July 11, Monday

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The fifth month after the shock starts !

four months later -
nothing can erase
these memories

. Remember March 11, 2011, 14:46  

20,891 people dead or missing

A grandmother of 93 years committed suicide, saying she could not bear the life of a radiation evacuee any more and she would now
"evacuate to my grave".


Gabi reports:

It is now four months since the great earthquake, tsunami and reactor crises.

The heat is taking its toll in Tohoku, where the rainy season was declared over today.
Swarms of flies and mosquitoes torture the people everywhere. There is now great danger of food poisoning and spread of infectious diseases.
Foul smell on the beaches is still horrendous.
The heat in shelters without airconditioning and little chance to open windows is getting worse, making the places feel like a 24-hour sauna.

. . . . .

Kan support rate falls to 16%
. The Political Situation .  INFO .

. . . . .

. . . . . at 10:36
Earthquake M 4.5 off the coast of Miyagi prefecture
Kesennuma was rattled with a force of 3.

. . . . . at 13:29
Earthquake M 5.0, off the coast of Iwate

. . . ..

The Silver Ferry service from Hachinohe in Aomori to Tomakomai in Hokkaido started today again.
Everyone was all smiles when the ferry arrived in Hachinohe this morning.


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Monday, July 11, 2011 05:42
Challenges remain 4 months after March disaster
Four months have passed since the March 11th earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan. A large number of people are still living in evacuation centers and removal of debris is moving ahead slowly.
More than 111,000 people are still living in shelters after losing their homes in the disaster, or having to flee the effects of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
About 37,000 units of temporary housing, out of more than 50,000 units required, have been completed. Plans have been drawn up to finish the construction, except in some municipalities, including Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture.
However, some temporary homes built far from central areas, on land flooded by the tsunami, are still vacant.
People whose temporary units are far from their former homes are in need of assistance. Those living alone in temporary housing after losing family members are also in need of help.
Meanwhile, progress is slow in removing rubble--a key part of the reconstruction process.
The Environment Ministry says Iwate Prefecture has moved 52 percent of the wreckage of buildings destroyed by the tsunami to temporary storage sites.
Miyagi Prefecture has dealt with 30 percent of such debris and Fukushima Prefecture lags behind with 27 percent.
The state is working to reduce the burden on municipalities and speed up removal of debris. Last week, the Cabinet approved a bill that would allow the central government to sign contracts with firms specializing in rubble disposal.
Another challenge is job creation, a key to rebuilding the livelihoods of disaster survivors. In Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, the 3 worst hit prefectures, more than 130,000 people are currently out of work. The number of job offers registered at job placement centers in those hard-hit areas stands at about 75,000.

Monday, July 11, 2011 01:01
Scorching hot day in Japan
Many parts of Japan had scorching weather on Sunday.
Weather officials say that temperatures hit 37.9 degrees Celsius in Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture, 37.2 degrees in Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture and 36.6 degrees in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture.
Temperatures climbed to 36.4 degrees Celsius in Nerima Ward, Tokyo and 36 degrees in Fukushima, Fukushima Prefecture.
Record temperatures for July were observed at 6 locations in Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures in the Tohoku region, northeastern Japan, and Tochigi Prefecture in the Kanto region that includes Tokyo.
The Meteorological Agency is warning of the danger of heatstroke, saying that temperature are expected to rise on Monday up to about 35 degrees in some areas from Tohoku to Kyushu region, southwestern Japan.

Monday, July 11, 2011 01:01
Ultraman visits evacuation center
A popular TV character visited an evacuation center in the disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture to cheer up families and children on Sunday.
The late Eiji Tsuburaya, who invented Ultraman, was from Sukagawa City in the prefecture. Staff from his Tokyo-based production firm visited the facility in Koriyama City 45 years after the character made his TV debut.
A boy who evacuated from Tomioka Town says it was fun to meet Ultraman, and he likes the way he attacks his enemies.
The boy's 36-year-old mother says she is happy, as the evacuation center does not have a place where children can play.
(It is always amazing to see the smiling and laughing faced of the children when there is a special event for them.)

