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Fukushima and sound early advice by Sir John Beddington helped many

Fukushima and sound early advice by Sir John Beddington helped many

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

March 11 in Tokyo was a very eventful day because the powerful 9.0-magnitude earthquake violently shook the capital of Japan many times. Having resided in Tokyo for many years then earthquakes are nothing new and usually you just go with the flow and soon it is over.  However, this day was very different because the force was enormous and it felt like the ground was going to open up.

The first few hours witnessed aftershock after aftershock and it seemed like it wasn’t going to end.  In Yurakcho and Ginza, where I was aimlessly wandering around, the high octane nature of fashion suddenly felt unimportant and the notion of reality was like an illusion.

After several hours of uncertainty people in Tokyo were still unaware about what was happening in distant Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima.  The news on television was mentioning that a tsunami had followed the original earthquake but information was patchy. Therefore, during this period most people in Tokyo believed that tens of people or a few hundred people may have died but nobody could have imagined the real devastation.

Not only this, but Fukushima was not even on the radar in Tokyo during the early period and most people, me included, just watched the breaking news on wide television screens in buildings where they are available.  The train system was in shut-down mode and the aftershocks were many, therefore, it was all about biding your time and trying to contact friends if possible or somehow finding your way home.

The next few days felt extremely strange in Kanagawa, Tokyo and Saitama, where I am based.  Also, more details were emerging about Fukushima and the Daiichi nuclear plant and this story was picked on by the global media.

At the same time it was becoming more apparent that thousands of people had perished and by the end of a week or so then clearly this figure was rising to the tens of thousands. Images of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima were being shown daily and the footage was horrendous. This applies to images of the tsunami sweeping away villages and towns and the ongoing nuclear crisis in Fukushima.

Many international news agencies were painting a picture that was genuine with regards to the tsunami but completely over the top when it came to Fukushima.  This created a panic and many embassies closed and vast numbers of foreign nationals began to leave.

Of course, at no point was I going to leave because Tokyo is my home and for better or worse it is my shared city along with my beloved Manchester.  However, just like in all events you had a voice of reason amidst the scaremongers and this voice of reason belonged to Sir John Beddington.

In my earlier article called British scientific adviser: nothing to fear outside of Fukushima exclusion zone which I wrote on March 17 in Tokyo, I highlight this man of wisdom and deep knowledge.  I commented that “The British Embassy in Tokyo on March 15th invited the Government’s Chief Scientific Professor, Sir John Beddington, to answer deep and difficult questions related to the Fukushima nuclear power plant.  Sir John Beddington replied and gave detailed information about the most likely outcome and his opinion about events which have been reported in the press.”

Sir John Beddington stated “…what I would really re-emphasise is that this is very problematic for the area and the immediate vicinity and one has to have concerns for the people working there. Beyond the 20 or 30 kilometres, it’s really not an issue for health.”

Therefore, after reading the full transcript of what Sir John Beddington stated I felt re-assured and completely vindicated about telling people to stay in Tokyo. This applies to a few individuals I know who hit the panic button.

Turning back to my article I stated that “at all times, it appears that the British point of view is that Tokyo is very safe and the same applies to all areas outside of the exclusion zone of the Fukushima nuclear plant but 30km was mentioned to be extremely safe, therefore, the exclusion zone may be added if developments become severe and meltdown actually happens.”

Sir John Beddington was a tower of strength in the following days and weeks after March 11. Of course some of his views may have changed given the release of further information but the fundamentals will remain the same.

On the other side you had scaremongers and one writer for the BBC was clearly out of order.  Therefore, in another article I commented that “According to Rupert Wingfield-Hayes you would believe that all Tokyoites are panicking and are in a flux because of events since the devastating earthquake.  He states in his article called “The eerie quiet of Tokyo hides Japan’s shock and anxiety,” which was published by the BBC, that “The threat to Tokyo’s 30 million people is invisible.  Everyone is now asking themselves the same question.  When does the crisis unfolding at the Fukushima nuclear plant 150 miles (240km) to the north cross that invisible line when you decide the risk of staying here is too high?”

Sadly you had many Rupert Wingfield-Hayes who were adding fuel to the fire but luckily words of wisdom were being stated by people of deep knowledge like Sir John Beddington.

Therefore, relatives and friends in many lands were hanging on his words and if only the media heeded his sound advice.  However, you have many agendas and this applies to environmentalists, anti-nuclear lobby, and many other factors.

