Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

In September last year, I blogged about the Tokyo Electric Power Co., lying to the government about the cracks in the nuclear power plant. This was a huge scandal where the president and the chairman of Tokyo Electric Power resigned. Asahi had reported that the whistleblower was fired after the whistleblowing and METI had reported that he was fired before.

As you know, I am a strongly in favor of figuring out how to protect whistleblowers. They may seem "unethical" to typical Japanese small group oriented ethics, but when thinking about global ethics, it is essential that people think ethically outside of their groups and speak up when necessary... I've been working on the Japanese whistleblower protection bill. (Although the final version seems quite weak and not at all what I had recommended...)

Sakiyama-san wrote a comment in the entry today about this and also mentioned that Asahi has removed their article about the TEPCO incident. Coincidentally, I have been exchanging email with the whistleblower and just got permission to post the email exchange.
Disclaimer: I have no way to confirm for sure that I am interacting with the real whistleblower, but I can't think of a motive to lie to me and he sounds sincere.I have confirmed the identity of the whistleblower.

Date: Fri Feb 7, 2003 06:52:53 Asia/Tokyo
Subject: Tepco Scandal

To Joi

I saw an article off the Internet that stated the individual who brought to light the Tepco scandal was fired from his job. That is incorrect. I was laid off in June of 1998 and due to GE's overwhelming integrity throughout my career I was compelled to reciprocate in June of 2000. GE Nuclear is rampant with cronyism, riddled with nepotism and racism in my over 20 years of service with them.

Former GE Senior Field Services Engineer

--- Joichi Ito wrote:
To clarify... You were laid off before the scandal, but you participated in the whistle blowing in June of 2000?

When you say, "overwhelming integrity" at GE, what are you referring to?

I'd love to write something about this if possible.


- Joi

Date: Fri Feb 7, 2003 15:37:05 Asia/Tokyo
To: Joichi Ito
Subject: Re: Tepco Scandal


Overwhelming is my sarcastic reply actually meaning they GE have no integrity. I gave GE a chance to show integrity for two years after my layoff but they refused to come to the table.I had no choice but to come forward with integrity. I had no idea it involved so many but I am not surprised.

Date: Fri Feb 7, 2003 15:38:13 Asia/Tokyo
To: Joichi Ito
Subject: Re: Tepco Scandal


I don't want my name released to the public at this time although Japanese news agencies received leaks and contacted me in California last September. No interviews were given. METI will not even release my name or allegation documents. I just wanted to make a correction to the Internet article.

I wonder who leaked the information about him/her to the press. What prevents the same sources from leaking information to other sources? Doesn't sound like very good "protection" to me.

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