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Carol Gluck: After Quake, Japan's PM Walking 'Knife Edge'




Columbia University professor Carol Gluck speaks at a town hall on the Japan crisis at Asia Society in New York on April 4, 2011.

Columbia University professor Carol Gluck speaks at a town hall on the Japan crisis at Asia Society in New York on April 4, 2011.

With news of a new earthquake off the coast of northeast Japan, recent comments made by Columbia University professor Carol Gluck, who heads the school's Weatherhead East Asian Institute, ring especially true. "I think it's important for us to understand," she said on Monday at a special town hall meeting on the Japan crisis at the Asia Society in New York, "that no one really knows what's going to happen."

You can watch an excerpt of Gluck's comments in the video embedded below.

Gluck continued, "So the government is in a tough place, because you have to reassure — you don't want to make the fears worse. But if you keep reassuring, and then it doesn't come true, then you lose your credibility. ...

"We don't really know what's going to happen. There's lots of scenarios. They can't get in to see, so they are doing it with mathematical modeling — which does really work — but have a heart for the Prime Minister, because this is a knife edge to walk. ...

"What's going on to rebuild and recover in Tohoku is in its way reassuring. It doesn't take away the radiation fear, but since nobody knows, to ask the government to tell us exactly what's going on, is to ask for the impossible."

Watch the entire town hall here.

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