nuclear plant,japan

Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato has expressed anger at the central government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., saying both "betrayed" the people of Fukushima Prefecture with repeated assurances about the safety of nuclear power plants.

"We feel we were betrayed [by the central government and TEPCO]," Sato said during an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun on Thursday, nearly a month after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and the outbreak of a series of accidents at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant.

"The central government and TEPCO repeatedly told us, 'Nuclear power plants are safe because they've got multiple protection systems,' and, 'Earthquake-proof measures have been taken,'" Sato said.

"TEPCO used the term 'beyond our expectations' [to describe the natural disaster], but they can't establish effective policies for nuclear energy safety unless they take into account things that are beyond their expectations," Sato said.

Sato pointed out that more than 100,000 evacuees remain in a state of high anxiety, worrying about radiation exposure every day. "I want to cry out: 'Do the government and TEPCO understand our feelings?'"

Asked about a plan to build a seventh and eighth reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, Sato flatly rejected the idea, saying even to suggest it was "unforgivable."

Sato called on the government to restrict shipments of Fukushima Prefecture vegetables and unprocessed milk by area, rather than targeting the entire prefecture.

"I don't think the current policy of [prefecture-wide] restrictions is appropriate. Again, I urge the government to take appropriate steps based on scientific reasoning," Sato said.