On the 16th of december 2011, Japanese Minister of the Environment Hosono expressed some concern that "No one knows where the fuel is until we open the reactors", but he reaffirmed the cold shutdown, following the lead of his prime minister. He said, "No matter where the fuel is, it is being cooled".
In a typical display of utter disregard for the general public, the Noda administration announced that there would be no more joint press conference where reporters could meet with TEPCO people and the government officials from the Cabinet Office and other relevant ministries and agencies, receive updates and ask questions.
This December 16th joint press conference is to be the last one, now that Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant is officially in a "state of a cold shutdown" and the accident has been decreed by the government to be "over".
The reactions to this news are very varied. As for me, I just have to say "WHAT A SHAME!"
The U.S. reaction? US Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, who is in Japan, held a press conference on December 16 and disclosed that he had been informed by Foreign Minister Genba on December 15 that Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant had achieved a cold shutdown state. "We at the US government are very happy to hear the news. We believe the Japanese government has made the right choice toward recovery." Regarding the massive decontamination work that will be needed, he said "Many US companies are interested in taking part, and our government has offered assistance", indicating the continued support for the recovery from the nuclear accident.
The Japanese people's reaction: On the 19th, protesters swarmed a square in Shinbashi in Central Tokyo. Old and young protesters arrived in great numbers to the square in Shinbashi where Prime Minister Noda was set to give a speech. It looks both the political left and the right were up against the Noda administration and shouting at the administration officials together against the government and the Nuclear lobby.
If M. Noda didn’t show up, it's because Kim Jong Il has died... or maybe he didn't because the protesters were numerous, angry and noisy. Now, the net media is laughing at Noda, who turned back on his way to the square.
Protesters say they were unjustly withheld by the police from coming into the square while the DPJ(Democratic japanese Party) dignitaries were making speeches. They make their nervous speeches at the beginning of the following video http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/19243716 and around 12:00, you can hear the protesters shouting « Genpatsu iranai » which means « Nuclear power stations are not necessary »
and their signs read:
"Cold shutdown is a lie"
"Noda is a liar"
"Which nuke plant's accident is over? You liar"
"Cold shutdown? Accident Over? Who are you to decide?"