September 11, Sunday

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The seventh month after the earthquake starts!

six months later -
nothing can erase
these memories

. Remember March 11, 2011, 14:46  

today we also remember this

. Nine Eleven, September 11, 2001 .


Artists for Tohoku
11 September · 11:00 - 20:00
Las Chicas - Tokyo Salon/Kyozon, 5-47-6 Jingumae
This event has been created in order to raise much needed funds for the disaster relief of the people of the Karakuwa peninsula (Miyagi prefecture), and Rikuzen-Takata (Iwate prefecture).

source : facebook


my day is just starting.
Please come back in 12 hours.

Gabi reports:

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

Radiation levels in Fukushima (Iitate village) and Tokyo are going down.

. DAILY Radiation Eastern Japan .

cicada chorus -
the silence of meditating
for peace


14,674, have been identified (that is 93%)
1,106 people not yet identified

As of Saturday, the number of
confirmed deaths from the disaster was 15,781,
while 4,086 people remain unaccounted for.
About 83,000 people are still living away from their homes.

TV is full of features about the THEN and NOW after 6 months.
Many want to rebuild on the old sites of their homes, but get no permission yet.
Train lines in Tohoku are on the hold, since the place of the old stations is in the danger zone and there are no definite plans as to where the new communities will be re-built, and how many will be there to use a train service anyway, sincs many have left the region for good.

The radiation problems in Fukushima are also still looming and young couples consider moving out, just to be on the safe side amongst all the mis-information and lack of useful information.


. . Joys of Japan .

Join the Friends on Facebook !


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Drowning accounts for 90% of tsunami victims
Japan's National Police Agency says more than 90 percent of the victims of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami died by drowning. More than half of those that drowned were aged 65 or older.
Ahead of the six month anniversary of the disaster, the agency announced on Friday an update of its analysis of 15,689 fatalities from the 3 hardest-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.
It says 14,204 people drowned when they were swallowed by the tsunami.
The agency says that 4.5 percent of the victims died after being trapped under collapsed buildings or houses, while 1 percent were burned to death.
People in their 70s accounted for most deaths at 24.4 percent followed by those aged 80 or older at 21.8 percent.
March 11th body identification still underway
Police say the remains of 1,106 people have still not been identified 6 months after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The National Police Agency says 15,780 people died in the disaster and that 93 percent of the victims, or 14,674, have been identified.
In the past month, the remains of 269 people have been identified.
As of Saturday, the remains of 93 people had been identified using DNA tests.
The police say they will continue DNA testing with samples offered by family members of the missing to identify the 1,106, along with forensic dentistry.

Saturday, September 10, 2011 16:01
Joint memorial service held in Soma City
A joint memorial service was held in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, on Saturday for victims of the tsunami that hit the region in March.
More than 400 people, including the victims' relatives, attended the service that the city held a day ahead of the 6-month anniversary of the disaster.
Mayor Hidekiyo Tachiya said he will do his best to rebuild the city however hard the task may be, keeping in mind the feelings of all those linked to the disaster.
Representing the victims' relatives, Ayane Abe, who lost her father in the tsunami, said she is not the only one going through the pain, and that she will work toward her goal of becoming a children's nurse.
The attendees then laid flowers on a stand and mourned the victims.
A woman from Miyagi Prefecture who lost her parents in Soma City says she still regrets not having been able to see them for one final time.
She said her pain has not eased even 6 months after the disaster.
In Soma City, 454 people died and 5 remain missing.

Saturday, September 10, 2011 21:48
Noda vows aid for rebuilding Tohoku
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says he will consider local needs for rebuilding disaster-hit prefectures in compiling the 3rd extra budget for this fiscal year.
Noda visited Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures on Saturday, one day before the 6 month anniversary of the March 11th disaster.
At a meeting with the mayor of Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture, Noda said he will do all he can to reflect the requests of local residents in the extra budget.
Later, he visited the municipal building in Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture, that was destroyed by tsunami. He offered a silent prayer to the victims and heard how tsunami higher than 10 meters washed through the city.
Officials from the city and prefectural governments asked Noda to secure enough funds for quick reconstruction of the area. They suggested that it come from the 3rd supplementary budget for this fiscal year as well as a possible allocation in a financial plan for next fiscal year.
Noda told reporters that it is the government's duty to help rebuild the disaster-hit area and protect people's lives. He said he was able to get firsthand knowledge of the damage after listening to the survivors and seeing the destruction with his own eyes.
He said he is now convinced that the tsunami in Rikuzentakata was extremely powerful.
He added he wants to use advice he was given during his visit to the area in preparing his policy speech for the Diet next week and budget allocations afterward.

Sunday, September 11, 2011 - NHK
Disaster recovery still elusive
Sunday marks half a year since the major earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan. The path to recovery still seems far away as many disaster survivors continue to struggle in rebuilding their lives.
As of Saturday, the number of confirmed deaths from the disaster was 15,781, while 4,086 people remain unaccounted for. About 83,000 people are still living away from their homes.
To accommodate evacuees more than 49,000 units of temporary housing have been built. That is 94 percent of the planned number.
Securing jobs remains one of the top priorities. In the 3 hardest-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, the number of people who have lost their jobs or temporarily left work totals about 158,000.
An NHK survey shows that 50 percent of temporary housing residents say they have no prospects for future earnings or will lose their income within a year.
As of July, about 70,000 people were receiving unemployment benefits. But the payments' period is expected to end starting in October. The labor ministry is considering extending the period and offering subsidies to companies that hire the affected people.

Only 5 of 40 hard-hit local communities have drawn up recovery plans. Financial support from the central government is essential for the plans, but how to secure funds remains unclear.

Other recovery challenges include supporting children who have been forced to change schools due to the disaster and the ensuing nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture.
The affected children need psychological care and educational support.

Sunday, September 11, 2011 05:07
Challenges to contain nuclear accident
Six months after the nuclear accident in Fukushima efforts are still underway to bring the crippled reactors under control. The most urgent issue is to achieve stable cooling without increasing radioactive wastewater.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, says temperatures in the No. 1 to No. 3 reactors have lowered to around 100 degrees Celsius. The temperature at the No. 1 reactor was about 400 degrees in late March.
The company has been pouring 15 tons of water into the reactors every day to cool the melted fuel inside. But this process has been producing a massive amount of highly radioactive wastewater.
In June, TEPCO started removing radioactive substances from wastewater through a filtering system that combines US and French-made devices. TEPCO also introduced a Japanese-made device in August.
The operating rate of the filtering system during the past week has exceeded the target of 90 percent for the first time.
85,000 tons of water has been decontaminated so far, but over 100,000 tons of wastewater remains to be treated.
Beside the water, nuclear waste generated during the filtering process is occupying nearly 70 percent of the 800 cubic meter storage space.
TEPCO says the company wants to review its cooling efforts taking into account the amount of wastewater and nuclear waste.
TEPCO president apologizes for nuclear accident
The head of Tokyo Electric Power Company has apologized for the damage caused by the nuclear accident at its power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.
President Toshio Nishizawa released a comment on Sunday, apologizing for the trouble and concern that the accident has caused residents around the plant, other people in Fukushima, and the nation as a whole.
Nishizawa also said that the company is determined to do all it can to permit evacuees to return home as early as possible.
The company has lowered temperatures in the reactors to around 100 degrees Celsius by pouring in cooling water, while decontaminating highly radioactive waste water.
But more than 100,000 tons of untreated waste water remain within the plant.
The major challenge the company faces is to cool the reactors stably without increasing the amount of waste water.
TEPCO intends to review current reactor cooling and water treatment plans to achieve a cold shutdown with reactor temperatures being kept stable and below 100 degrees by January of next year.
NISA renews apology for Fukushima accident
Japan's nuclear safety agency has apologized again for the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on the 6-month anniversary of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami that triggered the problem.
Yoshinori Moriyama of the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency made the comment on Sunday.
Moriyama said many residents of Fukushima Prefecture had to evacuate their homes after the accident and many people now have to worry about radiation in their daily lives.
He said the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, still faces difficulties as the water decontamination system has been plagued by problems. He said the agency wants to do everything it can to stabilize the plant as soon as possible.
He added that the agency will direct TEPCO to upgrade a circulatory cooling system for the reactors as part of a mid-to-long term plan. The utility hopes to reuse decontaminated radioactive water as a coolant and to inject more water into the disabled reactors.

Sunday, September 11, 2011 08:59
Families mourn for victims after 6 months
Bereaved families offered their prayers on Sunday for their loved ones who died in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan.
At Minamisanriku-cho, Miyagi Prefecture, 7 firefighters perished while they were trying to help people evacuate.
The fire department building was destroyed by the tsunami.
One of the bereaved, Setsuko Sato, visited the ruins of the fire department building early Sunday morning.
She offered incense and flowers, praying for her husband Taketoshi Sato.
Taketoshi was a firefighter captain who continued to give instructions by radio to his men when the tsunami hit the building. He was confirmed dead 4 days later.
Setsuko lamented that she knows her husband is not there anymore and she still feels lonely. She said that 6 months have passed and she should look toward the future.
She added that she wants to live long enough to see her hometown beautifully restored.

Sunday, September 11, 2011 10:49
High levels of radiation found in remote areas
Japan's science ministry has compiled a map showing radiation levels in Fukushima and 4 surrounding prefectures, based on the results of an aerial survey.
Removal of radioactive substances will be required in the affected areas.
In the map, levels of radioactivity at locations one meter above the ground are highlighted in different colors.
Red is for areas where the radiation level is 19 microsieverts per hour or higher.
The red band spreads from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to the northwest and extends about 30 kilometers.
Areas with radiation levels of 3.8 microsieverts per hour or above are highlighted in yellow. The figure translates to above 20 millisieverts per year, a threshold in designating an evacuation zone. The yellow area extends beyond the current evacuation zone.
Light green shows levels between 0.5 and one microsieverts per hour. They still are far beyond the annual level of one millisievert which is believed to cause no harm to people. Much of Fukushima Prefecture, southern parts of Miyagi Prefecture, and northern parts of Tochigi and Ibaraki prefectures lie in this zone.
(see map below)

Sunday, September 11, 2011 13:44
6-month anniversary events held for quake victims
Six months have passed since the major earthquake and tsunami devastated northeastern Japan on March 11th.
But the path to recovery still seems far away as many survivors continue to struggle in rebuilding their lives.
On Sunday, memorial services were held in disaster-stricken areas for the victims.
In Minamisanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture, the 71-year-old mother of a town employee who died that day offered bundles of origami paper cranes in honor of her son.
The mother says she had prayed for early recovery of her son's body, but now she just wants to convey her gratitude to him.
The city of Rikuzentakata suffered the largest number of confirmed deaths in Iwate Prefecture.
People who lost their family and friends attended a memorial service at a local Buddhist temple.
A man says wounds in his heart have not healed for the past 6 months, but that he is trying to resolve his feelings at every opportunity to make a new start.
In Minami-soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, near the crippled nuclear plant, residents worked together to decontaminate students' commuting routes so that children can go to school safely when facilities reopen.
A community leader in a district within 30 kilometers from the nuclear plant says residents have to rely on themselves to protect their own community because the central government is so slow in acting.

Sunday, September 11, 2011 16:14
Global nuclear conference opens in Fukushima
Nuclear experts from around the world opened the first symposium on how to deal with radiation exposure following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident.
The symposium is being held in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture.
Some 40 experts from 14 countries are taking part in the 2-day meeting organized by the Nippon Foundation in cooperation with the International Commission on Radiological Protection, or ICRP. The body provides guidance and recommendations on protection from radiation.
A video message by World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan was shown at the beginning of the meeting. She said the international community needs to put experts' knowledge and experiences together to come up with steps against risks from radiation exposure.
ICRP Vice Chair Abel Julio Gonzalez praised Japan, saying the country took consistent measures on radiation exposure at the time of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
At the same time, he pointed to spreading misunderstanding of the risks of internal exposure, regarding it as more dangerous than it actually is. He added that the global community must integrate lessons learned from the Fukushima accident into future international standards on radiation exposure.
The experts will discuss exposure to radiation lower than 100 millisieverts, as its impact on human health is still unknown. They will also talk about how to limit possible exposure and compile recommendations on ways to resolve the Fukushima accident.

Moment of silence observed for disaster victims

A moment of silence was observed in the areas hit by the March 11th disaster on the 6-month anniversary on Sunday.
In Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, people gathered at a hilltop park overlooking the disaster-hit area. They joined hands and offered a silent prayer, as a siren sounded at 2:46 PM, the exact time the massive quake struck 6 months ago.
In Minami Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, about 40 people who evacuated from the no-entry zone near the Fukushima Daiichi plant joined hands in a classroom of a junior high school that is being used as an evacuation center.
In Otsuchi Town, Iwate Prefecture, a memorial service for the victims was held at a fishing port.
About 350 people joined hands and offered a silent prayer, as a siren went off at 2:46 PM. Each person threw a flower into the water to mourn the tsunami victims.

