Professor’s anger at lawmakers creates buzz on Internet

An exasperated University of Tokyo professor who launched an angry tirade at lawmakers over the Fukushima nuclear crisis has become a hero to many on the Internet.

Tatsuhiko Kodama, 58, who heads the Radioisotope Center at Todai, was called to provide expert testimony before the Lower House Health, Labor and Welfare Committee on July 27.

Facing a panel of lawmakers, Kodama said, “At a time when 70,000 people have left their homes and have no idea where to go, what is the Diet doing?”

Video footage of Kodama’s testimony was soon posted on YouTube, and within a few days, the video had been viewed more than 200,000 times.

Responses to the footage were generally favorable.

“I was deeply moved that Todai has a professor like him,” said one post.

“I understand the scary truth. I understand the inaction of the central government,” said another.

Besides being a doctor of internal medicine, Kodama is also an expert on internal radiation exposure. His background made even more shocking the testimony he provided in the Diet.

“(On March 21), Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said, ‘There are no immediate problems for people’s health.’ At that time, I felt something very disastrous was about to occur,” Kodama said. “When we look at problems from radiation, we consider the total exposure amount. Neither Tokyo Electric Power Co. nor the central government have made any clear report about total exposure from the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.”

The Radioisotope Center conducted its own calculations on the level of radiation contamination arising from the Fukushima nuclear accident.

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