- March 11, 2013 - Remember 2011

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The third year after the earthquake starts !

two years later -
nothing can erase
these memories

March Eleven -
the power of death
and life

. Remember March 11, 2011, 14:46  

. Hokusai : The Great Wave and the Tsunami .

In Retrospect
. - The End of the Year 2011 - .


Two Year Anniversary of Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami
Michael Mikulewicz
Date: Monday, March 11, 2013 - 04:00
Today marks the second anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, also known as the Great East Japan Earthquake. The disaster, which involved a 9.0-magnitude earthquake followed by a devastating tsunami wave, cost the lives of over 16,000 people with almost 3,000 reported as missing. The infrastructural damage caused by the earthquake and the tsunami amounted to tens of billions of dollars.

While schools, roads, or power lines can be easily rebuilt, the disaster left a much more long-lasting effect in the Fukushima Prefecture, where the tsunami wave led to a triple nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The meltdown was the second largest in human history after Chernobyl, and left thousands of people fleeing deadly radiation in its immediate aftermath.

Two years later, the tragedy of the Fukushima Prefecture residents is far from over. The Japanese people have been struggling with the material hardships and health problems caused by the calamity. The media, local and international non profits, as well as the victims themselves report that the Japanese government has displayed a glaring lack of transparency with regard to health risks associated with the radiation and the current technical status of the affected nuclear reactors. As a result, many victims have been forced not only to struggle for their day-to-day survival but also to fight for their basic civil rights.

Inadequate compensation as well as contradictory and misleading radiation level reports are only some examples of the issues Fukushima refugees need to face on a daily basis.
source : www.goodspeaks.org/event


. . . Joys of Japan . . .

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List of Tohoku Initiatives

This is a {preliminary} list of groups, individuals, and institutions active in the disaster hit area of Tohoku in northern Japan, or of projects elsewhere in Japan that can serve as good practice examples for reconstruction.
In its current state,
it represents an unsystematic, broad collection of various projects of differing scopes and scales. In the long-run, however, we aim to provide a systematic database and map of who is doing what, where, how, and with which success in the fields of alternative energy, community building, multi-generation housing, transportation, architecture, master plans, agriculture, economic development, and art & design.
source : tpf2.net/initiatives

Japan earthquakes 2011
Visualization map
source : www.youtube.com


Tomorrow, March 11, is an important day for Japan - the second anniversary of the March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake/tsunami.
To mark this day, our Minnesota-based organization, N-dimensional Japan, will have a special screening and discussion of
"Pray for Japan 〜心を一つに〜"
to remember the 15,881 quake victims, 2,668 missing people and still numerous refugees. The film was produced and directed by the filmmaker Stu Levy, an American living in Japan. He filmed the tsunami aftermath during his trips to Tohoku as a volunteer and over a period of 6 weeks, captured over 50 hours of footage.

Taisaku Nogi
University of Minnesota

Pray For Japan Official Trailer #1 (2012) HD Movie
source : www.youtube.com


Gabi reports:

March eleven -
I turn the calendar leaf
with a heavy heart  

"Miracle lone pine" replica at tsunami-hit coast
A pine tree that survived the March 11th tsunami 2 years ago has been restored and built in the pine grove where it used to stand on the Pacific coast in Rikuzentakata City, northern Japan.
The original tree was the sole survivor in the disaster among some 70,000 pines that lined the coast before March 11th, 2011. Dubbed the "miracle lone pine", it became a symbol of hope for reconstruction, but was felled last September because it was dying.
The trunk, which was treated with a preservative, was installed last Saturday at the exact place the original tree stood.
The monument was completed on Wednesday, as replica branches and leaves about 7.7 meters high and 15 meters wide were lifted by a crane and attached to the trunk about 18 meters from the ground.

‘miracle’ pine tree
now a standing monument
with anti-decay

- Shared by Santíago Víllafanía -
Joys of Japan, 2013


Bulletins from NHK Online

Radiation in Fukushima 80km zone falls by 40%
Government officials say radiation levels within 80 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant decreased by 40 percent in the 12 months leading up to November, 2012.

