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Wall Street Journal
By WILLIAM SPOSATO
APRIL 29, 2011, 1:50 P.M. ET
TOKYO—A special advisor to the Japanese government on radiation safety resigned Friday, saying that he was dissatisfied with the handling of the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Toshiso Kosako, a professor at the prestigious University of Tokyo, said at a news conference that the prime minister’s office and agencies within the government “have ignored the laws and have only dealt with the problem at the moment.” Holding back tears, he said this approach would only prolong the crisis.
Following the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the Daiichi nuclear power plant has become the site of the second-worst nuclear power plant crisis in history. Three of its six reactors still pose a potential threat as officials and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. work to bring the situation under control.
Mr. Kosako was appointed on March 16. In announcing the appointment, chief government spokesman Yukio Edano described him as someone who “possesses outstanding insight and expertise in the field of radiation safety.”
Mr. Kosako was one of six special advisers to the administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan. According to Mr. Edano’s announcement, Mr. Kosako was to provide “information and advice to the prime minister on the ongoing incidents as the nuclear power stations.”
But he said that in the weeks since his appointment, it was difficult to know who was actually in charge of dealing with the situation.
Diet member Akihisa Nagashima, a senior politician within the ruling Democratic Party said in a statement that the administration had urged Mr. Kosako to stay on and that his departure represented a “heavy blow” to the government. A spokesman for the prime minister’s office had no immediate comment.
Officials and foreign experts say that the situation at the plant has now passed its most critical stages, with a much lower threat of a large release of radiation that could cause widespread health problems.