April 16, Saturday

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Children of Japan - Orphans of Tsunami


Gabi reports:

Going slightly down :
. Daily Radiation Levels  

The first payment of TEPCO to the evacuees is causing ripples, farmers want to see more. And of course, they want to be able to return soon.

木村次郎右衛門 (きむら じろうえもん)
A Japanese is now the oldest man in the world (after one in America died). Kimura Jiroemon is suddenly the center of attention. He lives in Kyoto, born in 1897, and "leaves his life to the fortunes heaven gives him".

. . . . .

"Vladimir Uiba said the radiation level at the Russian embassy compound in Tokyo was 0.07 microsieverts per hour on Friday, lower than in Moscow."
see NHK below.

. . . . .

Want to eat sushi in Paris?

Rest assured, most of the ingredients do not come from Japan, especially not the raw fish. Yet the sushi bars have much less customers since March 11.
Do not get crazy over the radiation hype.

. . . . .

A month after the devastating earthquake and tsunami, the challenges seem as daunting as ever:
. One month on, debris fields barely dented .  

. . . . .

. . . . . at 11:19
Earthquake M 5.9, south of Tochigi
It was felt all the way south to Hyogo, Kobe.
Felt as 4 in Tokyo.


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Friday, April 15, 2011 22:20 (last night)
Mineral used to absorb radioactive materials

The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has begun placing a mineral in the sea to absorb radioactive materials contaminating the seawater around the plant.
TEPCO, on Friday dropped sandbags containing the mineral zeolite into the sea near the plant's water intakes. Zeolite is widely used to absorb contaminating materials.
TEPCO hopes the zeolite will absorb radioactive materials, including cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years.
The utility company plans to drop in 10 sandbags each containing 100 kilograms of zeolite. It will raise the bags at regular intervals to check the radiation levels on their surfaces.
Earlier this month, highly radioactive water was found leaking into the sea from a facility at the No.2 reactor. The health ministry later detected radioactivity above the legal limit in fish caught off the plant.
TEPCO has carried out construction work to stop the leak and is checking for others.
In other efforts to prevent the spread of radioactive substances in the sea, the company has already installed metal boards and underwater barriers near the plant.

Saturday, April 16, 2011 08:02
Contaminated water to be transferred next week

Japan's nuclear safety agency says no major changes have been observed in the concentration of radioactive substances in the sea around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the release of low-level contaminated water.
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is struggling to remove highly radioactive water pooled near the reactors.
The contaminated water in turbine buildings and underground tunnels is hampering efforts to restore reactor cooling systems. The water must be removed before restoration work can begin.
The water level in a tunnel near the number 2 reactor has kept on rising after workers transferred 660 tons of water to a condenser.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it found the condenser was half filled on Friday even though it has a capacity of 3,000 tons.
The company concluded that it's not possible to transfer any more water to the condenser.
TEPCO plans to use a waste-processing facility to store the contaminated water. It hopes to start that work by the end of next week.
But the company estimates there's at least 50,000 tons of radioactive water to be removed from turbine buildings and tunnels near reactors 1, 2 and 3. The waste-processing facility's capacity is 30,000 tons of water.
TEPCO plans to use makeshift storage tanks to hold most of the highly radioactive water.

Saturday, April 16, 2011 08:02
Russia may lift advisory against travel to Japan

The head of a Russian science agency says he will recommend that his government lift its advisory against travel to Japan.
The Director of Russia's Federal Medical-Biological Agency, Vladimir Uiba, made the remarks at a news conference in Tokyo on Friday. He's leading a team of Russian officials studying the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Uiba said the radiation level at the Russian embassy compound in Tokyo was 0.07 microsieverts per hour on Friday, lower than in Moscow.

Saturday, April 16, 2011 09:04
Germany to end reliance on nuclear power

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says her government will end its reliance on nuclear power as soon as possible by increasing energy generation from renewable sources.
Merkel spoke to reporters about the plan on Friday after meeting with ministers and all 16 state governors to discuss the energy issue. Earlier, she had suspended a plan to extend the life of existing nuclear power stations following the crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Saturday, April 16, 2011 10:46
Fish caught off Ibaraki trade at normal prices

The first catches of fish in nearly 2 weeks off Ibaraki Prefecture have been shipped to Tokyo's Tsukiji market. Fishing in the area had been suspended due to the detection of a radioactive substance exceeding the legal limit.
Four kinds of fish were shipped to the market on Saturday morning in 40 boxes that had a note attached attesting that they do not contain radioactive substances exceeding the limit.
The Tokyo metropolitan government says all the shipped fish from Ibaraki Prefecture traded at almost normal prices.
Fishing cooperatives in Ibaraki Prefecture had suspended their activities as brokers and retailers refused to buy fish from the area.
Above-legal-limit levels of a radioactive substance were found in small fish called sand lances caught off the prefecture on April 4th.
On Friday, fishermen resumed catching other varieties of fish that do not contain radioactive substances above the legal limit.
A wholesaler says he was waiting for fish caught off Ibaraki Prefecture. He says he will sell them and wants consumers to buy them because they are proven to be safe.

