July 5, Tuesday

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radioactive grass
on the pastures of Fukushima -
kill the horses

. Koma 駒 horse folk toys from Fukushima

Many farmers had to evacuate and could not take their livestock.
Some have committed suicide.


Gabi reports:

Threatening letters sent to Kan and Ozawa
. The Political Situation .  INFO .

And new minister Matsumoto has already resigned today.
see below

. . . . . at 19:18
Earthquake M 5.4 at North Wakayama
I was in my kitchen and felt the roof shaking ... This quake was felt in many parts of Japan.

It was felt as 3 in Okayama. And 1 from Fukui down to Oita in Kyushu.

Aaa, another shock when "home alone".

. . . . .at 19:34
Earthquake M 4.4 at North Wakayama
Another jolt that was felt in many parts of Western Japan too.

Magnitude 5.4 quake hits western Japan
Japan's Meteorological Agency says a 5.4-magnitude quake hit western Japan on Tuesday night. No tsunami warning has been issued.
The agency says the quake occurred at around 7:18 PM, Japan Time, in northern Wakayama Prefecture. The quake's focus is estimated at 10 kilometers below ground.
The quake registered an intensity of 5-plus on the Japanese scale of 0 to 7 in Hirogawa and Hidakagawa towns, both in the prefecture. 5-minus was registered in Arida City and Yuasa Town, also in the prefecture.
Jolts with intensities ranging from one to 3 were recorded in wide areas of western Japan.
source : NHK world news


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

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 10:41
Matsumoto submits resignation
Newly appointed reconstruction minister Ryu Matsumoto has submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Naoto Kan. The move comes after a series of remarks angered survivors in the disaster-hit areas in northeastern Japan.
Matsumoto tendered his resignation during a visit with the prime minister on Tuesday morning. Matsumoto had made the controversial remarks during a visit to disaster-hit Iwate and Miyagi prefectures on Sunday.
He told the prefectural governors that the central government will help those who come up with their own proposals for reconstruction, but won't assist those who do not have any ideas.
He and Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai discussed a plan to establish a special economic zone to help rebuild the local fishing industry. The plan was originally proposed by the prefectural government.
The minister demanded that the prefecture form a consensus on the issue or the central government will not take action.
Opposition parties and people affected by the March disaster have criticized Matsumoto, saying his remarks offended the survivors.
In a news conference after tendering his resignation, Matsumoto said he will continue to help with reconstruction efforts as what he called a foot soldier. He urged the governing and opposition parties to join together to tackle the rebuilding.
Kan said he asked Matsumoto not to resign, but that he had made up his mind.
Matsumoto assumed the post on Monday last week. His resignation is likely to deal yet another blow to the Kan government.

. . . . a little later
Survivors welcome Matsumoto resignation
Residents in Japan's disaster-hit areas have welcomed the resignation of reconstruction minister Ryu Matsumoto.
An 80-year-old survivor of the March 11th tsunami in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture, says Matsumoto's resignation is natural as it sounds like he looks down on survivors.
He adds that Prime Minister Naoto Kan should also be blamed for appointing Matsumoto.
An elderly woman says she wants the government to quickly name a successor to start reconstruction.
Also supporting the resignation, a 48-year-old fisherman in Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture, says that in Matsumoto's televised meeting with prefectural governors he appeared so aggressive that he may not listen to survivors' voices.
Another citizen says he is relieved at Matsumoto's quick resignation, but feels that people cannot rely on politicians.
Political reaction to Matsumoto resignation
The resignation of Japan's reconstruction minister, Ryu Matsumoto, has been welcomed by opposition parties and even the ruling coalition.
Nobuteru Ishihara, the Secretary General of the largest opposition Liberal Democratic Party, says he views Matsumoto's resignation as "hara-kiri", or ritual suicide, on behalf of the irresponsible government led by Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Ishihara adds that Kan should take responsibility by stepping down as soon as possible.
Other members of the opposition, including the New Komeito and Communist parties, say that the resignation was necessary and that Kan is to blame for appointing Matsumoto in the first place.
Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama of the governing Democratic Party of Japan says he doesn't understand why Matsumoto made such controversial remarks. He added that the resignation is a matter of course.
Hatoyama says Kan should resign so that a more capable Cabinet led by a new prime minister can facilitate reconstruction of disaster-hit areas.
Edano:Resignation won't shorten Kan's tenure
Japan's top government spokesman has denied that Matsumoto's resignation could force Prime Minister Naoto Kan to step down earlier.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters on Tuesday that both he and Kan were surprised by the minister's offer to quit and tried to talk him out of it.
Edano said Kan is hoping to choose Matsumoto's successor quickly, and that the government will do its best to minimize the impact of his resignation on reconstruction.
Edano brushed aside opposition demands that Kan step down immediately. He said the administration has to compile its basic reconstruction policy without wasting any time.
Governor on reconstruction minister resignation
Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai has commented on the resignation of Ryu Matsumoto as reconstruction minister, saying people in disaster-hit regions must be disgusted.
Matsumoto resigned on Tuesday after serving for only one week as minister in charge of rebuilding the regions devastated by the March 11th disaster. He had been criticized for making insensitive remarks on Sunday during his meetings with the governors of disaster-hit Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures.
Murai said affected people were apparently especially offended by Matsumoto's comment that the central government will help only those who come up with their own ideas for reconstruction.
Murai said disaster survivors are undergoing unspeakable suffering, and that the minister in charge of reconstruction should look at things in the same way that affected people do, and sympathize with them.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 10:41
Govt plans detailed radiation monitoring
The Japanese government will conduct a detailed survey of radiation levels in Fukushima and use the data to review existing evacuation orders and advisories.
In a meeting held on Monday, the government decided to take charge of all radiation surveys being conducted separately by ministries, localities and the operator of the disabled Fukushima nuclear plant.
All data will be collated by the education and science ministry and made public through a dedicated website.
A more detailed survey of radiation will begin later in July, with measurements to be taken every 2 square kilometers inside the no-entry zone and other areas where evacuation is advised.
Priority will be given to schools and streets frequented by children. The government plans to compile a database by the end of August before the children return to school.
Nuclear disaster minister Goshi Hosono has said that he hopes to begin studies around July 17th on whether to cancel one of the advisories that require residents to be prepared for evacuation in case of an emergency.
July 17th is the date when the nuclear plant operator is due to complete the first step of its 2-stage plan to put the crippled reactors under control.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 12:45
Cabinet approves fiscal 2011 2nd extra budget
Japan's government has approved a draft second supplementary budget for fiscal 2011 to fund recovery from the March 11 disaster. The extra budget is worth nearly 2 trillion yen, or about 25 billion dollars.
About 3.4 billion dollars is to be spent on helping Fukushima Prefecture conduct health checks for all its residents in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.
970 million dollars will help people in the disaster-hit areas who have had to borrow money in addition to their existing loans. The government will cover some of their interest payments.
3.8 billion dollars will go toward helping survivors rebuild their homes.
The supplementary budget allows the government to issue up to 25 billion dollars in special bonds to finance a state-backed body that will loan money to Tokyo Electric Power Company. This is to help the plant operator pay compensation to people affected by the nuclear accident.
The second extra budget is regarded as an arrangement preceding a full-scale budget for reconstruction. It amounts to less than half of the first supplementary budget for the current fiscal year.
The government does not plan on issuing deficit covering bonds and will instead use surplus funds from last fiscal year.
The supplementary budget will be sent to the Diet for approval in mid-July.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 13:37
Robot to gauge radiation in No.3 reactor
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it will send a robot inside the No.3 reactor to measure radiation and determine if it is safe to begin injecting nitrogen.
Tokyo Electric Power Company is rushing to implement the procedure, which has already been carried out in the No.1 and 2 reactors to prevent further hydrogen explosions.
High levels of radiation are hampering work inside the building housing the reactor. TEPCO workers on Monday covered parts of the floor with steel plates to block the radiation. TEPCO says the remote-controlled robot is equipped with a special camera that shows radiation in different colors.
The firm plans to begin the operation on Wednesday after preparations on Tuesday. Once it has confirmed that radiation is falling, it will inspect pipes that will be used to inject nitrogen. It says if there are no problems, it will begin the injection before July 17.
Nuclear crisis minister Goshi Hosono said he wants to shrink the evacuation zone around the plant by that date, so attention is focused whether the plant operator can implement the operation as scheduled.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 15:50
Tokyo police to close roads in disaster drill
Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department plans to close major roads in the capital as part of a large-scale drill on September 1st, the 88th anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake.
The plan follows the March 11th disaster when expressways were closed and trains halted in Tokyo, causing huge traffic jams that blocked emergency vehicles.
The drill will simulate a powerful earthquake to examine what happens when traffic is restricted throughout the capital. Major roads in about 100 locations will be closed for about 10 to 15 minutes. Vehicles already on the road will have to pull over, and those headed into the city will have to detour.
The police department says it hopes to examine the flow of traffic amid such major restrictions. It also wants the public to know that driving into central Tokyo in a disaster will be restricted.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 17:53
Emergency generators faulty at 2 nuclear plants
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says the defective components discovered in emergency generators at 2 nuclear power plants have been replaced.
Agency inspections found faulty parts in the back-up generators for the No. 1 reactor at Hokuriku Electric Power Company's Shika plant, and the No. 1 reactor at Kansai Electric Power Company's Mihama plant.
The inspections followed the discovery of defective parts in an emergency generator for a fast-breeder reactor in Tsuruga City, on the Japan Sea coast.
Last December, a crack in a component of the cylinder of the generator for the "Monju" reactor caused a malfunction.
The crack was blamed on weakness of the component due to its lead content having been wrongly mixed with other metals in the manufacturing stage.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 19:08
4 local governments seek to scrap nuclear plants
An NHK survey of local governments with nuclear power plants has found that 4 of 28 respondents are ready to break with nuclear energy.
Last week, NHK asked local governments with nuclear plants, except those in Fukushima Prefecture, how their thinking about the plants has changed since the Fukushima Daiichi crisis began.
Of the 28 prefectures and municipalities that responded, 15 said they could not make an immediate decision on whether to pursue closure of their plants.
Five municipalities said they would not seek to have their plants scrapped, because nuclear power remains a vital source of energy.
Shizuoka Prefecture, however, said it wants to immediately launch a campaign to have its plants decommissioned.
Three other local governments said they hope to launch such campaigns in the near future.
Shizuoka Governor Heita Kawakatsu said the nuclear crisis in Fukushima has underscored the need for a fundamental review of Japan's energy policy. He said the country must make efforts to shift to new sources of energy.
Mayor Tatsuya Murakami of Tokai Village, where a criticality accident occurred in 1999, said it's become impossible to predict the extent of impact a nuclear disaster would have.
He said Japan should take the global initiative in moving toward the abandonment of nuclear energy.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 17:08
Hirano promoted to reconstruction minister
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan has appointed Tatsuo Hirano 平野達男 to replace Ryu Matsumoto as minister for post-disaster reconstruction. Kan decided on Tuesday to promote Hirano to the post after receiving Matsumoto's resignation that morning.
Hirano, aged 57, had been appointed senior vice minister under Matsumoto last week.
Matsumoto had drawn criticism from the opposition and survivors of the March 11th disaster for making insensitive remarks during weekend meetings with governors of disaster-hit prefectures.
Hirano, a former agriculture ministry official, is a second-term Upper House member from Iwate Prefecture.
He had been overseeing relief efforts as senior vice minister with the Cabinet Office since the earthquake and tsunami.
Hirano vows to tackle reconstruction soon
Tatsuo Hirano  has pledged to create an environment to tackle the reconstruction of the disaster-hit areas as soon as possible, while listening to local opinions.
After meeting Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Tuesday, Hirano told reporters that he has a lot on his plate as reconstruction minister, and that he wants to deal with such issues.
He said he knows what to do, through his experience of overseeing relief efforts as senior vice minister of reconstruction.