Google begins Street View photo shoot in Fukushima
Google has started taking photos for its Street View service in a Japanese town where all residents have been evacuated since the Fukushima nuclear accident.
The Internet giant began the photo shoot on Monday in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture, by request of its mayor. The town was hit by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11th, 2011, that also disabled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Reconstruction still far away for 6 in 10 people
An NHK survey has found that nearly 2 years after the March 11th disaster, a majority of people in northeastern Japan are not satisfied with the rate of reconstruction. NHK interviewed residents affected in the 3 hardest-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima between December and February. More than 1,000 people responded.
About 59 percent said they do not feel that reconstruction is moving ahead in their communities. Some 29 percent noted a delay in rebuilding.
About 12 percent said reconstruction has made relatively good headway, while less than one percent said it has progressed faster than expected.
Asked for reasons for their negative views, 53 percent said they face housing problems. Nearly 33 percent said levees and fishing ports are yet to be rebuilt, while almost 23 percent said evacuees have not returned.
NHK also asked if they want to return to their old communities. A total of 35 percent said they have already returned or plan to do so. But about 40 percent said they want to return but cannot. Nearly 24 percent said they don't want to.
More than 60 percent of those who do not want to return said they are concerned about tsunami.
More than one-third of those who want to return but cannot cited a delay in radiation decontamination, and another one-third had housing problems.

Many displaced Fukushima residents won't return
An NHK survey suggests that many Fukushima residents displaced by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in March 2011 are not planning to return to their former communities.
NHK conducted a survey from last December to this February. Of the 352 people who responded, 17 percent said they want to return and will do so. 10 percent said they have already returned home and will continue to live in the community.
52 percent of respondents said they want to return but can't and 19 percent said they don't want to return.

Japan begins operating new tsunami warning system
Japan has begun operating a new tsunami warning system based on lessons learned from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Government to begin decontamination project
Japan's government hopes to start as early as May a model project to decontaminate areas with high levels of radiation around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

70% of disaster victims still complain of disorder
An NHK survey suggests that about 70 percent of East Japan disaster and Fukushima accident victims still suffer from disorder or feel unwell 2 years after the March 2011, incidents.
The survey was conducted from December to February in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures. About 1,000 people answered on whether their physical conditions have changed.
37 percent of them said they tend to feel low. Nearly one out of 3 people answered they cannot sleep well. One out of four complained of starting to take medicine. 23 percent said they have higher blood pressure.
The survey suggested that 7 out of 10 people began to complain of their physical condition.
Such complaints increase to 75 percent among those over 65 years old. More people said they have trouble walking than they did one year ago.
In contrast, the rate was 52 percent for people less than 30 years old. Fewer people complain of their health in that age bracket.
Tohoku University Professor Ichiro Tsuji says some of the health problems for those middle-aged and older come from the vague roadmap for reconstruction in the area. He stresses the importance of economic revival as well as providing job opportunities, saying medical care is not enough.
Mar. 9, 2013

Yellow handkerchiefs to pray for disaster victims
About 2,000 yellow handkerchiefs were hung on Sunday at a temple in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, to remember the victims of the March 2011 disaster.
Volunteers helping disaster survivors held a memorial service at a temple in the city, ahead of the anniversary of the disaster on Monday.
About 2,000 yellow handkerchiefs carrying messages from people in other parts of Japan are pinned to lines in the compound of the temple.
The messages express support for the affected regions and the wish that everyone could live with a smile. Visitors prayed for the victims in front of the temple's main hall, and read the messages.
A 65-year-old woman who lost her husband and sister-in-law in the tsunami said she tried to move forward but still finds that everything is like a dream even after two years.
Mar. 10, 2013