Yet for people like myself, I followed the advice of Sir John Beddington and after reading his pearls of wisdom I just knuckled down and got on with life.  After all, Tokyoites were very lucky to escape the ravages of the earthquake, tsunami and radiation from Fukushima.

The British Embassy in Tokyo  http://ukinjapan.fco.gov.uk/en/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/03/17/british-scientific-adviser-nothing-to-fear-outside-of-fukushima-exclusion-zone/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/03/21/the-reality-and-unreality-of-tokyo-amidst-the-hype-of-the-media/

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 
 

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K-pop and “Korean Cool”: tunes hitting Seoul, Tokyo, and further afield

K-pop and “Korean Cool”: tunes hitting Seoul, Tokyo, and further afield

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Korean pop (K-pop) is whirling its way throughout Asia and beyond because of great singers, fantastic imagery, passion, an abundance of talent, and sheer quality.  Of course you will have great artists in all nations but currently it is the K-pop scene which is dynamic, forward thinking, and expressing “Korean cool.”

This article was written just before the beautiful and exquisite Kan Mi Youn releases her latest record called “Won’t Meet You” on September 29. Therefore, comments will be made once her latest tune is released but the teaser points to yet another powerful song like “Paparazzi” but with a completely different format.

Recent tunes that have made a big splash in South Korea in the last few months or have just been released include “Syndrome” by Chocolat, “So Cool” by Sistar, “Top Girl” by G.na, “I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk and “Step” by Kara.  Other tunes have also hit the streets of South Korea, Japan and much further afield.  However, these tracks stand out from an international point of view because of energy, connection and vibrancy.

“I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk was an instant success and the style, lyrics and video all came together.  The ending of the video is a little over dramatic but the scene of the body on the ground while holding a lady was a good touch.  If other tracks by Bang Yong Guk have the same energy and creativity then surely his career will bloom.

The track “I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk would certainly appeal internationally because despite the dramatic scenes of the video the singer gives you “a raw street image.”

“Syndrome” by Chocolat impacted on the charts and was full of energy and will appeal to the market it is aimed at. Not the raw energy of Bang Yong Guk but clearly a different style of music and shouldn’t really compare. 

Clearly Chocolat have a bright future and “Syndrome” is a track which would do well in Japan. It will be interesting to see how these beautiful and talented ladies progress over the next twelve months because they have so much to offer and I can’t wait for their next track.

“Top Girl” by G.na was turned into a lovely track by this very elegant lady who sings with a lovely melodic voice.  Energy is one thing that all these tracks have and clearly K-pop is doing this to a T.

The track “Top Girl” itself was average with regards to the lyrics but G.na made it special because of her individualistic style and vibrant nature.  G.na is certainly adding to the K-pop buzz and long may she continue to bless the world with her talents.

“So Cool” by Sistar was a catchy tune but the video was a mismatch of energy, uncertainty of where it should go and then back to girl power.  Music wise, a track which will appeal because of the raw energy of the group and the sex appeal adds to the dimension because they are all stunning ladies.

I get the feeling that Sistar are about to reach new heights because they certainly have something special about them.  The track “So Cool” seemed to contain them in the video after reaching a high. Therefore, listening is where the power of the track belongs and these ladies provide such a positive image and work together elegantly.

“Step” by Kara had a great beat, lively lyrics despite simplicity, movement, vibrancy, and a strong connection with the listener who likes this style of music.  All ladies ooze power, energy, freedom and you can feel their passion when you watch the video or you can hear their love of music when you listen to the track.

Kara is a group which is widely respected in Japan and they project such a positive image of K-pop.

Overall, in the last few months you have had many fantastic tunes coming out of the K-pop scene and clearly not all the great tracks have been mentioned.  However, K-pop is rising and with so many groups and solo artists around then the future looks fantastic for “Korean cool.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5wO8ejwVRI “Top Girl” by G.na

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYoYoBtLqOY&ob=av2n “Step” by Kara

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ucP3UhrhF8  Chocolat – Syndrome

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHrx5dWxcJ4  Bang Yong Guk – I Remember

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj3q0ZChgFE  Sistar – So Cool

http://www.thecnstar.com/    Magazine for latest K-pop/culture/entertainment

http://www.kanzume.jp/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/04/korean-pop-music-continues-to-hit-the-heights-in-japan/   – Article highlighting K-pop by Modern Tokyo Times

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/22/kanstyle-magazine-to-open-up-south-korean-fashion-k-pop-culture-in-japan/ – Highlighting Kanstyle Magazine

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/27/kan-mi-youn-and-k-pop-new-powerful-song-to-be-released-on-sep-29/ – Kan Mi Youn

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2011 in ASIA, Japan

 

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Kan Mi Youn and K-pop: new powerful song to be released on Sep 29

Kan Mi Youn and K-pop: new powerful song to be released on Sep 29

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The beautiful and elegant Kan Mi Youn who is blessed with a lovely voice will release her new song on September 29.  A short preview of “Won’t Meet You” looks full of energy and vibrancy and the lady from South Korea will hopefully visit Japan in the near future. 

