Ex-PM Kan seeks full disclosure of testimonies on Fukushima plant

Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Tuesday called for the full disclosure of testimonies regarding the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, including one given by then plant chief Masao Yoshida.

Kan, who was Japan's prime minister at the time of the March 2011 nuclear disaster, welcomed the government's decision to release Yoshida's testimony in September, saying, "It is the most important material to understand the cause of the accident and how it developed."

Kan, known for his antinuclear stance, made the remarks in Canberra during a tour of Australia that he is making at the invitation of an environmental group.

"It is necessary to re-examine all the facts," related to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant, Kan said.

The government previously declined to make public the testimony of Yoshida, who died of esophageal cancer in July 2013 at age 58, citing a statement signed by Yoshida preventing it being made available to a third party due to concerns about misinterpretation.

Yoshida was interviewed by a government panel formed to examine the nuclear disaster for more than 20 hours from July to November 2011.

The government is also making preparations to disclose testimonies by others involved in the disaster at the plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co. as soon as it obtains consent from the interviewees.

"Since public interest of the examination of the accident is extremely high, I believe testimonies by then senior executives of Tokyo Electric, including the chairman and president, as well as records of its teleconferences, should be disclosed," Kan said.

Kan of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan added that he has complied with a request from the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that his own testimony to the panel be released.