Listen to RFI News
Expand Player
The Sound Kitchen
Those amazing trills
Sound Kitchen Podcast
Listen Download Podcast
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 08/16 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 08/15 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 08/14 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/05 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/04 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/03 13h00 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.

Japan to fire three top nuclear officials

media A gamma ray camera searches for radioactivity at Fukushima Reuters/Tokyo Electric Power

Japan is to purge three top energy officials in continuing fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Economy Minister Banri Kaieda told reporters that he is planning sweeping staff changes in his ministry, which promotes and regulates the nuclear industry.

The reshuffle aims to “breathe new life” into the ministry in the aftermath of the disaster, Kaeida said Thursday.

The removal of Vice-Minister Kazuo Matsunaga, who is the energy agency’s director general, Tetsuhiro Hosono and Nobuaki Terasaka, the director general of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, was earlier reported by the Asahi newspaper.

Asked if they are among those to be fired, Kaieda replied, “It's OK for you to think that.”

Kaieda has been at odds with Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who has called for a nuclear-free Japan and criticised the ministry for close ties to the energy industry, for several months. Recently he burst into tears when questioned by MPs.

Since the 11 March disaster, the ministry has come under in for criticism for its long-time promotion of nuclear power and for seeking to manipulate public opinion by planting questions at open talks.

The nuclear safety agency, which should regulate but not promote nuclear energy, says it will create a third-party panel to investigate the question-planting charges.

Kan is planning to split the watchdog agency away from the ministry following a UN atomic agency report’s call for "regulatory independence and clarity of roles". It would become part of the environment ministry, according to a proposal drafted by Goshi Hosono, minister in charge of the nuclear crisis.

Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.