Voices from around

Japan Times :

Matsumoto rips Tohoku governors
High-handed remarks by newly appointed Tohoku reconstruction minister Ryu Matsumoto roil both residents and the opposition, causing another headache for Prime Minister Kan.

Genkai mayor OKs restart of reactors
Genkai Mayor Hideo Kishimoto decides to give Kyushu Electric permission to restart two suspended reactors at a nuclear power plant his city hosts.

Ozawa plays for quake survivors
Conductor Seiji Ozawa directed a special performance Sunday by the music school he founded in Switzerland, dedicating a piece by Mozart to people in areas devastated by the March 11 quake and tsunami.

Rental car demand spikes in quake-hit Tohoku

Safety of Genkai nuclear plant

Power conservation in summer

Your dream home could become a quake nightmare
... living in a high-rise ... Elevators automatically shut down during an earthquake and can only be turned on again by a certified technician. It might be days before they are operational again. Also, when electrical power is lost through either damage or design (planned blackouts), high-rise living is virtually impossible, and not just because of elevators: Water supply and sewage systems require power. ...


otoshibumi kaeranu hito no tayori tomo      

leaf-cut weevil -
maybe a message from someone
who did not come home

Murakami Hiroshi 村上浩

. Source:  isobekai

The literal transaltion of otoshibumi is "thrown-away letter".

. WKD : Beetles .  

kaeranu hito, someone who is dead.



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  1. Japan cabinet approves $25 bln extra budget for disaster relief

    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's government approved a $25 billion extra budget on Tuesday for disaster relief after the March 11 earthquake that will not require new bond issuance, though bigger spending later this year is likely to strain stretched public finances.


    The extra budget follows a 4 trillion yen ($50 billion) emergency budget passed by parliament in May to cope with the world's costliest natural disaster, caused by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent nuclear crisis. The supplementary budget will be sent to parliament in mid-July.

    Prime Minister Naoto Kan had initially sought bigger spending for the second extra budget, but the unpopular premier scaled back the spending plan in the face of mounting calls for his resignation both within and outside of his ruling Democratic Party.

  2. "radioactive grass
    on the pastures of Fukushima -
    kill the horses"

    your verse is beautiful but so sad