Kan Mi Youn is extremely talented and her song “Paparazzi” was a classic.  Full of energy from start to finish and with a catchy tune which hits you straight away.  If “Won’t Meet You” is anything like “Paparazzi” then it will be another fantastic tune.

However, knowing Kan Mi Youn it may even surpass “Paparazzi” because this music artist is very special. Also, with the growing appeal of K-pop in Japan then it will be interesting to see how “Won’t Meet You” fairs in the land of the rising sun.

The 30-second release certainly teases because the exquisite Kan Mi Youn plays three roles in the video.  Her characters apply to a stunningly sexy star and no acting was needed for this part and the other two images are a flash doctor and a quaint and estranged patient who still looks adorable. 

Her fans are counting the days before “Won’t Meet You” is released.  Appropriately her single “Going Crazy” is apt because many people are going crazy while waiting for her latest tune. 

“Going Crazy” was another lovely hit from Kan Mi Youn and for international lovers of music then this is one lady who appeals globally.  Kan Mi Youn is graceful, stunning, and bubbly.

Also, tracks like “Paparazzi,” and “Going Crazy” are buzzing with energy and backed-up by her lovely voice and stylish moves.  The videos express a lady who is in control and highlight a real gem.  Therefore, I know that “Won’t Meet You” will be another success because like the most delicious wine this young lady matures musically with each new song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzlQ1KtWsFA&feature=related  Kan Mi Youn and “Paparazzi”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_1KfUDB1zU   Kan Mi Youn and “Going Crazy”

http://girlspic.blogbus.com/logs/14277489.html Beautiful photos of Kan Mi Youn

http://www.allkpop.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in ASIA

 

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Paul Gauguin a master of art but damned by critics

Paul Gauguin a master of art but damned by critics

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Paul Gauguin lived a life which many individuals can’t understand and whatever he became it happened because of the world that he witnessed. Like many individuals thrown on the scrap heap of life he desired redemption if only a real break would occur. However, with the clock ticking and family pressure he could no longer dream or clutch at straws because poverty became his reality.

Gauguin stated that “I glimpse poetry “and his strong imagination and creative spirit could turn the mundane into “a spark of high intensity.”  It is clear that he had high intellect and his art form is full of richness and shows the diversity of his life.

Prior to taking up art Gauguin showed no real tendencies of individuality and providing for his family would be a constant worry for him. However, Gauguin was blessed with sublime gifts but he could not “create like our divine Master” because the ravages of life and reality shackled him and pointed a dagger at his heart. 

He knew that family obligations were important but with each new winter it was clear that he had to make a stark choice.  This must have put a terrible burden on Gauguin because he knew his gifts were indeed great but he was trapped like a bird in a cage. 

Finally he broke free from a life of normality and Gauguin desired to generate wealth in order to support his family and to bless the world with exquisite art.  Gauguin stated “without art there is no salvation” and clearly his inner soul saw a political picture which remained aloof from the majority of people.

However, the struggle for survival tore at his heart and the more fellow artists appreciated his talents and the closer he got to the “promise land,” the greater the rejection when poverty was all that remained. Also, Gauguin’s favorite daughter Aline died of pneumonia and Clovis, his son, died from a blood infection.  Therefore, his world was full of darkness and where was the justice that failed to reward such a talented individual?

Instead of “without art there is no salvation” it now felt that with or without art there is no salvation.  The death of Aline, a daughter he cherished and who provided a ray of sunshine, must have hit home at all the futility of this life.

Adrian Searle (The Guardian) in his article called Paul Gauguin: guilty as charged comments that Gauguin never gives us the whole story, probably because there isn’t one. He harks back to a culture that was already destroyed by missionaries and disease long before he arrived on Tahiti. He moves Mary and Joseph’s flight into Egypt to a Polynesian island, and the Calvary and crucifixion to Celtic Brittany. They are the possibilities of stories, rather than illustrations, allegories or history paintings. Their content is as mysterious as their color. He is almost a magic realist before the fact.

Further down in the article Adrian Searle continues by stating that “As Belinda Thomson makes clear in her excellent Tate catalogue essay, in looking at his work, what we have to overcome, first of all, is the embarrassment of Gauguin’s life and personality. Self-promotion and self-invention are inextricable from the art itself. Thomson shows us an artist, both outsider and careerist, who is a little bit dodgy in a way that anyone acquainted with today’s art world would recognize.”

However, you need to overcome nothing because Gauguin often lived in poverty and two of his children died very young.  Added to this was a genius who had so much to give but the cards never fell for him. Therefore, he must have felt abandoned in a cold world which did not cherish beauty but instead cherished materialism, corruption, and social stratification.

Tahiti wasn’t an illusion because all illusions had died in Europe and whatever Gauguin became, he only became this after every deck of cards had gone against him.  After all, Gauguin didn’t abandon his children but instead he tried to do the right thing by his family.

The Christian imagery in some of his work alludes to a mythical world where justice and the Garden of Eden can be reached. Tahiti with its past spirit of purity was being swallowed up and the same purity of Gauguin was equally being swallowed up.

The flesh that Gauguin is reviled for in some quarters may belong to the beholder because Gauguin had stated “I am inclined to a primitive state” and that Tahiti was a place “where material life can be lived without money.”

In life the Garden of Eden couldn’t be found in Europe and clearly Gauguin didn’t fear death. Therefore, “the primitive state” that he refers to was the primitive nature of this world because despite all the colonial presumptions of supremacy the truth was much simpler.

If Gauguin succumbed to “the apple” then he did so because of the reality of an unforgiving world which was based on injustice and trapping so many into the wretchedness of poverty and debt during his lifetime.

However, if he succumbed to “the apple” based on love after fleeing so much hardship and escaping convention, then who are we to judge given the reality of the world that Gauguin belonged – if Gauguin had impure intentions then he would have left his family well behind before this and he would have desired the flesh much earlier.

Instead, Tahiti was the last piece of the jigsaw in Gauguin’s life but it was but one piece belonging to a truly great artist. Therefore, when all the pieces are counted his artistic legacy is indeed great because he was a genius and for most of his artistic life he struggled against massive adversity.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/sep/27/paul-gauguin-tate-modern-exhibition   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/08/14/gauguin-in-print-japanese-influence/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 

 
 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in EUROPE

 

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Veronica Jullian (PuchysLOVE) is a Stunning Cosplay lady from Mexico

Veronica Jullian (PuchysLOVE) is a Stunning Cosplay lady from Mexico

Michel Le Bon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Veronica Jullian (PuchysLOVE) is a stunning cosplayer from Mexico and her astonishing looks means that this talented lady can play various classy characters with ultimate ease.  Not only this, but Veronica clearly loves Japanese cosplay and international cosplay and this can be seen by her diverse and exquisite images.

Veronica is from Mexico City and this elegant young lady will turn 26 years old on September 19.  However, despite her young age it is apparent that cosplay runs through her veins because Veronica first started doing cosplay eleven years ago.

This charming lady is extremely busy and she is also a cosmaker and does cosplay commission when time permits.  Veronica prefers to wear cosplay in a natural environment rather than enter contests.  This is a blessing in disguise for cosplayers who enter contests because Veronica with her elegance and style would certainly be challenging for number one spot.

Veronica is extremely articulate and her Alice in Wonderland image shows her stunning beauty and this is matched by a beautiful pose which melts the heart.

Mexican magazines have highlighted Veronica and this enabled many people to see a glimpse of her world and clearly her lovely features hit a chord. Veronica who is also a cosmaker is a perfect example of cosplay and how this art form is gracing the world.

Victoria Centeno (Cosplay Girl) was recently highlighted on Modern Tokyo Times and both Victoria and Veronica are a cut above.  This applies to elegance, style, panache and both ladies ooze sophistication and open-up a world where cosplay, modeling, art and class come together.

Veronica is also invited to important cosplay conventions and for more than 5 years this graceful and stunning lady travelled all over Mexico and participated as a guest and luckily for the cosplay world she will continue to bless conventions in the future.

Cosplay appeals to Veronica because she can play and enter the world of her favourite characters. Also, Veronica loves cosplay because it increases self-confidence and natural skills like sewing, crafts, and learning about other cultures, is part of the cosplay world.

