October 11, Remember March 11

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The eighth month after the earthquake starts !

seven months later -
nothing can erase
these memories

. Remember March 11, 2011, 14:46  


. . Joys of Japan .

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Gabi reports:

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


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 07:20
Seven months since the disaster
It's been seven months since the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
In the hardest hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, 2,231 people are still living in 205 shelters, but more and more people are moving into temporary housings.
Police say the death toll as of October 7th stood at 15,761.

Monday, October 10, 2011
All shelters closing in hard-hit Ishinomaki
Officials in the city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture are closing the last remaining shelters for survivors of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. Residents and volunteers have renewed their vow to rebuild their community.
About 50 of them gathered on Monday at one of the last remaining evacuation centers. All shelters will be closed on Tuesday because city authorities have finished building temporary housing units.
The survivors presented letters of gratitude and flowers to the volunteers who helped run the shelter. Some of them performed a traditional lion dance.
They also shared memories of the 7 months they spent at the evacuation center.
One man in his 60s said he will be sad to be separated from other survivors because they supported each other. He said he will hold onto the memory of the shelter and move forward. He also vowed to make a fresh start and return to where he used to live.
Ishinomaki is one of the areas in Japan's northeast that was hit hardest by the earthquake and tsunami. About 50,000 people were staying at the city's 250 evacuation centers at one point.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 03:37
Onagawa residents move into temporary housing
Residents in the disaster-hit Onagawa Town in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, began moving into new temporary housing on Monday.
About 220 Onagawa residents are still living in shelters.
Architect Shigeru Ban designed 2- and 3-storey temporary houses made from shipping containers. The town built 189 new residences on a baseball field.
Onagawa is surrounded by mountains and has limited space for construction. Teiji Kobayashi from the Onagawa office in charge of the town's reconstruction said it was difficult to secure land. He also said that the multi-storey housing would attract attention and cheer up those who live there.
(I saw a feature about it, quite problematic, since the many of the old people can not climb the stairs to the second or third floor, it seems noisy to the neighbours below you and insulation against the cold is another problem.)

Monday, October 10, 2011
IAEA team continues observing decontamination
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency have observed the Japanese government's experimental decontamination of a farm in Iitate Village. The land is in Fukushima Prefecture, inside the government-designated evacuation zone.
The 12 experts on the IAEA team arrived in Fukushima on Sunday to give advice about effective methods to clear away radioactive substances.
They visited a rice paddy on Monday where the experimental decontamination is being carried out.
Government officials explained radiation levels were reduced by 75 percent per kilogram of soil after workers removed 4 centimeters of top soil. They also said the dose of radiation in unpolished rice was about 0.1 percent of that of soil.
IAEA experts say these radiation levels are low and pose no problem.
They also inspected a site that uses 400 degree Celsius heat to process plants containing radioactive substances.
Government officials said they contained radioactive cesium within the plants when they converted them into charcoal. They said this method could help reduce the weight of plants. An IAEA member said it would be necessary to work out a plan to effectively burn massive amounts of plants.
The IAEA experts are meeting Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato on Tuesday, their last day in the prefecture.

JETRO reaches out to disaster-affected firms

Japan's government-related trade promotion group is going to organize fairs in China to help small firms recover from the March 11th disaster.
The Japan External Trade Organization says it will hold events in mid-October in Shanghai and Chengdu in Sichuan Province.
21 companies from 7 prefectures will exhibit their general merchandise, along with traditional crafts such as iron kettles and lacquer ware.
JETRO officials will advise the businesses on promoting their products in China.
Small companies in Japan's disaster-hit areas are gradually resuming production. They face a number of hurdles, including a lack of business partners.
JETRO says overseas demand for Japanese daily goods and crafts is growing because of their high quality and safety standards.