Monday, July 11, 2011 01:01
Hosono: Nuclear plants need more safety tests
Japan's minister in charge of the nuclear crisis says nuclear power plants undergoing inspections will need additional safety tests before they can resume their operations.
Goshi Hosono made the remark on a commercial TV program on Sunday.
He said he had agreed to conduct the tests in a meeting on Friday with trade and industry minister Banri Kaieda and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, and the details will be outlined on Monday.
He said suitable testing methods must be created and the results should be used in deciding whether to restart the plants.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama said on an NHK program on Sunday that the safety tests will be one of the requirements for restarting plants after regular inspections so that local residents can feel safe.
He said the tests will show how unexpected problems can be dealt with.
Asked about possible power shortages this summer due to the suspension of nuclear plants, Fukuyama said the administration will do its best to find ways to secure enough electricity for the season.
He also said that people should be given more data on power shortages to help them discuss the topic.
He added that the administration is considering offsetting the shortages with thermal power, renewable energy sources and in-house generators.

Monday, July 11, 2011 05:42
Long-term response needed for radioactive water
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is struggling to deal with radioactive water that is pooling in reactor buildings as the crisis goes into its 4th month.
Water being injected to cool reactors is becoming highly radioactive and accumulating in the basements of reactor buildings. In some facilities, contaminated water is just 20 centimeters from filling the basement.
On July 2nd, Tokyo Electric Power Company stopped using fresh water to cool the reactors and instead, began running a circulatory cooling system. The system pumps out and decontaminates radioactive water before recycling it as a coolant.
But the system has suffered from a series of problems. On Sunday it was suspended for 12 hours as radioactive water leaked from a decontamination device.
Many of the glitches were caused by non-durable materials used in parts of the system.
The power firm is replacing some of the troublesome materials with more durable ones. Preparing a long-term response to deal with contaminated water will require making the entire decontamination device sturdier.

Monday, July 11, 2011 05:42
Govt to release views on restarting reactors
The Japanese government is set to announce its position on restarting nuclear reactors that have been shut down for regular inspections.
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda visited Saga Prefecture on June 29th and requested the restart of the No.2 and 3 reactors at the Genkai nuclear power plant. But last week, Prime Minister Naoto Kan called existing safety standards insufficient and floated his idea of conducting new safety tests on all reactors across the country.
Local governments hosting nuclear plants say they agree with Kan's idea from the perspective of ensuring safety, but feel that it was sudden and the state's stance is unclear.
In response, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano plans to hold a news conference on Monday to clarify the government's position on restarting suspended reactors.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama said on an NHK TV program on Sunday that the new safety tests will be one of the requirements for restarting reactors after routine checks so that local residents can feel safe. He said the tests will show how unexpected problems can be dealt with.
Saga Governor Yasushi Furukawa says he will judge whether to allow the restart of the Genkai reactors after examining the test results. Other local government heads voiced their intention to study the state's views.
Attention is focused on how the new safety tests will affect the timing of reactor resumptions and electricity supplies.

Monday, July 11, 2011 05:42
Govt to compile anti-tsunami land use guidelines
The Japanese government will give anti-tsunami guidelines for land use to municipalities affected by the March 11th disaster.
Municipalities hit hard by the disaster need to make drastic reviews of their previous land-use policies in order to craft rebuilding plans.
Reconstruction Minister Tatsuo Hirano said in an interview with NHK that it is hard to decide whether people can continue to live and work in the same areas as they used to before the disaster. He said that even if seawalls are rebuilt, they could still be breached by giant tsunamis.
Hirano said the government wants to compile guidelines for land use and give them to municipalities as soon as possible.
The guidelines are expected to encourage municipalities to build hospitals and schools on high ground and decide where to place major commercial facilities in the early stages of reconstruction plans.
The guidelines will also call on municipalities to consult experts and the central and prefectural governments to decide where to set up residential zones, because high ground is limited in some areas.

Monday, July 11, 2011 06:58
About 21,000 dead or missing in March disaster
As of Sunday, the number of dead or missing in the March 11th earthquake and tsunami stands at 20,891.
After close study, police and local municipalities think the number is not likely to exceed the number of dead, or missing in the quake and tsunami which occurred in 1896 in the same area. About 22,000 were dead or missing in that disaster.
The National Police Agency says a total of 15,547 people have been confirmed dead. The figure includes those who died in aftershocks on April 7 and 11.
Miyagi prefecture recorded the most deaths at 9,299, followed by Iwate with 4,582 and Fukushima with 1,600.
Police say 5,344 people are still missing.
The number of the missing in Miyagi prefecture stands at 2,807, followed by Iwate with 2,247 and Fukushima with 286.
At the end of March more than 17,000 people were reported missing by relatives, but some were later found alive at evacuation centers, while others were discovered to have been reported twice.

