Posts Tagged ‘China’

Nuclear power plant reactors in both Shikoku and Kyushu islands are currently off-line. Hopefully the public opinion will hamper their restart after their inspection is done, although this is not a certainty as the government is already self-defeating its new law and allowed a loop-hole for extending nuclear power plant operations well past their designed lifespan.

The nuclear village is bracing until the public dissent fades to resume business as usual, with the extra gift to be allowed to participate in weapon development together with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (the Japanese equivalent of NASA now has operational rockets ready for ICBM usage). Besides, Japan just enacted a law which allows joint weapon development with other countries, i.e. US, so it is only a matter of time until the screw-driver nuclear nation is up-and-ready for war with China.

In other news, Japan is still pushing for nuclear technology export in countries such as Vietnam and India, so we should not be too wishful and naive about the plans to restart domestic nuclear plants, especially with less access to alternative electricity producing-resources such as Iranian oil.

Until nuclear power plants are fully decommissioned (and the question of hazardous waste and materials remains even then), they represent a hazard in case of earthquake, tsunami and the usual lack of professional ethic that leads to all sorts of nuclear incidents in Japan.

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The only company who used to sell iPhones in Japan was Korean-born Masayoshi Son‘s Softbank. TEPCO subsidiary KDDI / AU is now allowed to sell iPhones from next week. TEPCO is the third largest shareholder in KDDI after Kyocera and Toyota. Softbank has been pushing for the development of green energies in Japan and enjoys tremendous popularity as Masayoshi Son is one of the only successful self-made entrepreneur in Japan, a kind of local Steve Jobs. Japanese hate to see a nail sticking out of a row and previous successful entrepreneur, Takafumi Horie, another IT icon who created Livedoor, has been under legal attack and is now in jail, whereas TEPCO president is not. Besides, Japanese have a problem with Korean (and Chinese) successful people and Masayoshi Son, although a naturalized Japanese citizen, is bound to be the next target, as “becoming Japanese” is only a legal concept. In response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, Masayoshi Son criticized the nuclear industry for creating “the problem that worries Japanese the most today”, and engaged in investing in a nation-wide solar power network for Japan. The counter-attack from TEPCO was quicker than their reaction to solve Fukushima issue and they will bite into Softbank’s iPhone monopoly successfully via their AU company with the government back-up, and diminishing the likelihood of Softbank’s solar network to ever see the light. Although this is not a direct topic to surviving in Japan, I personally recommend boycotting any company where TEPCO has some significant share-holding like AU. TEPCO should focus solely on solving the nuclear issue and not battle against companies who promote green energies. There isn’t much that anyone can do to stop nuclear power in Japan but this kind of small actions is more effective than demonstrating protest in the street. If you have friends in high places in Apple, please have them remove any commercial agreement with KDDI / AU and other TEPCO subsidiaries. TEPCO also use their Internet subsidiaries to control media about the nuclear crisis and enforce an information black-out (Cf. TEPCO Subsidiary Used To Spy On Dissent in SurvivalJapan). It also shows that Japan will never surrender nuclear power since the ultimate goal is to acquire nuclear weapon technology and amend the constitution to allow their powerful Self-Defense Force to become a regular army with nuclear deterrence capacity in front of Chinese military and economic build-up, as well as North Korea and Russia. This intention was clearly stated by Tokyo governor just a week before 3-11 as reported in The Independent article below. This policy and goal has been followed up consistently since WWII as is thoroughly documented on the Internet and it is not just a rogue politician statement. Besides, as in every other country, the Japanese space program carried out by JAXA is a cover-up for intercontinental ballistic missile R&D (Cf. also Japanese nuclear weapon program on Wikipedia) : the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency does not carry much more exploration in space than the Institute of Cetacean Research carry scientific research when they kill whales.

TEPCO shareholding in KDDI / AU is displayed on this screenshot below available from KDDI website :

Here is the link to the au by KDDI by TEPCO iPhone which I would be happy if you decided not to buy, for all TEPCO’s victims in half of Japan.