Motorcycle sales pick up pace since March disaster
Motorcycle sales in Japan are projected to post their first increase in 6 years in response to growing demand for emergency transportation.
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association says sales between January and September were up 5.8 percent from a year earlier.
It says sales made a noticeable jump after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in both disaster-hit regions and the greater Tokyo area.
The manager of a motorcycle shop in central Tokyo says people who experienced severe traffic disruptions after the disaster are buying 2-wheelers to prepare for emergencies.
A motorcycle industry group says it will ask local governments to open more parking lots for motorbikes. It also plans to start a service to enable riders to use their mobile phones to search for parking spots.
Domestic motorcycle sales in Japan have been falling mainly because the number of young people is in decline. Annual sales in 2010 were a little over 420,000 units. That is about a quarter of the figure in 1990.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 12:55
Govt reviews nuclear power generation costs
Japan's Atomic Energy Commission is creating a new estimate of the cost of nuclear power as part of a review of the country's nuclear policy.
For the first time, it will take into account the cost of compensation for possible nuclear accidents.
The review of Japan's policy on nuclear power use, research and development had been suspended after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March. It resumed last month. A subcommittee tasked with calculating the cost of nuclear power was set up by the commission on Tuesday.
Acting commission head Tatsujiro Suzuki said it will be the first cost assessment since the Fukushima accident, and will gain attention both at home and abroad.
He said he hopes to conduct an objective estimate in which the data as well as premises and procedures of the calculation are transparent.
The subcommittee will calculate the cost of recycling spent nuclear fuel by extracting plutonium, a main pillar of the current nuclear policy. It will estimate the cost of discarding it as waste as well.
It will also debate how far to include the costs of compensation, decontamination and reactor decommissioning after nuclear accidents.
While the commission plans to release its overall cost estimates by March, projections for the costs of accidents will be submitted to a government panel now reviewing Japan's energy policy before the end of this month.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 16:37
Daycare center near Fukushima plant reopens
A daycare center some 20 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has reopened for the first time since the accident there in March.
18 children aged 2 months to 5 years arrived with their parents at the center in Minami Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, on Tuesday.
The facility decided to reopen when the Japanese government lifted its evacuation advisory for the city on September 30th.
Before reopening, the center reportedly took decontamination measures such as removing topsoil from its playground.
The head of the center said parents are understandably worried about the effects of radiation, so he wants to continue efforts to ensure the children's safety.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 19:13
Decontamination center opens in Date City
A public support center for residents seeking to remove radioactive material on their own has opened in Date City, Fukushima Prefecture.
Date is located about 60 kilometers northwest from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, but radiation levels remain high in some parts of the city. Officials therefore plan to decontaminate the entire city.
At an opening ceremony for the center on Tuesday, Mayor Shoji Nishida said that the center will offer technological support to residents who want to clear their neighborhood of radiation as soon as possible.
The center is staffed by municipal employees and 2 workers from a company that specializes in decontaminating nuclear facilities.
The staffers measure radiation levels, lend equipment for free, and give advice on how to remove radioactive material and ensure safety during the work.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 19:13
Tokai mayor wants nuclear reactor decommissioned
The mayor of Tokai Village, north of Tokyo, has called on the government to decommission a nuclear reactor at a local power plant.
Tatsuya Murakami met the minister in charge of the nuclear crisis, Goshi Hosono, in Tokyo on Tuesday to discuss the Tokai Daini plant, located about 110 kilometers from Tokyo.
The plant of the Japan Atomic Power Company automatically shut down after the March 11th earthquake, and has since been undergoing regular inspections.
The mayor told Hosono that one million people live within 30 kilometers of the facility.
Murakami said the reactor is more than 30 years old, and that the public has lost confidence in the government's nuclear safety body. He said he cannot consent to a resumption of the plant's operations.
Hosono responded that he will consider the mayor's valuable suggestion.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 20:52
Radiation checking facility opens
A facility that allows consumers to check radiation levels of food and other items has opened near Tokyo.
On Tuesday, about 20 people including housewives brought rice, water and vegetables to the facility in Kashiwa City. The facility was started by a computer software firm owner.
Kashiwa is about 200 kilometers from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Radiation levels higher than those in surrounding areas have been detected in the air in the city.
The customers received explanations from staff members while using radiation counters. Results were shown in about 20 minutes.
A woman in her 40s said she checked rice because she's worried about her child, and that she was relieved because no radioactive substances were detected.
The facility charges about 13 dollars per use of a counter that can detect more than 20 becquerels per kilogram, and about 50 dollars per measurement to an accuracy of over 10 becquerels. The prices are lower than those of other test facilities.
The owner plans to increase the number of counters from the current 6 to 8.
(It is unfair that users have to pay for this. The bill should go to TEPCO! )


Kizuna: Fiction for Japan

March 11, 2011 - Three prefectures in northeastern Japan are devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, and a massive tsunami that takes the lives of 20,000 people.

April 2011 - 75 authors from 11 countries came together to collaborate on a mixed-genre anthology of short stories to benefit the orphans of the disaster-stricken Tohoku area.

Horror, humor, human drama, science fiction, fantasy, absurdist, bizarro, weird, new wave, bugpunk, Cthulhu, Sherlock Holmes, historical fiction, "I" stories, crime, and much more.

Of the 75 stories in the anthology, a great portion of them were written for this anthology, including the Jerry Cornelius short "Walking the Hog" by Michael Moorcock. A fabulous collection!

Royalties of this anthology go to the NPO Smile Kids Japan in an effort to support the orphans in the tsunami-struck areas of Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi (Tohoku).

ISBN/EAN13: 1466223170 / 9781466223172
source : www.createspace.com


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels - LIST  

. . . . .

