June 27, Monday

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tomobiki dolls -
how many do we need
for Tohoku ?  

. Tomobiki Ningyo 友引人形
doll to put in a coffin


Gabi reports:

Another day with strong rain in many parts of Japan.

The meeting in Saga caused quite a lot of criticism from all sides.
see NHK below

More than 7000 people have rallied agains nuclear power in France. Many came from neighbouring Germany and Swiss. The plant in Fessenheim, Alsace, is close to these countries.


Bulletins from NHK Online
source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Sunday, June 26, 2011 23:31 (late last night)
Panel complies interim report on tsunami
A Japanese government panel studying measures to counter earthquakes and tsunami has compiled an interim report on a comprehensive plan focusing on evacuation in the event of huge tsunami.
The panel members held a 4th meeting in Tokyo on Sunday to discuss natural disasters like the one that northeastern Japan experienced in March.
The report says every possible scenario based on scientific studies of earthquakes and tsunamis must be considered for disaster-prevention measures. It also says they must be reviewed whenever new discoveries are made.
The panel recommends improving tsunami warning systems and arranging more emergency education and drills.
It calls for establishing appropriate evacuation routes and preparing shelter facilities. It also urges municipal offices, fire departments and hospitals to be able to maintain minimum functions in the most difficult situations.
But the panel said it is unrealistic to build levees as high as the tsunami that hit the Tohoku coast and they only need to match the level of those that occur most frequently.
The panel chairperson, Professor Yoshiaki Kawata 河田惠昭 of Kansai University, said prompt action by residents and the construction of dikes will save lives in the event of huge tsunami. He said he hopes the report will be used to reconstruct the disaster-hit area and to revise prevention plans nationwide.
The panel will discuss ways to improve land use and evacuation measures, and is expected to compile a final report by the autumn.

Monday, June 27, 2011 05:46
Report: Policy may have increased damage
A Japanese government panel studying measures to counter earthquakes and tsunami pointed out that the current government disaster prevention policy might have increased damage during the disaster in March.
The panel members held a 4th meeting in Tokyo on Sunday and compiled an interim report.
The report says drastic changes must be made in national policy to cope with massive disasters like the one which hit northeastern Japan in March.It also says evacuation measures should be the pillar of future disaster preparedness policy.
Referring to the weakness of current national earthquake policy, the report blamed the government for not considering 4 previous major earthquakes. One was the Jogan earthquake in Japan's northeastern region in the year 869, which triggered a similar tsunami to the March 11th one.
The panel recommends the government to thoroughly revise national policy because it might have worsened the situation by issuing misleading hazard maps or by giving inaccurate Tsunami data.
In addition, the report asked the government to conduct more detailed research around the areas where nuclear power plants are located.
The panel will discuss ways to improve evacuation and prevention measures and is expected to compile a final report by the autumn.

Monday, June 27, 2011 05:46
Water decontamination and recycling to resume
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says it plans to resume operation of a system to decontaminate highly radioactive water and recycle it to cool the reactors at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as early as Monday.
Contaminated water is still accumulating in the plant from the constant stream being injected into it to cool the reactors.
TEPCO has been forced to suspend test runs of the system a number of times due to problems with a device that removes radioactive substances.
But the utility says it managed to resolve the problem by using a different absorbent material for the device.
The company says 600 tons of contaminated water was cleaned in the test runs and it says this water will be used to cool the reactors as early as Monday afternoon.
If the operation is successful, the company would not need to inject new water into the reactors and would be able to prevent the plant from generating highly contaminated water.
But it remains to be seen if the system can operate in a stable manner, as the salt-removal pump failed on Saturday.

Monday, June 27, 2011 05:46
Radiation health checkups to start
Health checkups for over 2 million residents in Fukushima prefecture are going to start on Monday.
The Fukushima prefectural government will first focus on checking about 28,000 residents in the three communities near to the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Iidate village, Kawamata and Namie towns.
People will be asked how they led their life after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami that damaged the nuclear power plant. The level of their external radiation exposure will be estimated by matching their behavioral patterns against the daily radiation data gauged in the atmosphere and on the ground.
A special medical device called the whole body counter will be used to check internal radiation levels for more than 2,900 people. On Monday 10 of the more than 2,900 people are scheduled to be brought to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences near Tokyo for detailed tests. 5 of the 10 people are already en route by bus to the institute.

Monday, June 27, 2011 05:46
Citizens dissatisfied with nuke safety meeting
The Japanese government held a meeting in Saga Prefecture, western Japan, on Sunday to explain to local residents about safety measures being taken to resume operations of a nuclear power plant in the area. But most of the people were strongly dissatisfied with the government report.
The meeting was the first of its kind since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March.
Seven residents chosen by the government, including a housewife and a senior official of the local chamber of commerce, attended the meeting at a cable TV station. The 90-minute meeting was broadcast live on cable TV and the Internet.
6 members appeared at a news conference held after the meeting and voiced strong discontent about the result.
A 49-year-old farmer told reporters that the government did not give any convincing answers.
A university student said she could not feel comfortable about the nuclear plant because the government officers kept on using difficult words to insist on its safety.
A resident who was not chosen to attend says this kind of meeting should be more open to the public because it is an important issue which concerns a much greater number of people.
More people have voiced apprehension about the government's explanations on the safety conditions of nuclear power plants.

Monday, June 27, 2011 07:53
Expert: Gov. needs to do more with Internet
A communication expert says the internet needs to be better employed to inform the public further about the government's nuclear safety measures.
The Japanese government held a meeting in Saga prefecture on Sunday to explain about safety measures being implemented in order to resume operations of a nuclear power plant in the area to local residents. ...

Monday, June 27, 2011 12:48
Cooling of reactors with recycled water to begin
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will begin using decontaminated water as a coolant at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Monday afternoon.
Highly radioactive water is still accumulating at the power plant from the constant stream being injected into the reactors to cool them down.
The utility says it has about 1,850 tons of decontaminated water that was processed in test runs of a water treatment system. It plans to circulate the water around the reactors on Monday afternoon at the earliest. TEPCO says it hopes to start full-scale water decontamination as soon as it determines the system's optimum operating conditions.
The system became operational a week ago but had to be suspended after one of the US-made radiation-absorbing cartridges reached its limit sooner than expected.
If successful, the process will bring the plant one step closer to TEPCO's goal of stabilization by mid-July without additional new water injections.

Monday, June 27, 2011 13:27
Yamaguchi Governor suspends nuclear plant project
The governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture in western Japan says he won't extend a permit for a land reclamation project to build a nuclear power plant. This, in effect, means the power plant project will not go ahead.
Sekinari Nii made the remark at the prefectural assembly on Monday, referring to the planned construction of the Kaminoseki plant on the coast of the Seto Inland Sea.
Chugoku Electric Power Company was seeking to construct the plant in the town of Kaminoseki, with its launch scheduled for 2018. However, a land reclamation project in preparation for the construction has been suspended ever since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was hit by an accident in March.
The current license given to the utility for the reclamation is set to expire in October next year. Nii told the assembly that he cannot permit the extension of the license, even if the utility reapplies.
The governor says the central government has failed to properly outline Japan's future nuclear power policy and specific measures about nuclear power plant safety.
He says the feasibility of the nuclear plant project itself has become vague.

Monday, June 27, 2011 14:14
Radiation checkups start in Fukushima
Health checkups have started for people likely to have been exposed to relatively high levels of radioactive contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Ten people were given checkups on Monday at a specialist facility near Tokyo. The authorities plan to test more than 2 million residents of Fukushima Prefecture.
The initial checkups will focus on about 28,000 residents of 3 municipalities near the plant -- Iitate Village, and the towns of Kawamata and Namie. Relatively high levels of radioactive contamination have been measured in these areas.
They will be asked to give details of their daily lives since the March 11th accident at the nuclear plant to estimate their external exposure.
More than 2,900 people will also be examined with a whole body counter to measure their internal exposure to radioactive contamination from the nuclear plant.
Full-scale health-checkups for all the residents of the prefecture will start in August.

Monday, June 27, 2011 17:33
Business sentiment forecast to tumble
Business sentiment at large Japanese manufacturers is expected to tumble, due to the effects of the March 11th disaster.
The Bank of Japan's Tankan quarterly survey is due out on Friday. It will be the first Tankan survey since March to fully reflect the impact of the disaster.
The average prediction of 10 private research institutes shows that business sentiment at large manufacturers will worsen by 12 points from the previous survey, bringing the figure to minus 6 points on average.
This is due to sluggish production in the auto and machinery sectors following the catastrophe. ...
May restaurant sales fall for third month in a row
Sales at restaurants and fast food shops in May fell for the third straight month as the negative effects from the March disaster continue.
The Japan Food Services Association said on Monday that sales at 207 restaurant chains nationwide dropped 2 percent from the same month last year.
The drop is attributed to a decline in the number of people eating out since the March disaster and the recent food poisoning cases at a barbecue restaurant chain. ...

Monday, June 27, 2011 19:28
714 children lost fathers in March 11th disaster
A Japanese non-profit group says more than 60 percent of children who lost one or both parents in the March 11th disaster lost their fathers.
The scholarship organization Ashinaga surveyed 1,120 people who had applied for one-time payments from its fund for disaster orphans by May 31st.
The group says 714 people, or 64 percent of the total, lost their fathers. Most of the fathers are believed to have been the family breadwinners.
It says 285 guardians are in their 40s, about 43 percent of the total. But 22 guardians are in their 70s, and 22 are under 30 years of age.
The group also surveyed the guardians of orphans 15 years and older.
Of 202 guardians, 65 people, or 32 percent, were unemployed or currently seeking jobs, while 35 people, or 17 percent, had part-time or other irregular jobs.
The survey was conducted by Tsukuba University Professor Yoshiya Soeda. He says many households supporting these children are facing financial difficulties. He says the guardians need financial assistance so the children can live without fear.
(Just saw a special about this problem. The family members taking care of the children do not get enough money (and can not find jobs in the devastated region) to support the children properly.)