44% of Ishinomaki elderly may require nursing care
A series of surveys shows that more than 40 percent of elderly people in the disaster-hit city of Ishinomaki in northeastern Japan may require nursing care in the future. The figure is 19 percentage points higher than the national average.
A team from the health ministry conducted four surveys with 990 older people in the city in Miyagi Prefecture on their health and living conditions between July 2011 and last December. The city was hit hard by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11th two years ago. Some of the respondents are living at temporary homes.
In the first survey, 27 percent of them were found to be at risk of requiring nursing care in the future. The figure continued to increase afterward, reaching 44 percent in the fourth survey.
People who said they walk by themselves to distant places fell from 73 percent to 56. Those who spend most of the time at home lying down surged from 3 percent to 9.
Professor Ichiro Tsuji of Tohoku University Graduate School, who conducted the surveys, says elderly people in disaster-hit areas have less chance to go outside due to the loss of work and other reasons.
He says less activity inside small temporary homes led to the decline in their physical capability and urged more opportunities for them to move their bodies, such as exercise lessons.
Mar. 10, 2013

Anti-nuclear protest held in Tokyo
A major anti-nuclear protest was held in Tokyo on Sunday, one day before the 2nd anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The natural disaster caused an accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The rally was organized by a civic group that holds weekly demonstrations every Friday in front of the prime minister's office and the Diet.
The participants began marching from a park in central Tokyo to the government office district. They chanted slogans calling for the abolition of nuclear plants.
The group's representatives met former Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other officials near the Diet building. They expressed their opposition to the resumption of nuclear power generation and demanded the closure of all nuclear plants in Japan.
The former leader of the Democratic Party of Japan was prime minister at the time of the Fukushima accident.
. . . One of the organizers, Misao Redwolf, said last summer's huge protest was an unusual phenomenon. She said people were angry that a nuclear power plant was allowed to resume operation while the Fukushima problem is still unresolved.
She said similar rallies are being held in more places across the country and the number of anti-nuclear activists has not decreased.
Mar. 10, 2013

Japan marks March 11th disaster anniversary
Japan is observing the second year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan on March 11th, 2011. A magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered tsunami waves over 10 meters high. They inundated coastal areas from northeast Japan to the Kanto region.
The tremor's effects were evident in the northeast, and in central Japan, as well.

The government says at least 20,851 people died or remain missing. The figure consists of the confirmed deaths of 15,881 people...2,668 who are still missing...and 2,303 others who died after evacuating.
Officials and residents across the affected areas will hold memorial services for the victims on Monday.
The central government is holding a ceremony in Tokyo. A moment of silence will be observed at 2:46 PM, Japan Time -- the exact moment the earthquake struck.
Government figures show about 315,000 people were still living in temporary housing at the end of February.
There are plans to eventually build about 23,000 public housing units in 8 prefectures for those who cannot rebuild their homes. But only 84 units were completed as of last month.
Radiation decontamination work is also delayed. Local municipalities have only managed to accomplish such procedures in 19.7 percent of about 179,000 households.
Government figures also show a significant population decline in the hardest hit areas of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
Central and local governments are promising to speed up the reconstruction work and provide the affected communities with blueprints for future projects.
Mar. 10, 2013

Kites flown in memory of disaster victims
Lantern memorial services in Morioka City

Lyon sends "stand up" message with Fukushima dolls
French regional officials chose dolls from Fukushima that can never be knocked down, as the centerpiece of their exhibition to cheer up Japan's disaster survivors.
The French city of Lyon opened the week-long exhibition on Monday, marking the 2nd anniversary of Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in March 2011.
Along with photos of the disaster-stricken northeast, about 20 dolls are on display. The paper mache dolls from Fukushima have weights in their bases. When they're knocked down, they always return upright.
The dolls' faces and designs were drawn by celebrities, including French actor Alain Delon, acclaimed French chef Paul Bocuse and fashion designer Kenzo Takada.
Takada said he hopes Japan's disaster-survivors will remember that the world is behind them.