Just a week before Fukushima disaster, here is what The Independent reported :

Japan must develop nuclear weapons, warns Tokyo governor

By David McNeill in Tokyo

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Japan's non-nuclear principles were constituted in response to public revulsion at the US atomic stikes on Hiroshima, pictured, and Nagasaki in 1945 AFP/Getty

Japan’s non-nuclear principles were constituted in response to public revulsion at the US atomic stikes on Hiroshima, pictured, and Nagasaki in 1945

Tokyo’s outspoken Governor says his country, which suffered history’s only nuclear attack, should build nuclear weapons to counter the threat from fast-rising China.

In an interview with The Independent, Shintaro Ishihara said Japan could develop nuclear weapons within a year and send a strong message to the world.

“All our enemies: China, North Korea and Russia – all close neighbours – have nuclear weapons. Is there another country in the world in a similar situation?

“People talk about the cost and other things but the fact is that diplomatic bargaining power means nuclear weapons. All the [permanent] members of the [United Nations] Security Council have them.”

The comments from the leader of Japan’s second-most powerful political office come amid concerns about China’s growing military muscle.

Beijing announced last week that its 2011 defence budget will be hiked by 12.7 per cent to 601.1bn yuan (£56.2bn) up from 532.1bn yuan last year. Most experts say that those figures are an underestimate.

China officially overtook Japan as the world’s second largest economy last month. Despite booming bilateral trade, the relationship has regularly been shaken by disputes over territorial and historical issues. Ties are still struggling to recover from a maritime clash last year over the Senkaku Islands, which are owned by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing.

Mr Ishihara said the clash, which ended when police released the captain of a Chinese ship accused of ramming Japan’s coastguard vessels, had exposed his country’s weakness in Asia. “China wouldn’t have dared lay a hand on the Senkakus [if Japan had nuclear weapons].”

The right-wing Governor added that a nuclear-armed Japan would also win more respect from Russia, which seized four Japanese-owned islands during the Second World War. And he advised his constitutionally pacifist nation to scrap restrictions on the manufacture and sale of weapons. “We should develop sophisticated weapons and sell them abroad. Japan made the best fighters in the world before America crushed the industry. We could get that back.”

Conservatives have long demanded that Tokyo ditch its postwar constitution, which was written during the American occupation of the country and renounces war as a sovereign right.

Japan’s so-called non-nuclear principles, produced during the time of Prime Minister Eisaku Sato in 1964-72, later committed the country to never produce, possess or allow the entry of nuclear weapons. The principles were partly a response to popular revulsion over the deaths of more than quarter of a million mostly civilians in the 1945 US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Mr Ishihara claimed that Mr Sato, who won the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize for his opposition to plans for a nuclear weapons programme, was at the same time secretly approaching the US for help in developing an atomic bomb.

“If the Sato administration had unilaterally developed nuclear weapons then, for a start North Korea wouldn’t have taken so many of our citizens,” said the Governor, referring to Pyongyang’s abduction of an unknown number of Japanese people.

Mr Ishihara is expected to step down this year after 12 years governing the city of 13 million people. He once called gay people “abnormal” and elderly women who can’t have babies “useless”. His right-wing politics and persistent warnings about the rise of China have earned him the sobriquet “Japan’s Jean-Marie Le Pen”.

Japan goverment showed before the nuclear crisis that it failed to jumpstart the economy and since March 11, the country operates as if nobody was in charge. As the situation worsens in spite of the official optimistic tone, unrest develops with heavy-handed crackdown on protesters in Tokyo. Censorship affects newspapers and social media and blogs hosted in Japan. Public opinion is reportedly massively favorable towards the Japanese army deceptively called the Self-Defense Forces, who provide their help on the field in Tohoku as well as in Wakayama hit hard by the typhoon Talas. A recent Yomiuri Shimbun article reproduced below mentions that : “Although 82 percent of respondents said the Self-Defense Forces had performed well in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, just 6 percent felt the government had done a good job–and only 3 percent said the Diet had done so.”