42 of 3/11 victims identified with DNA samples

DNA tests have identified 42 victims of the March 11th quake and tsunami. The samples used in the tests were collected from personal items such as tooth brushes.
The National Police Agency says 15,547 people have been confirmed dead in the natural disaster. Of those, 14,035 or 90.3 percent have been identified.
42 were identified via DNA samples collected from personal objects such as toothbrushes. 12 others were verified through donated blood samples which had been stored at the Japanese Red Cross Society.
Police will continue the work to identify the remains of about 1,500 others, using DNA samples of the missing and their relatives, as well as dental records.

Monday, July 11, 2011 12:50
Cesium found in hay fed to beef cattle
Radioactive cesium far exceeding the legal limit has been detected in hay at a cattle farm in Fukushima Prefecture. The prefecture has been investigating how the cattle became contaminated with the radioactive substance.
Officials took samples of feed and well water at the farm in Minamisoma City on Sunday.
They say cesium far exceeding the government's safety limit of 300 becquerels per kilogram has been detected in the feed.
The farmer says the cows had been kept inside but were fed with hay left outdoors after the March nuclear accident.
Eleven cows from the farm were sent to Tokyo to be slaughtered. The beef from the animals contained levels of cesium that were more than triple the legal limit. The prefecture has asked farmers in the city to suspend beef cattle shipments.
Fukushima Prefecture will continue to investigate the feed and water and check if there were any problems with the way the cattle were raised.

Monday, July 11, 2011 13:13
Makeshift equipment at Fukushima hit by problems
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been struggling for months to bring the plant's troubled reactors under control using makeshift equipment.
Since the March 11th disaster, Tokyo Electric Power Company has installed a number of improvised devices and systems to cool down the reactors and decontaminate radioactive water building up at the plant.
But these makeshift facilities have been plagued by glitches.
Earlier this month, the No. 5 reactor's cooling system was temporarily shut down after sea water leaked from a crack in the system's makeshift hose.
TEPCO says the hose was installed in a wrong way. It is reinstalling it on Monday.
The company says it is necessary to make the plant's makeshift equipment more durable, as it is expected to take some time to bring the reactors under control.
It says the makeshift hosing, in particular, requires more elaborate measures, as it carries highly contaminated water.

Monday, July 11, 2011 13:57
Govt compiles unified plan on stress tests
The Japanese government plans to introduce a two-stage stress test to determine the safety of the country's nuclear power plants.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano outlined the plan at a news conference on Monday.
He said decisions on whether to restart currently idled plants will be based on primary assessments, and that all nuclear reactors will then undergo a second stage safety review to decide if they should be kept in operation.
The second step will be more comprehensive than the first one. It will take into account the progress of the stress tests modeled after a system in the European Union, and the results of investigations into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident.
The assessments will be conducted by the electric power companies, confirmed by the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and approved by the Nuclear Safety Commission, an independent nuclear watchdog.
Edano says the stress tests aim to improve the safety of Japan's nuclear power plants and reassure the public. He says they will be conducted according to new procedures and rules.
The government had been under pressure to compile a unified policy on the stress tests after Prime Minister Naoto Kan abruptly announced the tests last week.
Kan's announcement caused confusion and rifts in the government because it appeared to contradict an earlier request by Industry Minister Banri Kaieda to restart reactors in southwestern Japan, on the grounds that they are safe.

Monday, July 11, 2011 15:10
Edano: Safety tests should be given priority
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says nuclear safety tests should be conducted regardless of the outlook for the electricity supply.
Edano was speaking to reporters on Monday about the government's recent decision to carry out safety checks of all Japan's nuclear reactors.
Edano stressed that nuclear safety should be given priority over the issue of whether there will be enough electricity to meet the demand.
He earlier apologized for the government's unclear policy on restarting nuclear reactors, which has confused municipalities hosting the nuclear facilities.
He said the government will not set a deadline for completing the safety tests but they should be completed as soon as possible. He said the Nuclear Safety Commission, an independent body, and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency will conduct the tests.
He said as long as the facilities are technically safe, a well thought-out plan could avert the possibility of shutting down all 54 reactors at the same time.
Edano said utilities are drafting plans based on scenarios in which all reactors currently stopped for maintenance cannot be restarted.
He said government offices will work with the utilities to ensure stable power supplies in the coming months.