56% of disaster survivors less content with jobs
More than half of the survivors of the March 11th, 2011 disaster say they are less satisfied with their jobs.
NHK conducted a survey in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures from December to February, ahead of the 2-year anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. The 3 prefectures suffered the most damage.
56 percent of nearly 610 main wage earners say they are less satisfied with their jobs than before the disaster. 36 percent say their job satisfaction remains at around the same level, while about 9 percent say they are more satisfied.
60 percent of those who express less satisfaction cite lower incomes as the reason.
29 percent say they have a weaker sense of fulfillment, and 16 percent cite uninteresting jobs.
Many say the disaster forced them to quit farming and fishing and find different jobs. Others say their businesses are struggling due to the declining population.
The number of job openings in areas affected by the disaster has been rising mainly in the construction industry. In January, Miyagi reported the highest ratio of job offers to job seekers among all prefectures.
The Reconstruction Agency says although many jobs are available in the affected areas, they are not suitable for job seekers. The agency says it will try to improve the situation by helping people find jobs that meet their needs.
Mar. 11, 2013

Less than 1% of food exceeds new cesium limits
Less than one percent of food in Japan has been found to contain radioactive cesium above the legal limit.
In April last year, the government tightened permissible levels of cesium in food products from the provisional limits put in place following the Fukushima nuclear accident.
The current standard for staples such as vegetables, rice and fish is 100 becquerels of cesium per kilogram. The limit for baby food and milk is 50 becquerels, while that for drinking water is 10 becquerels.
Health ministry officials say 17 prefectures --- including Fukushima, Ibaraki and Tokyo --- conducted tests on more than 250,000 items between April last year and the end of February this year.
They said that cesium limits were exceeded in 2,200 cases, or point-87 percent of the total.
Fish including ainame, or greenling, and sole was found to have been contaminated with cesium above the limit in 1,015 cases. Fresh produce, including Shiitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots, was found to have exceeded the limit in 632 cases.
Producers voluntarily refrain from shipping the products that exceed the limit to market, and they are not distributed to consumers.
The government will order a compulsory suspension of the food item if excess contamination is found in a wide area or in multiple locations.
As of March 5th, more than 130 food products from 14 prefectures have been suspended.
Mar. 11, 2013

Fukushima fishermen continue test catches
A group of fishers living near the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is taking part in an investigation looking into the effects of radiation on marine life.
The fishers come from the City of Iwaki about 40 kilometers from the plant. They have not been able to conduct commercial fishing since the 2011 disaster. The test fishing began soon after the accident.
The fishers sailed to an area about 1 kilometer off the coast on Monday morning. They caught greenling, octopus and other species that will be tested for radiation.
Later, one of the men, Tatsuo Niitsuma, who lost his home and a daughter in the tsunami, visited the site of his former home where he placed flowers on the ground.
He then burned incense at a nearby beach to prey for his daughter who is still missing.
Niitsuma says he thinks that going to sea to catch fish is an act to mourn his daughter.
He says he will continue to catch fish for the radiation test even though it is difficult not knowing when he will be able to resume commercial fishing.
Mar. 11, 2013

Population outflow continues in Fukushima

An NHK survey has found that Fukushima Prefecture, the site of the 2011 nuclear accident, continued to see a major population outflow from last year to this year.
The survey covered 3 prefectures hit hardest in the March 11th disaster in northeastern Japan.
NHK looked into the numbers of those who moved in or out of the 127 municipalities in Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate prefectures during the 11 months to February 1st.
A net total of slightly more than 9,000 people moved out of the 3 prefectures. The number compares with a net outflow of some 44,000 in one year after the disaster.
Fukushima Prefecture lost more than 12,000 residents during the 11 months.
Iwate Prefecture also saw a net drain of almost 2,500 people.
But Miyagi Prefecture posted an increase of almost 5,700. It was a reversal from a net outflow of nearly 6,900 in the year after the disaster.
Cities in Fukushima Prefecture suffered the largest net losses. Koriyama, Iwaki and Fukushima lost about 2,300, 1,700 and 1,600 people, respectively. About 90 percent of the prefecture's municipalities registered net drains.
A professor at Japan Women's University, Takashi Abe, says the continued outflow from Fukushima Prefecture showed the magnitude of the nuclear accident's impact.
Abe says Sendai in Miyagi prefecture, the largest city in Tohoku region, has been attracting the moving residents, including people from Fukushima Prefecture, as the city has become a center of reconstruction.
Mar. 11, 2013