Saturday, April 16, 2011 12:42
Noda: Japan must send disaster information quickly

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda has said Japan must offer quick and accurate information on problems stemming from the March 11th disaster to gain international support for its rebuilding efforts.
Noda was speaking to reporters in Washington on Friday after a 2-day meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of 20 nations. ...

Saturday, April 16, 2011 12:13
Wastewater level at No.2 reactor tunnel rising

The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the level of highly radioactive water in a tunnel of the No. 2 reactor has been rising.
Contaminated water in the plant's facilities is hampering efforts to restore reactor cooling systems. Leakages of such water into the ocean and the ground are also raising concern.
TEPCO, finished transferring part of the wastewater -- about 660 tons -- from the tunnel to a condenser in a turbine building on Wednesday.
The transfer lowered the water level in the tunnel by 8 centimeters, but it began rising again, exceeding the previous level by 2.5 centimeters as of Saturday morning.
TEPCO says work to fix the leakage of highly radioactive water into the ocean earlier this month may have caused water from the reactor to accumulate in the tunnel.
The company hopes to begin transferring contaminated water to a waste-processing facility by the end of next week. It is now accelerating work to monitor and fix water leaks in the facility.
Highly radioactive water may also be leaking underground.
On Thursday, TEPCO detected higher radiation levels in underground water. The observed level was up to 38 times that of one week ago.


Voices from around

. The Daily Reading List .  

. Japan Times, April 16 . .  

. . . . .

This photo from the Japan Times April 16 represents the
"real spirit of Tohoku" for me, remembering the good times in the many hot springs of the region:


Residents take a hot bath amid a scene of devastation in Kesennuma
source : www.japantimes.co.jp

spring breeze -
taking a bath
close to home  

. . . . .

Government considering plan to dismantle TEPCO
A secret plan to dismantle Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, is circulating within the government.
There are also proposals to smash the company's powerful influence on politicians and the mass media and force executives to give all their pay and severance settlements to victims of the earthquake.

However, a rival faction in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) and politicians with links to the power industry may try to fight or emasculate the radical proposals.
Sources said internal government discussions about how to handle TEPCO began in earnest around March 28, as it became clear that trillions of yen would be required just to compensate residents of Fukushima Prefecture affected by the nuclear disaster.
An independent committee would be established within the government to oversee TEPCO's management. It would monitor the selection of executives, the compensation process and management reform.
source : www.asahi.com

. . . . .

TEPCO: Radiation in groundwater increases 17-fold in a weekThe groundwater radiation level at the No. 2 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is 17 times higher than it was a week ago, Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced Thursday.
There are concerns that highly contaminated water in the basement of the turbine building and in a tunnel outside the building has leaked into the environment.
source : www.asahi.com


Japan tsunami--
a floating car overtakes
a boat  

. Haiku sequence by Caleb Mutua .  
Kenya Saijiki


Gael Bage wrote:

on the third floor --
she swims to breathe in air
beneath the ceiling 

Tsunami: Death and survival at school swimming club
By Damian Grammaticas

Standing outside Rikuzentakata's community hall, Yukiko Horie clasps her hands together and then touches them to her forehead. She bows and says a quiet prayer.

She tells me that in her prayer she was talking to her students. Six of them died here. One is still missing. "I kind of apologised to them, saying I'm sorry that on the day I was not with them, I felt very sorry."

One month on Yukiko Horie is wracked by guilt that she survived while the children died. They were all aged between 16 and 17, and were members of Takata High School's swimming club.

source : www.bbc.co.uk


quote : Japan Times  
Earthquake relief: Little people doing big things

Gabi Greve, a German in Japan, has donated her time doing a blog called "After the BIG Earthquake," with a daily update of events as they unfold. She adds a unique twist: haiku. Here is one of her more poignant haiku that appeared on her blog on April 11, one month after the disaster:

tsunami victims —
their souls wash ashore
with every wave  

source : japantimes.co.jp

Thanks, Amy san, for taking up this BLOG !

. Amy interviewing Haiku kun, my poetic cat .  



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  1. Below is the number of EXIT and ENTRY from/into JAPAN, between the period of March 12 - April 8 according to the official lease from the Ministry of Justice of Japan on April 8.

    American 72%, Korean 71% , Chinese 46% - Entry/Exit Ratio into/from Japan after March

    Still amidst of uncertainty, many people are coming to Japan, to safer place such as Sapporo from every corner of the globe.


  2. Anonymous4/16/2011

    If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles, we can greet the future and the transformation we are undergoing with the understanding
    that we do not know enough to be pessimistic.

    Hazel Henderson