On 28 March 2016, it was announced that Dr Yoichi Funabashi, RJIF Chairman, was named the recipient of the 12th Accomplishment Award by the Social and Environmental Subcommittee, Atomic Energy Society of Japan.
The scope of the Accomplishment Award is to honour individuals that made remarkable accomplishments in the areas of the social dimensions of atomic energy technology and the relationship between nuclear power and society.
Upon receiving the award, he made the following comments:
“The Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation launched an Independent Investigation Commission in October 2011 in order to investigate the causes of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident and to identify lessons that can be drawn from the crisis. The final report of our findings, “The Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Nuclear Accident” was published in February 2012. The English edition was published by Routledge in 2014 under the title, “The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Disaster: Investigating the Myth and Reality.”
The report was the earliest and most thorough investigation into the disaster. We are proud to say that the report had impact beyond Japan, and was placed as the 24th most influential policy paper in the 2012 Global Go To Think Tank Rankings. The research team consisted of seven leading experts who acted as the steering committee, and a cross-sector working group made up of thirty top professionals. Members included, the Chairman, Koichi Kitazawa, Kiyoshi Kurokawa (who later chaired the National Diet of Japan’s own investigation of the accident), Keiichi Tadaki, Former Prosecutor-General and Ikujiro Nonaka who is one of the most influential scholar on business thinking and the co-writer of the “Essence of Failure (Diamond-sha, 1984)”.
The Independent Investigation Commission, and indeed, all of our initiatives at RJIF are based on our three core pillars of “Truth, Independence, and Humanity”. Without public or private affiliation, we are free from the shackles of ideological dependence, and boldly pursue objectiveness and excellence. Our investigation uncovered and analysed the underlying historical and structural causes of the crisis such as the “Safety Myth,” “Nuclear Village Mentality,” “Galapagos Syndrome,” governance issues, crisis management and resilience.
After the publication of our first report, as a journalist, I was eager to tell the micro-level human side of events, and so I personally continued the investigation through individual interviews. These stories were published as a book entitled, “Countdown to Meltdown” (Bungeishunju, December 2012).
I am deeply honoured that these works have been chosen for the Accomplishment Award. It is my understanding that we have received this award for our independent investigation, objective reporting, public engagement and dedication to raising social awareness of issues related to nuclear safety. This is exactly what we set out to do from the start, and are continuing to do today as a growing policy think tank.
Through the Fukushima crisis, we have gained a new-found appreciation for the “Resilience Cycle” (Investigation-Truth-Lessons-Preparation), and its key role in rebuilding society. Our values are closely aligned with the goals of this award, as we strongly believe in further deepening collaboration and cooperation between the scientific community and society.
I would like to show my deep appreciation and share this award with all those who were a part of the Independent Investigation Commission. It was their research, ideas, debates, interviews, and above all their passionate dedication to the betterment of society that made this possible.”
To learn about the Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: https://apinitiative.org/wp/en/project/fukushima/