the mayor of Tokai prefecture Tatsuya Murakami has alleged that the nuclear accident that occurred on September 30 was caused and later mishandled by the central government. The government's confidence concerning nuclear safety has been shattered as it has failed to build up adequate emergency measures, he added. In one of the worst nuclear accidents in Japan's history, high levels of radiation leaked from a uranium reconversion plant.
Murakami said the real cause behind the accident was the government's negligence and failure to educate people of the possible dangers posed by nuclear facilities.
He added that the government created the myth in response to criticism of the nation's nuclear policy, especially since a series of accidents and related scandals began surfacing in 1995, Murakami said. Interestingly, Murakami's election as the mayor of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, in September 1997, was made on a platform supporting the nuclear industry. The vote followed a radiation leak six months earlier at the government-affiliated power reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation.