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tv   [untitled]    May 15, 2012 3:00am-3:30am EDT

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>> i think there are many different discussions and good and bad reputations. speaking for my industry, i think nit was very open to give information to the public and regarding the nuclear accident, i think that the japan itself was in panic situation at the time and also, that we had not had such a difficult time from the nuclear accident and also any other disasters to compare to, so i think we were not prepared to give information and also share information.
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so i want point out, also, i want to think that we did not hide the information, that we did not have any examples to follow on how to share the information. >> just offer from my perspective after three mile island, commune cases on the site between the operator and the operators responding to the emergency in connection and conjunction with state and local responders prove to be absolutely essential and many additional privileges remain in the aftermath of -- linked to the regulatory agency of
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bethesda, so that is something we have in the united states and from the accounts that i read about the accident fukushima, the communications hinders the efficient and effective accident response at the sight. >> i would say that katrina, we had in the gulf area, a complete destruction of infrastructure. we hear the term inoperaablety, there was none. no cell towers, land lines, nothing. and so, the situational awareness on the ground was very poor. we did not know what was going on on the ground. and so, i remember sitting specifically at the white house and watching on tv, trying to figure out what's going on on the ground and we had so much conflicting information. you never know which information to trust and which not to trust. in the case of katrina, we did not have any official channels of information. we didn't hear anything through
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the local emergency managers, the state emergency managers because they did not have power and communications. so that was a major challenge and something that's been resolved. sounds like both in japan and the united states with several technology means like satellite phones. then you have communications capabilities, but two, in addition to the media and what made the two disasters different, what's changed from 2005 to 2011. we also have social media. that made a huge difference. the social media, for better or worse, provided realtime information to everybody at the same time. the government found out at the same time the public did, but the good news is at least they had the information. >> i'll just throw a comment on. even elements like the national guard that you know, people are looking for ways to get
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communications back up and will come in in temporary cell towers antd some way to get connectivity out there. everybody understands how valuable the communications can be. even if it's a situation of katrina where everything is gone, so there's lots of effort in trying to fix that problem so the next time one of our countries has an accident like this, we've got to means to get back in there and jump in as quickly as possible. i'm sorry. >> social media of private sector internet helps so much. especially back from company to my home or we can get food on the way. we can use -- where we can stay and also, just as i mentioned, i
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was in business of elected government and comparing to u.s. elected government and those japanese government. longest i know, especially we should need, they should need i.d. we are so behind. many japanese companies, related to government, a commission sharing company is running an government. >> okay. gentleman right there. back row. >> i recently asked an assistant to the governor of japan who was here recently, this question and it kind of surprised me. i've always seen japan as a common sense culture and i think this picks up on all the points you've made. i asked him is there any discussion in the media on underground shelters. seems like if a tsunami's going
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to hit the shore within 15 to 20 minutes, maybe, that people would need an underground shelter as at least an option to get to and he said there was no discussion about that. so can any of you pick up on that point?
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>> so i want to make one point that japan is very prone to natural disasters, so i think japanese people have high resiliency in their mind, but we lacked in the preparation for this particular disaster, which was a one-time thing in 1,000 years, but as mentioned from the other panelists, i would like to agree with how education is important for the preparation, not necessarily about having physical facilities to evacuate to. for example, i showed some pictures from iwate prefecture,
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so there are some elementary school students, some of them more back at their houses and then they were much suffered in the disaster, but those students who stayed in school, they survived the disaster. because they knew how to evacuate or how to behave in such emergenciy because they ha implemented monthly drills, how they can prepare and how they need to behave in such emergency time. >> i would just add a point for in terms of the nuclear plant safety accident. prevention. there's obviously you move your essential equipment through responding to a natural disaster either to higher ground or you have to protect it in leak tight compartments. in many cases, some of the
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essential equipment was protected. that essential equipment like pumps, the sea pumps, generators could be protected in leak tight compartments. >> okay. another question. let me see if there's anybody else first. >> okay, sir, you can have it. >> i'm sorry. is there specific discussion in japan on underground shelters? we call them storm cellars, that people can get to quickly, you know, rather than running up the hills. >> i do not think so. i do not think there is a discussion about building an understood ground shelter.