Lanterns floated to commemorate 3/11 victims

Family members of disaster victims in Iwate, northeastern Japan, have commemorated their loved ones with floating lanterns in a riverside ceremony.
A volunteer group from Yamada Town organized the event on Monday evening, the 2nd anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami. About 800 of the town's residents were lost in the disaster.
The participants each lit about 100 paper lanterns and floated them down the river.
..... Mar. 11, 2013

source : www3.nhk.or.jp


The Japan Times:

A microfunding scheme managed by Tokyo-based Music Securities Inc. is supporting the reconstruction of businesses disrupted by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that slammed the Tohoku region.

Faulty equipment checks prompt NRA safety inspection of Monju
... The authority will also investigate whether the operator of the plant in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, has been appropriately managing its fuel replacement unit inside the reactor that was repaired last August following an accident in 2010.

Tsunami ‘Noah’s Ark’ tsunami lifeboat ...
The boat, which some have called a contemporary Noah’s Ark, is 8.4 meters long and weighs 3.5 tons, with room for up to 35 people and water and food supplied. The boat also has toilet facilities and can stay afloat for around one week.
The boat is designed to serve as a closed shelter to accommodate the elderly and toddlers who cannot escape quickly in the event of a disaster.

Fukushima no-go district towns urged merged
The eight municipalities hit particularly hard by the nuclear crisis in Fukushima Prefecture need to set a vision for the future that includes their possible merger, Toshitsuna Watanabe, mayor of Okuma, said in a recent interview.
He added that the lack of agreement on temporary storage sites for radioactive soil is being compounded by the total absence of final disposal sites.

Two years after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami led to the triple-meltdown catastrophe at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant in 2011, the entire population of Okuma remains evacuated. The town, which is inside the no-go zone designated by the central government, has relocated its administrative operations to the city of Aizuwakamatsu.
No one will be able to return home for at least six years due to the radioactive fallout. Watanabe said this is unavoidable as the annual dose exceeds 50 millisieverts in 95 percent of the town.
It has been reported, however, that the decommissioning of the crippled Tepco plant, areas of which are still too deadly to get near, will take decades.
Aiming to improve the evacuees’ living environment, Watanabe called for the building of “temporary towns” for evacuees to be accelerated, with younger generations living close to public housing used mainly by elderly people.
“It would be ideal for the eight municipalities of the prefecture’s Futaba district (including Okuma) to present a grand design for a future together,” Watanabe said, noting such a merger only seems natural, “although this is not realistic at present because the municipalities don’t see eye to eye.”

Watanabe voiced hope that the district can outline a unified vision for a community 20 to 30 years from now, even calling it the city of Futaba. “I hope this vision will attract people and give them (hope) so residents will be willing to return and help build the new town.”
... “Legislation should be passed to ensure the tainted soil is removed from the prefecture,” he said.

Japanese student tells U.N. how youth are reshaping tsunami-hit areas
A Japanese high school student who survived the 2011 tsunami recounted at the U.N.’s New York headquarters her experiences of the disaster and how young people are playing a critical role in rebuilding her hometown in Miyagi Prefecture.

Fishermen look to revamp industry
Tohoku’s fishermen are beginning to challenge the traditional fisheries system by establishing their own companies so they can have more control over prices and other aspects of the business.

Traumatized port struggles to stay together, move on- Ishinomaki
Tsunami-hit city lacks game plan, although change is inevitable

March 2011 disasters directly affected 1.1 million jobs: survey

Nuke safety body touts voluntary measures

Power of poetry penned by survivors of 3/11 is showcased by ASIJ project
Collaboration by over 150 staff and students presents works through medium of tanka
American School in Japan
Kathy Krauth - Isao Tsujimoto, Mikio Fukuhara, Etsuko Asano, Fujiko Suda

Plummeting debris estimates belie pleas for disposal aid
Data cast doubt on whether cities should incinerate tsunami waste
... But two years on, the amount of debris the government says needs to be moved out of the region for disposal has been revised to just one-sixth of the original estimate. Meanwhile, continuing concerns about radioactive contamination and transport costs have led some municipalities in central and western Japan to alter their plans to help.