Sunday, September 11, 2011 22:59
Minami Soma residents clean streets for children
Residents of Minami Soma City in Fukushima Prefecture continue to clean up roads used by elementary and junior high school students 6 months after the nuclear accident.
The city's Masuda district is less than 30 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, and residents have been advised to be prepared to evacuate immediately when another emergency situation occurs.
The elementary and junior high schools in the area remain closed.
On Sunday, more than 30 people cleaned up a 500-meter stretch of a road that will be used by children when the schools reopen.
They measured radiation levels as they washed the sidewalks with high-pressure equipment and removed dirt from the sides of the road with spades.
Thanks to their efforts, radiation levels in some places have fallen from 3.6 microsieverts per hour to about one-third of that level.
The head of the district, Hirotoshi Kobayashi, says people are trying to protect the area by themselves.
He says he will work to lower the radiation levels and rebuild a community where children can go to school safely.
Minami Soma City plans to continue cleaning up roads and parks with the help of people from other districts.

Monday, September 12, 2011
Radiation checks on wild plants, animals urged
A Japanese expert is urging detailed checks on wild plants and animals for radioactive contamination after the recent discovery of high levels of radioactivity in a kind of mushroom and a wild boar.
Following the Fukushima nuclear accident, the central government set safety limits on radioactive substances in food. As of Saturday it has screened nearly 20,000 food products. The number includes items analyzed by prefectural authorities.
In March and April, vegetables and raw milk were found to contain unsafe levels of radiation. But recently, radiation levels, if detected, have not exceeded the safety standards.
Meanwhile, on September 3rd, a species of mushroom found in a forest in Fukushima Prefecture was discovered to contain 28,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, an amount far above the safety limit. A wild boar was also found to have radiation amounts about 6 times the safety limit.
Gakushuin University Professor Yasuyuki Muramatsu says radioactive cesium on soil and fallen leaves in forests is easily absorbed by mushrooms and edible plants. He says wild animals like boars accumulate high levels of radiation by eating contaminated mushrooms and plants.
The professor adds that detailed studies should be carried out on wild plants and animals to examine the impact of the nuclear accident on them as wild fauna and flora across Europe have been affected by radiation from the Chernobyl accident.

Monday, September 12, 2011 05:41
Over 70% of municipalities feel recovery work slow
A survey has found that over 70 percent of the municipalities hit hardest by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami feel reconstruction work is making little or no progress even 6 months after the disaster.
NHK conducted a survey covering 42 municipalities in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures, northeastern Japan, from late August to early September.
14 municipalities said reconstruction efforts are making no progress while 17 said such work is making progress, but slowing down.
Regarding the central government's responses, 22 municipalities said they are not completely happy while 4 said they are unhappy. This means more than 60 percent of the municipalities are not satisfied with the state's measures.
The survey also asked the municipalities what they expect from the central government. 41 municipalities replied securing enough funding. 33 said speedy decision and implementation of policies. 19 answered deregulations, including setting up special reconstruction zones.
The Mayor of Shichigahama Town in Miyagi, Yoshio Watanabe, said he wants the state to quickly present its policies and budget as his town alone cannot cover the several hundred million dollars predicted to be needed to realize its rebuilding plan.
The survey also asked 15 municipalities in Fukushima what the central government should do to deal with the nuclear crisis. 12 municipalities said expanding areas to be decontaminated by the state while 8 wanted thorough health checkups for residents. 7 municipalities answered detailed radiation monitoring.
The Mayor of Katsurao Village, Masahide Matsumoto, said that without decontamination, his town cannot proceed with its reconstruction plan. He said the central government should address various issues swiftly.


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels - LIST  

. . . . .

Japan Times:
Today there are many specials about THEN and NOW.

Six months on, few signs of recovery
Six months after the March disasters shattered their lives and communities, survivors are trying to move forward ? but while restoration efforts have made progress in the worst-hit areas, a huge amount of work remains to be done.

Effect of contaminated soil on food chain sparks fears

Six months after the nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima Prefecture, the public's awareness of the threat posed by radiation is entering a new phase: the realization that the biggest danger now and in the future is from contaminated soil.

Noda visits disaster-hit Miyagi areas


Tepco builds frame of cover for reactor No. 1


The truly lost decade since 9/11

A heartrending drive on the rebuilt roads of Tohoku
Before the March 11 tsunami, the Miyako area of Iwate Prefecture was a beloved tourist destination, famous for the beaches of Jodogahama and a national park with majestic views of coves and shimmering Pacific waters.
On March 11, an indented coastline funneled a surge of water into a monster 15 meters high in many areas that killed at least 15,774 people in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
But that coastline still has much to offer travelers:
fresh air, open spaces, and a chance to help the local economy recover, one visitor at a time.

(take your time to read this!)


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 !


. Toys and Talismans from Japan . 


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1 comment:

  1. 03.11. –
    Japan moved suddenly much
    closer to Europe

    3月11日 ―

    Ioana Dinescu

    more from the Akita International Haiku Network