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Springer, Gudrun

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Der Standard - Austria | 12/04/2011

Japan's risky information policy

The Japanese government announced yesterday that it would further extend the evacuation zone around the damaged nuclear reactor Fukushima 1. The left-liberal daily Der Standard welcomes the step but criticises Japan's policy of information regarding the catastrophe: "Rather than sowing tangible fear ... the information that reached the public this month ... must have instilled diffuse feelings of unease among those affected. Because the constantly changing radiation levels published by the plant operator Tepco and the authorities since then have even experts in nuclear energy scratching their heads. To put it cynically, one thing those responsible cannot be accused of is panic mongering. But this sort of information policy is an open invitation to cast doubt on all the data released to date on the state of affairs, and rouses the suspicion that tactical considerations have also played a part in the crisis communication. Such concerns are absolutely out of place when the health of thousands of people hangs in the balance."

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