The public high opinion of the omnipresence of the JSDF, the ramp-up in anti-riot deployment, censorship and the lack of political leadership in an economically damaged country whose nuclear outlook is negative could unfortunately prove to be the perfect environment for a coup d’état. Japan national pride has been repeatedly damaged recently, from the loss of the worldwide leadership in the car industry, the drop out of all Japanese companies from the Forbes 50 Asia, the continuous slide of Japan ranking in the Global Innovation Index, the inability to firmly defend its proclaimed sovereignty in Senkaku islands against the Chinese presence, similar issues with Russia in the Kuril islands, the incapacity of getting rid of American army bases in Okinawa and elsewhere, the failure of Kyoto protocole, the undeserved international image it feels it has over its whaling activities, the frustration of not being a nuclear power and be free to participate in more aggressive operations overseas, etc. Japan is a conservative country which longs for the bright future it lost when the war was lost.

In 1960 South Korea, a student uprising (the “4.19 Revolution”) led to the resignation of the autocratic President Syngman Rhee. A period of political instability followed, broken by General Park Chung-Hee’s military coup (the “5.16 coup d’état“) against the weak and ineffectual government the next year. Park took over as president until his assassination in 1979, overseeing rapid export-led economic growth as well as severe political repression. Park was heavily criticised as a ruthless military dictator, although the Korean economy developed significantly during his tenure.

Japan is undergoing a similar situation and the economic success of the South Korean Supreme Council for National Reconstruction, oriented towards exports like current Japan, could be a tempting model for the JSDF. Besides, South Korea continue to economically fares much better than Japan. In Asia, dictatorships and iron-hand democracies are common and some prove economically successful, for instance China, Singapore, South Korea and if you know the country well beyond its friendly international image, Japan. Asian countries share confucean values of order, social harmony and surrender to elders’ authority which are perfectly suited to host a dictature which we hope Japan will not host.

The risk for expats, should this be unfortunately the case, seems minimum and comparable to working in countries such as Singapore or China.

Although the Yomiuri Shimbun article title is about the fear of a new earthquake, it moves quickly to topics regurlarly found in SurvivalJapan posts and shows that Japanese people are aware of these risks – with the shouting exception of food, which may not have been a specific choice answer in the poll.

The Yomiuri Shimbun article is reproduced hereafter :

78% of people worry about future big quake

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Nearly 80 percent of Japanese worry that a major earthquake could occur in the area they live–the highest figure since 2002–and only 3 percent believe the Diet has done a good job handling the March 11 disaster, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they are concerned radioactive substances that leaked from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant could harm the health of themselves and their families, according to the survey, which was conducted Sept. 3 and 4.

The proportion of people worried about radioactive materials harming their health was highest in the Tohoku and Kanto regions at 76 percent. The figure was 51 percent in the Chugoku region and Shikoku, and 59 percent in Kyushu.

Although 82 percent of respondents said the Self-Defense Forces had performed well in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, just 6 percent felt the government had done a good job–and only 3 percent said the Diet had done so.

This suggests the public was unhappy with the confrontation between ruling and opposition parties that hindered government efforts to provide assistance and start rebuilding after the disaster.

Seventy-three percent were impressed with the efforts of volunteers, 52 percent with firefighters, 42 percent with local governments in devastated areas, and 40 percent with the police. Multiple answers were allowed to this question.

When asked what worried them most about the earthquake and the nuclear accident, 68 percent of respondents said “the spread of radioactive material,” followed by “a downturn in the economy” at 51 percent, “the deteriorating employment situation” at 34 percent and “electricity shortages” at 33 percent.

The survey also revealed that many people have reaffirmed the importance of ties with close relatives and friends since the disaster. This tendency was especially evident among women.

Fifty-six percent of respondents said they increasingly valued their relationships with their families. The figure was 61 percent for women and 50 percent for men.

The survey was conducted on 3,000 eligible voters randomly chosen nationwide, with 1,673, or 56 percent, giving valid responses.

(Sep. 11, 2011)