Monday, June 27, 2011 20:40
TEPCO halts water circulation due to leaks
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has suspended using decontaminated water as a coolant because of leaky pipes.
Tokyo Electric Power Company began circulating recycled water through the No.1, 2 and 3 reactors at 4:20 PM on Monday.
But it halted the operation one and a half hours later after discovering water leaking from the pipes.
TEPCO has been attempting to run the decontamination system since June 14th. It has so far treated about 1,850 tons of the water.
The operator hopes to reduce the levels of radioactive wastewater accumulated at the plant as a result of injecting fresh water into the damaged reactors.
Circulating the decontaminated water around the reactors is considered an important step to stabilize them by mid-July as planned. It will also help prevent the volume of wastewater from increasing.
TEPCO says it will repair the leaks and hopes to resume water circulation soon.
(This sounds like children playing ...)


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels .  

. . . . .

Japan Times :

Residents' urine now radioactive Fukushima
More than 3 millisieverts of radiation is found in the urine of 15 Fukushima residents in the village of Iitate and the town of Kawamata, confirming internal radiation exposure.
... "This won't be a problem if they don't eat vegetables or other products that are contaminated," said Nanao Kamada, professor emeritus of radiation biology at Hiroshima University. "But it will be difficult for people to continue living in these areas."
... The data indicate accumulated external exposure was between 4.9 and 13.5 millisieverts, putting the grand total between 4.9 to 14.2 millisieverts over about two months, they said.

METI goes on TV to pitch reactor restarts at Genkai
The government takes to the airwaves and Internet to convince residents of Saga Prefecture that Kyushu Electric should be allowed restart the reactors at its Genkai nuclear power plant.

Disaster plans need overhaul after tsunami

Harbor seal back in Fukushima, pup too

Tohoku urged to join '20 Games bid

Futility and resignation make for poor drama in Japanese politics
... What is happening in the Diet is truly awful. Politics that drive people into such a state of mind should be banned and the perpetrators of such antics ought to be outlawed. Yet they run rampant in both houses of the Diet. They inhabit the prime minister's official residence. They even claim to be the leaders of a legitimate opposition. All of this is all the more unforgivable given the calamity that has befallen this country.

Go-ahead for reconstruction
... The law stipulates the basic principles and a new government setup for reconstruction. But Prime Minister Naoto Kan and leaders of both the ruling and opposition forces should be ashamed of the fact that the law was not enacted until 102 days after the natural disasters.

Power industry's chokehold
The electric power industry in Japan has such strong political clout that nobody, not even the government, seems capable of liberalizing the generation and distribution of electricity, let alone making a dent in the regional monopoly currently enjoyed by each of the 10 utilities.
Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC) 電気事業連合会

Rethinking the myth that we cannot make energy independence financially feasible


hisaichi no asu e hiraku sakura kana

opening to the future
of the disaster region -
these cherry blossoms 

Aoyama Etsuko from Hiroshima 青山悦子

. . . . .

kari no yo no kasetsu juutaku tori kaeru

temporary housing
in this fleeting world -
birds flying home 

Oyamada Goichidoo from Hokkaido小山田伍壱堂

. Source:  NHK HAIKU .



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  1. Anonymous6/27/2011

    When you become detached mentally from yourself and concentrate on helping other people with their difficulties,
    you will be able to cope with your own more effectively.
    Somehow, the act of self-giving is a personal power-releasing factor.

    Norman Vincent Peale


  2. Japanese parents fume over Fukushima radiation impact

    FUKUSHIMA, Japan, June 26 (Reuters) - Angry parents of children in Japan’s Fukushima city marched along with hundreds of people on Sunday to demand protection for their children from radiation more than three months after a massive quake and tsunami triggered the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.

    “We want our lives back, we want to live like before the quake in happy families,” said Hiroko Sato who marched in heavy rain with her nephews, age 3 and 7, next to banners saying “No Nukes” and “One Fukushima is Enough”.

    “My baby was born two weeks before the nuclear accident and I don’t feed her with my milk as I’m afraid I was exposed to too much radiation,” said Sato.

    The parents have felt emboldened since May, when mass protests led to the government lowering the limit for radiation exposure for children at schools and to offer money for schools to remove topsoil in playgrounds with too much radiation.

    But the protesters, who included activists and members of groups from Tokyo, said the government had not done enough.

    “They still haven’t removed the topsoil at the majority of grounds, and didn’t help cleaning up the school buildings,” said Akiko Murakami, a mother of four and volunteer at the “Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation”.