Monday, July 11, 2011 15:10
Minami-Soma starts internal radiation checks
Minami-soma City in Fukushima Prefecture has begun checking the internal radiation levels of its residents.
Two locations in the city have measured radiation of 20 millisieverts or higher per year, a level that prompts the authorities to recommend the evacuation of nearby residents.
State and prefectural authorities are continuing their monitoring with the aim of designating the areas as radioactive hotspots, despite being outside the government-designated evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The residents who were examined at the city-run general hospital on Monday are living near these 2 areas.
After completing a questionnaire, the residents were checked for radiation with a whole body counter.
A 20-year-old man says he's very concerned about the outcome of the tests.
Minami-soma City says it will give priority to checking children as well as adults in the highly contaminated areas. About 7,000 people will undergo the checks by the end of next March.

Monday, July 11, 2011 17:09
Narita air travelers to drop 15% this summer
The number of air travelers using Japan's main international gateway, Narita International Airport, is likely to plunge by nearly 15 percent this summer.
The operator of the airport made the projection based on flight reservation data covering 7-weeks from mid-July through the end of August.
Results show that about 3.4 million people are expected to use the airport during the period. That's down 14.4% from last year.
The operator attributes the drop to a continuing trend among overseas tourists --- such as those from China and Taiwan --- to avoid Japan as a vacation spot since the March earthquake and nuclear accident.
But, it says the overall number of travelers going through Narita is improving slowly, compared to just after the disaster in April, as group tours to Japan gradually resume.

Monday, July 11, 2011 17:31
Saga governor welcomes govt stress test plan
The governor of Saga Prefecture has welcomed the government's announcement, although he has yet to give approval for restarting two reactors at the Genkai nuclear power plant in southwestern Japan.
In his statement released on Monday, Saga governor Yasushi Furukawa wrote that the central government appears to have unified its stance on restarting the reactors after some confusion.
He also indicated that the government should clearly explain to communities hosting nuclear power stations the precise contents of the stress tests and specific procedures.
The statement also called on the central government to fully disclose the test findings, adding that this will help people feel more secure about nuclear power plants.
Later in the day, Furukawa told NHK in Akita City, northern Japan, that he will wait to see the government's detailed procedures for the tests. He added the government should have announced the plan much earlier, although he agrees with the importance of the safety tests.
Furukawa was in Akita to attend a meeting of prefectural governors.
In late June, the mayor of Genkai Town, where the plant is located, had to retract his approval to restart the two reactors after the Prime Minister announced plans to carry out stress tests. The government had previously determined that the plant was safe.

Monday, July 11, 2011 18:56
Rainy season likely over in Japan
The Meteorological Agency has announced that the annual rainy season has likely ended in the quake hit Tohoku region. The rainy season has now been declared over across Japan.
Under a glaring sun on Monday, the mercury shot up to more than 35 degrees Celsius in many parts of Japan.
Kitakata City in Fukushima Prefecture observed the highest-ever temperature for the month of July, at 37.4 degrees Celsius. ...

Monday, July 11, 2011 18:56
Only 23% of donations reach quake victims
Less than one-quarter of some 3.7 billion dollars in donations collected in Japan after the March 11th quake and tsunami has reached the hands of survivors, 4 months after the disaster.
The welfare ministry says that as of last Friday, disaster relief funds sent to the Japan Red Cross Society and the Central Community Chest of Japan from across the country totaled nearly 3.7 billion dollars.
But only about 836 million, or 23 percent, of the total has been distributed.
In the first round of payments, survivors are entitled to receive around 4,400 dollars per family member that died or is missing in the disaster. Nearly 68 percent of more than 1.1 billion dollars disbursed to 15 prefectures has reached its intended recipients.
An additional 1.8 billion dollars have been sent to quake-hit regions for the second round of payments, in which individual municipalities determine their own distribution criteria. But only 3.6 percent of that money has reached survivors' pockets.
The ministry says many affected municipalities are short of manpower and couldn't come up with distribution plans until late June, and that this has caused the slow disbursement.
Citing a lack of staff in the coastal regions affected by the disaster, the ministry is calling on municipalities across Japan to dispatch officials to these areas.

Monday, July 11, 2011 19:35
Fukui still opposed to restarting reactors
An official from the prefecture with the most reactors in Japan says he cannot yet comment on the central government's disclosure on Monday.
The head of Fukui prefecture's environmental safety division, Hakuei Ishizuka, told reporters the central government will release details of the stress tests and their schedule on a later date.
He said the government has still not responded to the prefecture's demand for information about the extent of damage at the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. He said another question not answered is whether the age of the crippled reactors was a factor in the crisis.
Ishizuka said unless the government gives Fukui a reply, the prefecture will not reactivate its reactors.
Ishizuka said the prefecture will keep a close watch on developments and will see whether the planned stress tests provide answers to its questions.

