LAKE OF SORROWS
A University of Tokyo graduate student noted that a severely quake-damaged area in Fukushima is thought to have been the same location where the very large Lake Koriyama existed 100,000 years ago. A mere coincidence? We think not.
Kids evacuated from tsunami-hit areas and evacuees staying at the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka took part in a tug-of-war with jet airplanes at Haneda Airport, part of the “Smile! Be Happy!” campaign.
Here we go again … TEPCO said it found “an abnormality” in a valve at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata, used to pump cool water to reactors in the event of an emergency.
Meanwhile, TEPCO President Masataka Shimizu was on his knees during a trip to Fukushima, apologizing to people forced to evacuate by the nuclear crisis. Not satisfied with his apology, one guy had yelled, “Kneel on the ground!” Shimizu and his lackeys did just that.
Scientists are looking at using rape plants to extract harmful radiation out of the soil in Fukushima-something they have been trying out in areas near Chernobyl.
Speaking of which, levels of radiation found in soil near Fukushima’s plant “far exceeded the level of radiation the then-Soviet Union had used as a criterion for urging people to evacuate at the time of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster,” according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy.
US researchers say that debris from the March 11 tsunami will hit the West Coast of North America in three years and twice be deposited in Hawaii, “leading to potential environmental and economic damage” by affecting fishing and shipping.
The International Pacific Research Center of the University of Hawaii at Manoa said debris from Japan, including parts of buildings and cars, will reach Hawaiian waters in 2012 and in 2014 the floating garbage will land in “California and Alaska in the United States, British Columbia in Canada and Baja California in Mexico.”
A government study revealed that fires and the March 11 tsunami destroyed over 1,600 hectares of forest in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
Kids in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures whose parents died or remain missing as a result of the March 11 earthquake (as of May 4), according to a Mainichi survey
Percent of foreigners studying or working in Japan willing to stay in the country despite the March 11 disaster, according to a recent online survey by the International Foreign Students Association
Percent of people polled by the International Foreign Students Association who were from China, Taiwan and South Korea
Percent of people surveyed who “saw information gaps between Japan and their home countries on the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear emergency, with some saying overseas news on the nuclear crisis was excessive”
T-shirts-made by members of a Japanese residents’ association in Papua New Guinea to support quake and tsunami victims-sold in a month
People whose personal information was possibly hacked and leaked from online game and other internet services provided by Sony worldwide, possibly the worst information leak case of all time
GIVE US A BREAK ALREADY
Producer Yasushi Akimoto is at it again. On the heels of his mega-popular Akihabara-based girl group AKB48, and offshoots SKE48 from Nagoya and Osaka’s NMB48, we are now being graced with HKT48 from Fukuoka, exciting fans of untalented 15-year-old pop divas the world over.
A Hello Kitty theme park will open in China’s Zhejiang Province in 2014. No word yet on whether cat burgers will be featured on concession stand menus.
A TBS athletic competition TV show called “Sasuke,” which features people navigating a nasty obstacle course, has been picked up by US network NBC to be run in prime time back in the States.
The Wakayama prefectural government gave fishermen from the controversial whaling town of Taiji permission to extend their annual dolphin hunt by a month to catch about 200 long-finned pilot whales-members of the dolphin family.
Two planes, one landing and another taking off, barely avoided a collision in Fukuoka after air traffic controllers told both of them to use the same runway.
Look At Yourselves
Softbank CEO Son morphs into advocate of nuclear phaseout
BY YASUAKI OSHIKA ASAHI SHIMBUN WEEKLY AERA
When the crisis unfolded at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of Softbank Corp., suddenly “saw the light” and transformed into a promoter of new energy sources and the phasing out of nuclear power.
Observers wonder if it was simply patriotism at a time of national crisis or smart entrepreneurship sensing a timely business opportunity that threw the switch for Son.
It’s clear that the Softbank CEO followed the unfolding events following the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11 and the subsequent tsunami that engulfed the Fukushima plant and knocked out its cooling system with great interest.