Veronica also gets great satisfaction when people recognize her cosplay and appreciate all the hard work put into the costume, make up, visual image, intricate designs and entering the world of the character on show.  This, to Veronica, is much more rewarding than trying to win competitions.

This fact, and the emphasis by Veronica on meeting new friends with similar interests, and being a cosmaker, is ample evidence that this lady is a true cosplayer.

Veronica hopes one day to visit Japan in order to experience the “culture, history, traditions, architecture, beliefs, and legends.” Also, with Veronica’s stunning looks and images which focus on “cuteness” then kawaii culture and fashion in Harajuku would surely interest this elegant lady.

Modelling and photography also appeals to Veronica and clearly both suit this talented lady.  Veronica also describes her style as “cute” because nearly all of her cosplay is based on characters which are cute.

The readership of Modern Tokyo Times will certainly support Veronica when she says her style is “cute” but add a little more by stating “amazingly cute and elegant.”

Hopefully one day this charming lady will grace Tokyo and Japan because “cosplay is in her heart” and her love of knowledge means that Veronica is a special lady.

 

http://puchyslove.blogspot.com/ – Please visit Veronica Jullian (PuchysLOVE)

http://puchys.deviantart.com/ Veronica Jullian (PuchysLOVE)

https://www.facebook.com/PuchysLOVECosplay Veronica Jullian (PuchysLOVE)

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 
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Posted by on September 17, 2011 in Japan

 

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Rugby Union 2011 World Cup: New Zealand too strong for Japan

Rugby Union 2011 World Cup: New Zealand too strong for Japan

Jay Doggett and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

New Zealand 83 Japan 7

New Zealand outplayed Japan and the writing was on the wall within four minutes when New Zealand scored an early try and converted to take a 7-0 lead.  Smith scored for New Zealand and he no pressure on him because the Japanese defence was non-existent.

The next ten minutes saw very little apart from New Zealand missing a penalty. However, New Zealand once more broke free and Kahui like Smith found it all too easy but the conversion was missed and within minutes another try was scored by New Zealand.

Luckily, Slade once more missed the conversion despite the kick being relatively easy and clearly he needs to get his game together. After all, in a close match, then Slade can’t afford to be the weak link. Therefore, with Japan being 17-0 down after less than 25 minutes it was abundantly clear that the underdogs needed to focus otherwise the game would run up a cricket score.

However, no change and Japan really looked like minnows and lost against “the real big boys of rugby union.”  This was further witnessed when another try was scored by New Zealand and with the conversion also converted then Japan were trailing 24-0 after 30 minutes.  Yet there would be no respite and Ellis scored the fifth try a few minutes later and with the score being 31-0 then Japan just wanted half time to come in order to refocus.

Slade, who may have had early problems with kicking, had no problem with scoring the sixth try after Ellis made a nice pass to him. To make matters worse New Zealand were now scoring easily under the post and this meant that the conversion was easy.  Therefore, New Zealand was matching the minute scoreboard and the lead now stretched to 38-0 shortly before half-time.

Straight away after the second-half began New Zealand ran at Japan and some sloppy play by Japan followed by a shockingly low pass and a handling error.  New Zealand made early changes and this made sense because the game was already in the bag. 

Within minutes of the change New Zealand scored again with Kahui scoring. Ominously, Slade now had his kicking boots back on and the cricket score was beginning to materialize with the score being 45-0.

Williams then scored under the post and the lead was now 52-0 with New Zealand scoring roughly one point per minute at this point.  The game was no longer because now it was a training game for the All Blacks.

More alarming for Japan, this was the first game where one team had scored more than 50 points and other minnows up until now had played respectably.  All the positives from the game against France were being blown away and another score made it 59-0.

However, the crowd erupted when Japan broke free from a mistake by New Zealand and scored for the first time in the game.  59-7 may not look good, and clearly it isn’t, but the crowd appreciated the score by Japan.

Sadly, the respite did not last long because Hore and Nonu both scored quick tries for New Zealand.  Luckily Slade couldn’t convert either and the score was kept down to 69-7. 

More changes were made by New Zealand and clearly the coach was focused on future games and creating a strong tight unit.  However, all New Zealand players are strong and it made no difference to the game.  Therefore, relentless All Black pressure continued and their shape looked perfect despite all the changes.