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i think that those underground shelters are very effective for tornados and such and i don't, we do not have many of those in japan, so i would have to think about how effective those underground facilities would be in japan and i also want to point out that this nuclear accident in fukushima was so unexpected. >> i second what the minister said, for tornados, it's great, but in an earthquake, the last place you'd want to be is understood ground, so i'm not sure i understand the question. >> i'm going to use my prerogative and ask a question. i'd like vice director general and dr. ucoi to comment, but
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then ed and dan, if you could see what america could learn from it. but what do you see as the power of combining a very cohesive and disciplined traditional culture like you have in japan with a very highly developed and technological society which you also have in addressing this type of disaster. it was horrible you had the disaster within a disaster within a zdisaster, but i'm not sure too many other cultures wolf done quite as well even as you did if you had not had those two. but i'd like to hear your opinions on it, then you guys could say what america could learn from that.
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>> i think the disaster shows how much beautiful traditional we have. and to help each other. and we showed -- weak point to recover to -- so but i think, this is my belief. i think there's responsibility to make -- to go to make peaceful using technology so that i believe this disaster
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help promote japanese new technology coming soon to help all of country. >> another comment -- would you like to -- >> this is such a complex question. but i can point out that people in the tohoku regions are more traditional and they're very polite and also respectful people in japan.
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so i think some of you pointed out that there was no panic in terms of people receiving goods and food after the earthquake and tsunami happened. so i think those people in tohoku, their culture and also their characteristic mitigated so much of panic in such an awful disaster. but you will be questionable if there such a larger scale disaster in a metropolitan area such as tokyo or osaka. i'm not sure if people would behave in the same manner. and so i think we can definitely utilize some technological advancements to mitigate some
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panic and also risk damages to the people. and i think information technology is such a critical issue that we have to continue to work on and also discuss. and i think if we -- if people are given an accurate and fair information, i believe that people would eventually reach to a right answer or a right decision. so as a fact, we temporarily lost all the communication
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resources and devices and infrastructure right after the disaster. so i think that we have to take this as a lesson, important lessons to learn for future disasters. and i think as other panelists mentioned, information sharing is a critical thing to be prepared for and also execute it correctly. >> my comment, again, directed at nuclear power plant safety and operations. you asked a question, what americans can learn from this occurrence. and the word "earthquake" strikes me as a uniquely unique american word. but we've learned so much from the japanese scientists and engineers in terms of understanding seismic and earthquake events and how to protect facilities like nuclear plants from these type of occurrences, earthquake. the word "tsunami" is japanese, distinctly japanese.
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and i have no doubt that with less than ten years, we'll be learning from the japanese how to adequately protect our nuclear plants in terms of flood protection and tsunami protection. no doubt about it. >> japan and the united states are very similar. we're both advanced countries, technologically so as well as our population. we're an educated population. we talked about public education. and i would say we're different in the sense that the united states is much more diverse geographically, and we face a much broader variety of threats, whether it be earthquakes on the west coast or hurricanes on the east and the gulf or tornadoes in the midwest. it makes it more challenging in the united states because it's almost preparing by region or by state as opposed to countrywide. i will say there are definitely some best practices in japan.
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and mitigation would be a great example where the buildings are built to withstand earthquakes in japan. and the devastation would be far greater had they not been built to withstand earthquakes. luckily we also do the same thing in california and other states that are prone to earthquakes. the building code is much stronger, no pun, stronger in california than it is in new york for earthquakes. we remain very vulnerable, however, to the black swan or the low possibility events, for example in new york because there are not many mitigation strategies in place. those buildings cannot withstand a major earthquake. a major metropolitan area like new york would be devastating. it would be devastating on the scale of almost like a third world country, where third world countries have far greater damage and casualties as a result of natural disasters because they don't have things like strong building codes that you would see in countries that
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can afford to invest in mitigation. >> okay. well, i'm afraid our time is up. i'd like you to join me in thanking the panel for this very interesting discussion. [ applause ] and my apology foss c-span for calling them espn. and thank you very much and have a wonderful afternoon. det
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without charge for 19 months. mr. chen is currently awaiting travel documents to come to the u.s. over the past year, c-span's local content vehicles cities tour has taken book tv and american history telephone on the road. from tampa to savannah, charleston to knoxville, birmingham and baton rouge, and last month in oklahoma city. the lcv crews have visited the places that define a city's
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literary and heritage life. watch for programming from wichita, kansas on book tv and american history tv on c-span 2 and 3. saturdays this month, c-span radio is airing more from the nixon tapes, secretly recorded phone conversations from 1971 to 1973. this saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern, hear conversations between president nixon and white house special counsel and key adviser chuck colson, who passed away last month as they talk about the democratic presidential nominee, george mcgovern. >> he doesn't have the stuff, mr. president. he really doesn't. >> you really think so? >> no. and he is on the verge of an impending -- >> disaster? >> disaster from his side. and everything he has done has
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