Sunday, 9 September 2012
Today's Japan Times has a report on the fishery industries of Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, which are fighting to return to solvency after last year's 3/11 devastation. The problems have included a highly damaged infrastructure - ship crews killed, boats swept inland and destroyed, ports wiped out - and "rumor damage", consumers staying away from local fish because of fears of radioactive contamination. The fisheries have been trying new shipping routes, new species of fish, and attracting young people to a formerly inward-looking, conservative industry. Whatever happens in the future, the areas will not be anything similar to what they were before 3/11.
Problems also lurk at ground zero - the site of the former Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The pool of spent nuclear fuel inside Reactor # 4 remains highly unstable, and the possibility of a fire breaking out remains high. Arnie Gundersen, nuclear engineer and former CEO in the American nuclear power industry, visited Japan last week and described the site as a "sleeping dragon".
The Government, of course, remains absolutely clueless. It's going through with a 2 BILLION YEN deal (that's 25 MILLION USD) to settle a territorial dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands. These uninhabited rocks, in the East China Sea, have little flora or fauna and no (known) natural resources. They serve no purpose apart from serving as a pissing contest between Japan and China. Just think of how those fishery industries above could benefit from $25m. Just think of how those residents living in temporary houses up north could benefit from 25m.
Public anger at government corruption and incompetence continues to rise and Toru Hashimoto (see previous post) is getting more and more aggressive about presenting himself as a reasonable alternative. Today, he announced that he was renaming his political party, changing it from the Osaka Ishin no Kai (Osaka Restoration Party) to Nihon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) - thus making his intentions clear.
New future or no future? Freedom or fascism? The ballot or a bullet? It's your choice. It has always been your choice.