Tohoku has been truly rent asunder for untold generations yet to be born
There are now three Tohokus … and there have been since the afternoon of March 11, 2011.
One part of that region of northeastern Honshu comprises districts not directly affected by that day’s Great East Japan Earthquake or the huge tsunami it triggered. A second is the coastal areas that were inundated or destroyed. The third is the towns and villages in Fukushima Prefecture affected by radioactive contamination from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Despite these demarcations, however, the entire Tohoku region and, in a sense, all Japan has been contaminated by radioactivity or the fear of contamination now and in the future.
- “Flowers will bloom … for you who are yet to be born.”
MORE by Roger Pulvers

Residents failed by fitful rebuilding
Two years after thousands of Fukushima residents fled their homes to escape the radiation released by the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, many are gradually returning as more areas are deemed safe.
However, fear of radiation is keeping away most of the younger residents, which means the populations around the plant are fated to become smaller and grayer.
Municipalities are struggling to rebuild amid the radiation stigma.
Last month, 154,148 Fukushima residents were still displaced, with 57,135 outside the prefecture and 97,013 within.
The prefecture had 1,958,054 residents as of Feb. 1, down 3.3 percent from 2,024,401 on March 1, 2011, according to the Fukushima Prefectural Government.

Protesters rail against Abe, reactors
Nearly 300 events held nationwide to voice anger at government
More than 10,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Tokyo Sunday, calling for an immediate phaseout of atomic energy and railing against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s stubbornly pronuclear stance.

Tepco’s survival tied to reactors, rate hikes
Utility will have to draft new business plan if restarts nixed
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it will be difficult to return to the black in fiscal 2013 without restarting its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture or hiking prices again.
The beleaguered utility’s restructuring plan is based on the assumption that the six reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station, the world’s largest nuclear plant, will be brought back online next fiscal year, which starts April 1.

Nuclear evacuees bide time in Kyoto but fret over future
On a cold afternoon in late February, a group of mothers and children gathered at a makeshift community center near JR Momoyama Station in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto. In one room, volunteers were setting up dolls for the Hina Matsuri doll festival as a couple of kids played, watched carefully by their parents.

Unable to return, Futaba residents fear becoming lost tribe
No homecoming in sight for those who agreed to host nuclear plant


- - - - -

Two years after the 3/11 disasters

Today Japan marks the second anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated Pacific coastal areas of the Tohoku region. In the disasters, more than 18,500 people were killed or went missing. It is a time to pray for the souls of these people.

Many survivors are still struggling with the scars of the disasters — emotional, financial and otherwise — as they try to restart their lives. Some 315,000 people are still forced to live away from their homes, including more than 150,000 people who had to evacuate because of radiation risks associated with the Fukushima nuclear power plant catastrophe.

The Abe administration has decided to increase overall spending for reconstruction of areas hit by the 3/11 disasters from ¥19 trillion to ¥25 trillion. But the increase does not automatically ensure that reconstruction will be carried out in a manner that truly enhances the well-being of disaster victims.

Politicians and bureaucrats must ask themselves whether they are making their best efforts to ascertain and meet the true needs of local governments and residents in disaster-hit areas.

It is worthwhile to remember the recommendations made by the now-disbanded Reconstruction Design Council in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, which was set up by the Kan administration. The council envisaged city, town and village governments initiating the resuscitation of their communities and industries and the central government assisting them without fail.
Unless central government bureaucrats listen to the opinions of local residents in their efforts to reconstruct communities, the residents could lose their will to rebuild their lives.

Especially with regard to plans to move residences and neighborhoods to safer highland zones, opinions of the central and local governments and local residents are likely to differ, so patient explanations and discussions are indispensable.

The central government should facilitate plans for local governments outside the disaster areas to dispatch their workers to where they’re needed most for assisting in reconstruction projects. Central government ministries also should send more of their workers to these areas.

