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2011年9月25日 (日)

Black-out Manual - 黒く塗りつぶされたもの

TEPCO submits more redacted Fukushima nuke plant manuals to Diet committee

 Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, has handed a Diet science committee another heavily redacted accident manual for the stricken plant.
 The House of Representatives Special Committee on Promotion of Science and Technology and Innovation had requested TEPCO submit two operating manuals -- one each for accidents and severe accidents -- through the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry (METI). On Sept. 7, the committee announced it had received only the first of the two manuals, the majority of which had been blacked out, prompting the body to demand TEPCO resubmit both manuals by Sept. 9.

 The committee revealed on Sept. 12 that the severe accident manual subsequently handed over by TEPCO was also almost entirely redacted.

 Meanwhile, at a meeting of the committee's directors on the same day, representatives of METI's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) revealed for the first time that under the laws governing nuclear power in Japan, the committee has the power to order TEPCO to disclose the manuals in full. As such, the committee requested the minister of economy, trade and industry issue such an order to the utility -- a legal first. The request marks the fourth time the committee has demanded TEPCO disclose the manuals.
 "It is unacceptable for TEPCO to refuse to disclose these materials in the wake of this kind of disaster," committee chair Hiroshi Kawauchi said. "Furthermore, the fact that NISA knew there were legal grounds to demand the documents' disclosure but did nothing about it angered many of the committee directors."
 Meanwhile, a TEPCO representative stated, "These manuals are entirely internal documents pertaining to the operation of the reactors. They are not for general publication."
 NISA and TEPCO representatives brought copies of the three-page severe accident manual to the board of directors meeting. However, only two lines of the document -- one reading "firefighting" and the other "inert gases" -- remained visible. Neither NISA nor the TEPCO representatives provided an explanation for the redactions at the meeting. The utility also collected the blacked-out documents at the meeting's end, saying only, "The issue here is the protection of nuclear materials, and our intellectual property rights."
Click here for the original story in Japanese & English:「mainichi_20110913_jpn.pdf」をダウンロード 「mainichi_20110913_eng.pdf」をダウンロード
(Mainichi Japan) September 13, 2011

東日本大震災:東電、別の手順書も黒塗り 保安院「開示命令は可能」
Mainichi_0916  東京電力が福島第1原発の「事故時運転操作手順書」の大半を黒塗りして開示した問題で、再開示を要求していた衆議院科学技術・イノベーション推進特別委員会(川内博史委員長)は12日、同社が別の「シビアアクシデント(過酷事故)発生時の手順書」でもほとんどすべてを塗りつぶして開示したことを明らかにした。
毎日新聞 2011913 東京朝刊

福島第1原発:東電の黒塗り公開「疑問だ」 深野保安院長
毎日新聞web 2011916
Click here for the original story in Japanese:「mainichi_20110916_jpn.pdf」をダウンロード 

Secrecy in black ink: Redactions speak volumes about those doing the censoring

Secrecy_in_black_ink_2  There is no more expressive a text than one that has been blacked out. I am, of course, speaking of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant accident manuals and other documents submitted to a Diet science committee earlier this month with the vast majority of the content hidden by black blocks and lines. The black ink secrecy speaks volumes about the nature of the organization that submitted them -- plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).
 The redaction of the Fukushima plant manuals brings to mind another instance of the application of so much black ink to written texts: Japanese school textbooks at the end of World War II.
 On Aug. 28, 1945, just two days before General Douglas MacArthur landed, the then Education Ministry directed schools use caution in how they used their textbooks, and take "suitable measures," including omissions, that reflected the "changed situation." Then, on Sept. 20, the ministry issued another order commanding schools to eliminate "unsuitable" material outright. These moves came more than a month before the General Headquarters (GHQ) -- the head of the Allied occupation -- issued its own policy on education in Japan. The ministry's prompt action was good preparation for what was to come, but teachers were getting anxious, and the students simply bewildered by the suddenly altered reality.
 Just a little while ago, there was a scene in a serial drama called "Ohisama" on public broadcaster NHK that depicts the moment when Japanese school children were ordered to paint over large chunks of their textbooks with black ink. The main character, a teacher named Yoko, stands in front of her students and apologizes for what she had taught them during the war. In reality, it is said that far more brutal versions of this scene played themselves out all across Japan in autumn 1945.
 In the fifth volume of the work "Bokura Shokokumin," the children's author Hisashi Yamanaka -- himself a middle school student at the end of the war -- wrote: "The teachers spoke to us in the most businesslike way, telling us to black out text 'on this page, from this spot down, from this line to that line.' Any place where the ink was too thin, we were ordered to redo.
 "If I forgot my textbook, the teacher would strike me. The very teachers that had beaten students for mistreating their textbooks were now ordering us, faces blank and in bureaucratic tones, to paint over the text with black ink," Yamanaka continued of his experience, and the distrust of the teachers it invited.
 The Education Ministry's September 1945 redaction order was focused on material with a strongly militaristic flavor, including themes like, "increase fighting spirit," and "emphasis on military preparations for the defense of the nation." However, it also contained redaction directives that were practically unintelligible, like, "Materials that differ remarkably from the reality of the present situation surrounding the end of the war, and materials that young students from now on would find too distant from their life experience, or would otherwise detract from their own value as teaching materials."
 Reading between the lines of any of the occasionally abstruse official writs to emerge from the government, one can sense their authors thinking, "Don't make us say too much. Got it?" The textbook redactions were one such case. What the ministry wanted the teachers to understand is that they had to act a certain way to avoid the vigorous oversight of the occupying army. As a possible result, some schools blacked out all sorts of things, not just textbook content. Perhaps the schools actually developed a competitive mentality over the redactions; eliminating objects of wartime esteem with the same zeal they had once promoted them.

 The attack on the symbols and education of wartime Imperial Japan did nothing to truly help children in school then accept or understand the nation's defeat or the sudden change in the behaviour of the adults around them. Instead, this was part of what molded the Japanese version of the "angry youth generation."
 In the newest attempt to edit reality with black ink, this time by TEPCO, might there have been at least some movement within the company to present the documents intact? I would dearly like to think so.
 In the series "Ohisama," Yoko expresses her bitterness and frustration this way: "So it's me that's covered in ink." (By Kenji Tamaki, Expert Senior Writer)
Click here for the original story in Japanese & English:「mainichi_20110920_jpn.pdf」をダウンロード 「mainichi_20110920_eng.pdf」をダウンロード
(Mainichi Japan) September 20, 2011


Kyodo_0907  黒く塗りつぶされたものほど雄弁なものはない。東京電力が福島第1原発の事故時運転操作手順書などの大半を黒く覆って開示した件だ。組織の体質を端的に物語る。
毎日新聞 2011920 東京朝刊


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