Thomson scored try number 12 for the All Blacks after a few minutes of quiet play and with the score reaching 76-7 then the cricket score had materialized. Within minutes another try was scored and the game would finish 83-7.

Overall, the game was too easy for New Zealand and nothing positive came out of the game for Japan. All the good work against France counted for nothing in this game because the All Blacks were a different kettle of fish.

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in Japan

 

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Yoshihiko Noda speaks candidly on his blog: Fukushima to Wakayama

Yoshihiko Noda speaks candidly on his blog: Fukushima to Wakayama

Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times  

Typhoon Talas

 

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda speaks candidly and openly about his first week in office on his blog and he must be a little spellbound by the speed of events.  This does not only apply to being the new leader of Japan but to the reality of concerns at the moment.

PM Noda visited the disaster areas which were hit by the devastating earthquake and tsunami and the sad legacy of the nuclear crisis which continues in Fukushima. Not only this, he also visited areas hit by the recent typhoon and saw the devastation at first hand.  All of this will have hit home to PM Noda the reality of the ongoing problems that many people face in Japan in areas hit by natural disasters. Also, in the case of Fukushima it is part “man-made” or fully “man-made” depending on your thinking but nature triggered this crisis and human failings added to the nightmare.

Therefore, the new leader of Japan could be forgiven if he thought he was in a war stricken country with so much devastation happening this year in Japan.  However, this is not the case because this is the reality of the potent forces of nature which have killed tens of thousands of people in Japan this year.

The new leader of Japan took office on September 2 and immediately he focused on understanding the “real needs” of people who have suffered so much.  On September 8 he visited Fukushima and this was followed by visiting Mie, Nara, and Wakayama, the following day and on September 10 the new leader of Japan visited Miyagi and Iwate.

During his visit to Fukushima he inspected TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and the protective clothing will have brought home to him how brave the workers are and how loyal they are.  PM Noda commented that “The devoted efforts of the workers at the site are supporting this country.  With these feelings of appreciation, I encouraged the persons involved to the fullest extent of my power.”

PM Noda also witnessed how locals in Date are trying to decontaminate radioactive materials and on September 9 further funds were promised with the announcement of a 220 billion yen budget aimed at the decontamination of radioactivity. He also stressed the need for the central government to cooperate with local municipalities and to target this funding on areas which had been designated for evacuation.    

PM Noda also told the Governor of Fukushima, Yuhei Sato, that “Without the revival of Fukushima, there can be no revitalization of a vibrant Japan.” Yuhei Sato relayed important information and requests were stated in order to restore faith in Fukushima. It is also important for the central government to relate to local politicians and people who have been hit by this tragedy and this meeting was a good way to show the sincerity of the new Cabinet.

The visit to Mie, Nara, and Wakayama, on September 9 applies to the devastation and loss of life caused by Typhoon Talas. PM Noda commented that “I felt very poignantly the depth of the traces of the damage from Typhoon 12 and the horror of the concentrated heavy rain and landslides.  I instructed that, with lifesaving as the foremost priority, all-out efforts are to be made towards emergency countermeasures for this disaster, including the relief and rescue of the victims, that it is imperative to strive to grasp the situation of damage in a rapid and accurate manner, and that efforts are to be made with a sense of urgency, in cooperation with the related prefectural offices and local authorities.”

The prime minister also met Mayor Teramoto of Nachikatsuura who lost his daughter to the destructive typhoon and on September 9 his wife had still not been found. PM Noda was deeply impressed by Mayor Teramoto because while politicians are often lambasted you also see the human face and real bravery of individuals like Mayor Teramoto.

The following day took the prime minister to Iwate and Miyagi and in Rikuzentakata (Iwate) the leader of Japan saw the utter devastation that was created by the tsunami. In the fishing port of Kesennuma a more optimistic note was seen because the fishing sector is starting again and PM Noda commented that he “…could feel vitality towards reconstruction” and that “the critical issues for my Cabinet are recovery and reconstruction from the earthquake and tsunami disaster, including bringing the situation at the nuclear plant under stable control.”  

The new leader of Japan is under no illusions about the problems that he and his Cabinet faces and he also appears to be more determined to focus on the debt issue.  The mass media in Japan is mainly unforgiving but the early steps by the new leader of Japan show compassion, sincerity, the need to listen to people on the ground and a call to collective responsibility.

http://nodasblog.kantei.go.jp/  – Prime Minister of Japan – Yoshihiko Noda’s blog 

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 
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Posted by on September 15, 2011 in Japan

 

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