Japan Times:

IAEA team inspects Fukushima school after decontamination work
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency visit an elementary school where work has already been done to remove radioactive substances for soil.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 13:42 - NHK
Japan to continue tsunami support
Japan's Meteorological Agency says it will continue to provide tsunami information to Indian Ocean countries until the new warning system is confirmed to be operating properly.
The Japanese agency says it expects the performance checks on the new system to be completed between late 2012 and early 2013.
The agency, along with the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, has been issuing information since 2005 on tsunami to countries around the Indian Ocean.
Japan has provided expected arrival times and heights of tsunami based on data it obtains on earthquakes and tide levels from observation points around the world. It does this for earthquakes with magnitudes of 6.5 or higher.
The Meteorological Agency has also sent staff members to and invited officials from countries along the Indian Ocean for training in the use of tsunami warning systems.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 15:14
370 companies bankrupt following March quake
A survey has found that nearly 400 companies have gone bankrupt in Japan as a result of the March 11th earthquake.
Private credit research firm Teikoku Databank says at least 373 companies have collapsed in the 7 months since the disaster. Total liabilities amounted to 624 billion yen, or about 8 billion dollars.
The number of bankruptcies is almost the same as occurred in the three years following the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995.
Construction firms topped the list with 63 bankruptcies, followed by hotels and inns with 32 and clothing companies with 23.
The report says some retail and service firms located far from the disaster area have also collapsed, affected by a drop in consumer spending.
The researchers say they expect the number of business failures to rise, as nearly 2,500 companies are still unable to operate because of damage to their facilities.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 18:02
All rice in Fukushima Pref. cleared for shipment
All rice harvested in Fukushima Prefecture this year has been cleared for shipment, with levels of radioactive material below the government set standard.
The results of final post-harvest tests at 37 locations in Nihonmatsu City and Miharu Town were released on Wednesday. Levels of radioactive material at all sites were below the government set limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram.
After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March, the prefecture carried out pre- and post-harvest tests at more than 1,700 locations in 48 municipalities where rice was planted this year.
Rice planting has not been allowed in the no-entry zone and evacuation zone around the facility and where more than 5,000 becquerels of cesium was detected in soil.
(I saw this on TV, the farmers were almost in tears ...)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 18:43
Japanese sake tested for radiation
Japan's tax officials have conducted preliminary radiation checks on sake and other alcoholic beverages in the wake of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The National Tax Agency conducted a trial test on Wednesday ahead of extensive assessment. The agency will conduct tests of all breweries and factories located within 150 kilometers of the troubled plant. Brewing facilities outside the radius will also be randomly tested.
Checks will investigate if either water used for brewing or alcoholic products have radioactive materials. At the trial on Wednesday a testing apparatus called a survey meter for measuring radiation was used. The officials poured sake and wine to the equipment and recorded the results.
The officials say they only detected normal levels of background radiation.
The agency says that if high levels of radioactive materials are detected, it will send samples to a government-backed alcoholic research institute in Hiroshima, western Japan for detailed analysis.
If radioactive materials above the government-set limit are detected in the analysis, the agency will notify related prefectures and ask them to take necessary measures, including banning shipments.
The agency plans to carry out the tests at 6 of its regional tax bureaus as early as next week.
The agency will release all test results on its website.
Rice and barley, the main ingredients for the alcoholic beverages, have already been tested for radiation.
The agency hopes the testing will put consumers at ease.

. . . . . Japan Times

Radioactive cleanup to be covered by state
The central government will be responsible for removing radioactive materials from all areas with levels exceeding 1 millisievert per year, according to an Environment Ministry preliminary report that stops short of saying where the waste will be temporarily, or permanently, stored.

Tourism blitz: 10,000 to get free flights to Japan
The Tourism Agency will give round-trip tickets to 10,000 people around the world to help reverse the plunge in foreign tourists since the March 11 disasters.

Facility in Chiba lets public test for radiation

IAEA group praises cleanup effort

Rengo takes an anti-nuclear stance

Nuclear fears reawaken mass anger

Sept. 19 saw an unprecedented tens of thousands of people gather in Tokyo to protest nuclear power, surprising even the participants.
... Yasunari Fujimoto, executive director of the antinuclear organization Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs, known as Gensuikin 原水禁, one of the organizers of the Sept. 19 protests, said more demonstrations are in the works.
"Goodbye to Nuclear Power Plants Rally"


Japan - A Land of Tragedy

The 11/03 earthquake and subsequent tsunami was the second nation killer tragedy to hit the Japanese in the last hundred years, the potency showing in the failure of the two nuclear power stations that will have reprocussions for many decades to come.

Japan though has cone through it before, recovering from Hiroshima and Nagasaki they have learned to adapt and cope with radiation by falling back on traditional values that help their nation in times of trial.

Haiku and haibun, tanka and other forms of Japanese and Western verse on the topics of Japan, celebrating its spirit that helps it resist and recover all the tragedies that befall it, from war to earthquakes to man made and natural nuclear disasters.

Poetry of Tomas O Carthaigh, Irish poet from Offaly.
source : www.writingsinrhyme.com


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. Tokyo under illusion that things are normal while Fukushima remains a war zone

    We are well into autumn. And despite the growing sense in the Tokyo metropolitan area that things are now all right -- with train services back to pre-disaster schedules and the regret we once felt over our wasteful consumption of electricity dissipating -- Fukushima remains a war zone.

    It was reported on Oct. 7 that the Watari district of Fukushima was not designated by the government as a "specific evacuation recommendation spot."

    The following day, at an information session held for local residents at Watari Elementary School, participants demanded to know why their district was excluded from the list when it was a dangerous place for children to be, to which a government official responded: "It's not a final decision."