Monday, July 11, 2011 21:52
High level contamination in reactor building found
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it has detected airborne radioactive materials up to 65 times above the government's standard inside the No. 2 reactor building.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has been conducting an investigation inside the 3 reactor buildings and in areas surrounding the buildings since early this month.
On Monday, the plant operator said robots have detected airborne cesium-134 inside the No.2 reactor building ranging from 40 to 65 times above the government's standard.
The buildup of the radioactive air inside reactor buildings is believed to have originated from explosions and steam leaking from the damaged reactors.
TEPCO says that it's necessary to confirm the origin and amount of radioactive materials and to reduce the density of the contamination so that work can begin to bring the reactors under control.


Voices from around

Japan Times:

Leak forces Tepco to temporarily halt water decontamination system
After Tepco discovers leakage of 50 liters of contaminated water and chemicals, the utility suspends the water cooling system while workers make the necessary repairs.

No reports of injuries, damage from M7.3 quake in northeastern Japan
The Japan Meteorological Agency issues its first tsunami warning since June 23, when a magnitude 6.7 quake shook the northeastern region.

Fukushima government inspects farm over beef radiation fears
Fukushima prefectural government tries to determine whether farm's management of feed and water for cows is sufficient in response to the detection of excessive levels of radioactive cesium in the meat of 11 cows shipped from it.

Okada says Japan's reactor 'stress tests' should be shorter than EU's
... "A long-term test similar to the European Union's would have an impact on industries and people's daily lives," Okada told reporters while on a visit to Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture. "The point is how to create Japan's version of the test."
Although Okada had been reluctant to make the stress tests a precondition for resuming operations of reactors suspended for regular maintenance, he said, "We have come to a point where we cannot gain people's understanding under current standards. We have no choice but to take the path of restarting them after they clear the stress tests." ...

Nation lags in renewable energy

Study shows higher ground not high enough for some tsunami-prone communities


Back from the dead:
Astonishing pictures show how Japan is recovering
just three months after tsunami

source : www.dailymail.co.uk


Daruma from Takasaki 高崎 復興祈願 だるま

Print one out and hang it in your prayer corner!

ganbaro !! Nihon
ガンバロー 日本

がんばろう 日本 Ganbaro Nippon !



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  1. Anonymous7/12/2011

    god knows i wish i could do more than wish prayers and blessings -
    it's amazing how generous people in japan seem from here

  2. Gabi - heartfelt sorrow for what the people of Japan are going through - as stated "those memories will never be erased"

  3. Anonymous7/12/2011

    "Do not grieve.
    Misfortunes will happen to the wisest and best of men.
    Death will come, always out of season.
    It is the command of the Great Spirit, and all nations and people must obey.
    What is past and what cannot be prevented should not be grieved for..."

    -- Big Elk, OMAHA Chief

  4. Anonymous7/12/2011


    One with outward courage dares to die;
    one with inward courage dares to live.


  5. Sake World, John Gauntner

    Latest Tohoku Information

    March 11 Damage Assessment
    A recent semi-final assessment of the damages incurred to the sake brewing industry as a result of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami was as below.

    In the Tohoku and Kanto (the region encompassing Tokyo and the prefectures just north) regions, over 270 kura (breweries) sustained some damages. Of those, 15 had the kura or office or both completely destroyed. Nine people lost their lives, all in Iwate.

    On top of that the effect from a drop in exports of not just sake but shochu and awamori as well have been significant. As such, the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers’ Association has asked the government for aid that includes reduced sake taxes and special financing to help the affected brewers rebuild and re-equip.

    It is inspiring to note that in spite of the hardships behind and
    Let us all support Tohoku and Japan
    ahead, not one single brewer has decided to throw in the towel. Suisen of Iwate, hit by the tsunami on national tv, has found an old brewery that had ceased production several years ago and plans to start again almost immediately. The producer of Atagonomatsu and Hakurakusei, Niizawa Jouzouten, sits far inland but was heavily damaged from the earthquake, are following a similar plan and doing it with international assistance as well. See this site for more details on that.

    Let us hope their inspiring actions lead to a successful recovery.



  6. Anonymous7/30/2011

    Thanks for introducing the namazu and earthquake information!