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Thursday, August 18, 2011

US Government Considered Evacuation of 90,000 US Citizens in Tokyo

According to Kevin Maher, a US diplomat and the former director of the Japan Desk at the US State Department in Japan, the US government considered evacuating all 90,000 US citizens in Tokyo right after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (10:30PM JST 8/17/2011):


The US government was considering the plan to evacuate all 90,000 US citizens living in Tokyo right after the Fukushima I Nuclear power Plant accident, according to a new book.


The book, which is to be published on August 17, is titled "決断できない日本 (Japan that cannot decide)" (Bunshun Shinsho) and was written by Kevin Maher, former Japan Desk director at the US State Department. If the plan to evacuate 90,000 Americans had been carried out, it could have triggered reactions from other foreign governments, and caused panic among the Japanese.


Maher's book recounts the inside information that Maher obtained as he was part of the special task force within the State Department right after the March 11 disaster, communicating with the Japanese side.


The subject of evacuating the US citizens was raised in the early hours on March 16 (local time). The US had already knew about the unusually high temperature of the reactors from the Global Hawk data, and determined that "the fuel has already melted". The US thought the Kan administration was simply leaving the disaster response to TEPCO, and "distrust [in the administration] was intense". The US high-ranking officials wanted to evacuate the US citizens [from Tokyo] but the local officials including Maher objected, as "it would severely undermine the US-Japan alliance". The plan was never implemented.

It's very heart-warming to know they left 90,000 US citizens in Tokyo under the radioactive plume, which literally rained on them on March 15, 16 and 21, for the sake of "alliance", isn't it?

I also remember back in March that the US investment bank Goldman Sachs flew in high-ranking executives to Tokyo, and told the US employees there in no uncertain terms that they were to stay put in Tokyo, or they would lose their jobs.

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