The council had stressed the need for reconstruction efforts to add value to products from affected farms and fisheries. Since many municipalities in the disaster-hit areas are suffering population outflows, reconstruction of these industries must be hastened. But if the central government merely imposes their plans the revival of municipalities is unlikely to be successfully carried out. It is important to encourage local governments and residents to develop their own initiatives.

The central government ministries should avoid pushing reconstruction projects without inter-ministry coordination. Redundant projects will waste public money and discourage local residents, causing them to feel that the ministries are not serious about the reconstruction.

The construction of sea walls may destroy scenery, thus harming local tourist industries. Their effectiveness against tsunamis is also questionable. The central government should seriously consider how to implement the council’s idea of “reducing” the effects of a future disaster, rather than trying to prevent it from happening.

- - - - -

March 12, 2013

Nation marks second year since calamity
The nation marks the second anniversary of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Tohoku's coastline and left some 19,000 people dead or missing amid the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
Interrupting the slow progress on reconstruction, memorial services were held in the three northeastern prefectures hit hardest by the tsunami as well as in Tokyo and elsewhere, with a moment of silence observed across the country at 2:46 p.m., the time the magnitude 9.0 quake hit exactly two years ago.

Survivors recall two years of struggle
In Tokyo, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, together with about 1,200 others, including three people from the three hardest-hit prefectures who suffered the loss of loved ones, participated in a state-hosted ceremony.

Do dire predictions for Japan factor in a rush for the exits?

After 3/11 'Keep calm, everything will be OK' mantra rings hollow
Within two hours of the massive earthquake that jolted Japan at 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, the Japanese government received notice that an “Article 15 event” had occurred at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. “Article 15″ refers to the Act on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear Emergency Preparedness, and the “event” was the complete failure of the plant’s emergency cooling system. Under the Act, such an event is deemed a “nuclear emergency situation” requiring the issuance of a “Declaration of an Emergency Situation.” Such a declaration was put out at 7:03 p.m. Its sparse text bears repeating in full (my translation):

“At 16:36 on March 11, 2011, an incident of the type specified in Article 15 (1) (ii) of the Act on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear Emergency Preparedness occurred at the Tepco Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. It being recognized that urgent measures are required to prevent the spread of a nuclear disaster, a declaration of a nuclear emergency situation is hereby issued under the provisions of the aforementioned Article.”

source : www.japantimes.co.jp


Recent articles from
The Mainichi Daily News
source : dn.mainichi.jp

Recent articles from
The Asahi Shinbun
source : asahi.com

Recent articles from
The Yomiuri Shinbun
source : yomiuri.co.jp


Japan Earthquake: Before and After
Photo Tour
source : www.theatlantic.com


NHK Earthquake Charity Song
Hana wa Saku 花は咲く Flowers Will Bloom

Masshiro na yukimichi ni harukaze kaoru
Watashi wa natsukashii
Ano machi wo omoidasu

Kanaetai yume mo atta
Kawaritai jibun mo ita
Ima wa tada natsukashii
Ano hito wo omoidasu

Dareka no uta ga kikoeru
Dareka wo hagemashiteru
Dareka no egao ga mieru
Kanashimi no mukougawa ni

Hana wa hana wa hana wa saku
Itsuka umareru kimi ni
Hana wa hana wa hana wa saku
Watashi wa nani wo nokoshita darou

Yozora no mukou no asa no kehai ni
Watashi wa natsukashii
Ano hibi wo omoidasu

Kizutsuite kizutsukete
Mukuwarezu naitari shite
Ima wa tada itooshii
Ano hito wo omoidasu

Dareka no omoi ga mieru
Dareka to musubareteru
Dareka no mirai ga mieru
Kanashimi no mukougawa ni

Hana wa hana wa hana wa saku
Itsuka umareru kimi ni
Hana wa hana wa hana wa saku
Watashi wa nani wo nokoshita darou

Hana wa hana wa hana wa saku
Itsuka umareru kimi ni
Hana wa hana wa hana wa saku
Watashi wa nani wo nokoshita darou

Hana wa hana wa hana wa saku
Itsuka umareru kimi ni
Hana wa hana wa hana wa saku
Itsuka koisuru kimi no tame ni

Please take your time to listen here:
source : vimeo.com

MORE videos to watch groups singing for 2013:
. NHK - www.nhk.or.jp/ashita .


kizuna 絆 the new bond between people


Contributions from friends on facebook :

march pupils
teaching how to multiply
a desaster

Ralf Bröker

also March's
new moon at this time
of recovery



Deux ans après... (Two years later...)

