

I am sending you the following excerpts of Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang’s Regular Press Conference on February 6, 2017 .

“ Tepco said after analyzing video images taken inside the No. 2 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex that they had detected a record radiation level of up to 530 sieverts per hour. —- I believe any responsible government will pay continuous and high attention to the impact of the nuclear leakage on the marine environment, food safety and people’s health. We also hope that the Japanese government will give a responsible explanation on how will they offset the impact of the leakage. This is their obligation to not only the Japanese people, but also people from the rest of the world, its neighbors included.—-The Chinese Foreign Ministry has issued relevant safety alert. We believe our Chinese fellows will make proper travel plans and take protective measures.”

Tepco announced on 9 February that radiation levels inside the reactor were estimated at up to 650 sieverts per hour, much higher than the record 530 sieverts per hour marked by the previous survey.

In addition to the above-mentioned deterioration of the situation in Fukushima,the followig article of the Asahi News Paper of 9 Februay will negatively influence the holding of the Tokyo Olymic Games 2020.

“Prosecutors questioned Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda over payments to a Singapore-based consulting firm during Tokyo’s bid process for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, sources said. Takeda, 69, is believed to have stood by his denials of wrongdoing. The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, acting at the request of French prosecutors, asked Takeda to submit to voluntary questioning. Takeda was head of the Olympic bid committee in 2013 when 230 million yen ($2.1 million) was paid to the Black Tidings consultancy. Takeda told reporters on Feb. 8, “I talked about the facts last week in voluntarily cooperating with the French investigation.”The JOC investigation has been completed and a report was released. I have also talked about this in the Diet and at news conferences. There were no new questions and I did not add anything further.”

French prosecutors are looking into whether the funds were used to buy votes for the Tokyo bid. They are also investigating the flow of funds to Lamine Diack, then-president of the International Association of Athletics Federation and a voting member of the International Olympic Committee, as well as his son Papa Massata Diack, who is said to have had close ties to the consulting company.—-Under Japanese criminal law, individuals in the private sector are not subject to bribery charges even if they received money. However, they are subject to bribery charges under French criminal law, leading to the need to question Takeda about the intent behind the payments to Black Tidings.—

The international community is expected to play a greater role to play than hitherto.

Mitsuhei Murata

Former Ambassador to Switzerland

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