Do not cry -
even after the blazing fire
you have known to be reborn.

Patrick Fetu


the sakura weep
nuclear tears, radiant
with history’s haunting

Greg Hack


Praying for reconstruction of Japan.
復興を祈り .. 復興だるま

Yasuko Jameson


tsunami –
the crescent moon
a wreck in the clouds


the cranes stood still –
Atlas gyrates 

Santíago Víllafanía


- - 2012 March 11 - Remember 2011 - -

- - 2012 March 11 - Poetry for Japan - -

. Radiation Problems - INFO .

. Reconstruction two years later - INFO .


. Toys and Talismans from Tohoku . 

. Regional Food from Tohoku .


[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]


  1. Anonymous3/11/2013

    - from Australia -
    Akira Kawasaki on Australia's Radio National

    Two years ago today Japan came face to face with its worst crisis since World War Two when a magnitude nine earthquake triggered a fatal Tsunami.

    The impact on the Fukushima nuclear plant was catastrophic, and two years on, thousands of Fukushima residents still can't return to their homes—with many people still crammed in temporary houses.


  2. Anonymous3/12/2013

    . . . ...one of the most memorable this year, winner of a jury prize as well as an Oscar nomination, is Lucy Walker's unforgettable "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom," a look at the aftermath of the 2011 Japanese disaster that emphasizes the way "beauty and terror always exist in nature."'

    ...one of the most memorable this year, winner of a jury prize as well as an Oscar nomination, is Lucy Walker's unforgettable "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom," a look at the aftermath of the 2011 Japanese disaster that emphasizes the way "beauty and terror always exist in nature."'


  3. Anonymous3/12/2013

    Two years after Fukushima:
    North Eastern Japan still a Disaster Zone

    ... The north eastern region, known as Tohoku, remains a disaster zone, with reconstruction barely begun in many areas. A third of a million evacuees are still living in temporary accommodation, which was meant to be for two years only, and have no immediate prospect of resettlement. The exclusion zones around the nuclear plant are likely to remain in place for many years. The decommissioning of the crippled Daiichi plant is now expected to take up to 40 years.

    The fate of the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake is an indictment of capitalism. Japan is a technologically-sophisticated economy, the world’s third largest, but reconstruction is proceeding at a snail’s pace. Only 8 trillion yen of the 25 trillion yen ($268 billion) in planned reconstruction funds has been allocated. Of that, only half has been spent, in some cases on projects unrelated to the disaster.

    Media reports published in the lead up to the second anniversary provide snapshots of the bleak situation facing survivors. Even before the earthquake, Tohoku was an economically depressed region.

    ... An Independent Online article explained that nearly 40 percent of the population of the coastal city of Ishinomaki, or 74,000 people, were still living in temporary accommodation. Older survivors were relying on volunteers and charity for food. Alcoholism and depression were on the rise. Many young people had moved away as there was no future in the city.


  4. 地福寺(気仙沼市) Temple
    Jifuji-Ji Kesennuma

    節語り説教 ユニット カッサパ(三迦葉)

    after the earthquake, priest Katayama had a difficult time, but now he is back with his
    song of the Heart Sutra and helping people to cope with the earthquake devastation.

    Planting a forest nearby, . . .


    Kassapa Kesennuma

  5. Ina Jinja 伊奈神社 in Gotemba,
    in honor of Ina Hanzaemon Tadanobu 伊奈半左衛門忠順  
    Mount Fuji - Hōei eruption 宝永
    December 16, 1707 (Hōei 4, 23nd day of the 11th month):