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To rebuild or not? Japan's tsunami coast wonders

26 Comments

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When the effects of the shock fade the Japanese will rebuild, no question, if not by the current owners, there’ll be people to buy any sea side real-estates. Heck, Yes!

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Its like the people who live in Tornado alley. They lose all their stuff, yet keep on living there. However if I lived near the coast in Miyagi and lost everything, Id strongly reconsider moving a few miles inward.

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Its a real problem, you can build to withstand earthquakes, but you cannot build to keep you safe from tsunami's, thats unless you build 20 metre high barriers which would be ugly and the cost would be astronomical. We just have to hope this was a very rare event.

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They built a tsunami barrier to protect the town of Taro. It took years to construct and cost of fortune. It did not work. Water got trapped inside the barrier.

Unfortunately, it did succeed in giving the people of Taro a false sense of security. They were so convinced that they were safe that some stood on the barrier to watch the tsunami. They were swept away.

I think since the Asian tsunami, people are becoming more aware of their danger.

People should be encouraged and helped to set up their communities in safer places. However, existing communities should not be broken up. Try to keep a town's people together in a new town.

I fear that as pouring concrete is an integral part of political corruption, this will be the chosen remedy. We will have more concrete and more tetrapods.

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Maybe a solution would be to ban new construction in some coastal areas, like in France. The area closest to sea should be transformed into a natural environment reserve and a memorial for the lost souls.

As indicated above, these cities have a rapidly aging population (it is even worse in smaller villages) and a crumbling economy. Furthermore, many of the cities were struggling financially. The situation was already bad (living standards have been decreasing during the last 15 years), but I believe the tsunami will be the end for the smallest communities.

Let's hope this disaster will be the beginning for a new Japan based on a new paradigm:

decentralisation to bring more workforce and economic activity to remote prefectures

protection of the natural environment, which could favor a new kind of environmentally-friendly tourism

promotion of immigration in remote areas. Unless a young dynamic workforce comes to join for the economic recovery, I don't imagine any future for these communities. Bring in thousands of foreigners, Chinese, etc..., who will bring new businesses and tax revenue for the local communities.
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How about moving residents inland a few kms, and putting wind farms along the coast?

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Moving people inland sounds all nice and good.

What happens to the land that the currently own in the destroyed town and who owns the land that you want to move them to?

Plus, moving them also would be same as building a town from nothing(new sewers, roads, etc) that would take way longer and be more costly than rebuilding and improving the current town.

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More than likely many of us will not live long enough to see that area revitalized with new villages and towns.

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The reality is that in the last 115 years the Sanriku Coast has experienced 4 major tsunamis taking the lifes of an estimated 150,000 people. As sad as it may be for the inhabitants, i think this area should never be rebuilt again. Wind farms should be built there, 250 wind generators are needed to replace one nuclear reactor. The government should buy the land of those people and they should be relocated all over Japan. Moving away is possible, most of us foreigners on here have done it too.

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knackertz;How about moving residents inland a few kms, and putting wind farms along the coast? This is exactly we need to do. More investment in nature and natural energy. And an inter-dependent living.

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I wouldn't mind living near the coast, don't think we are going to see another tsunami like that in our life times.

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you can't put wind farms on the coast - what will happen to the sea birds?

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sadly some of these places were well on their way towards becoming ghost towns, places like htis are all over the place, so there is in fact a ton of choices where people cud move if they wish to.

While I understand the desire to remain where you lived, clearly some of these places need to just cleaned up some & then left to mother nature, hopefully both govt & people will realize this & not re-build too many places that will immediately just start to decline.

Wont be easy but I hope those displaced can make new starts soon, many in new areas of the country.

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What about tourism in the area? I don't really want to see Tokyo that much. Would rather stay near the natural areas and possibly other Japanese Americans would like to come to areas with some kind of ancient architecture (replicated).

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Don't let the older ones rebuild where it is likely another tsunami could occur! We could have a program for Am. Japanese - called "Reconnect". We would be happy to meet and befriend the old ones.

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Ask the residents what they want to do.

Then help them do that.

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you can't put wind farms on the coast - what will happen to the sea birds?

There are plenty of wind farms already in coastal areas already.

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They should not rebuild there - it is simply too dangerous. Make a memorial, and the citizens should all move away to other cities and towns.

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There's a good reason people build at the coast and not inland. There simply is no safe place inland. Move inland in Japan and you move up hills and mountains. Each year during heavy rain lots of buildings already get swept off the hill. Moving everybody inland is no viable option unless you want them to be swept out to sea in no time.

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A very difficult question that is begging for an emotional answer. Time will answer this question.

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This may sound cold but economy dictates where they can rebuild and sustain viability..............

May be turn the affected coastal area into a natural preserve( no home ) but have " outlet/harbor facility " with good roads for the fishing industry. The people can move a bit further inland and settle on higher ground. The fishing industry can still provide incomes but the fisherman will have to commute there.

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Look at what happened to Kobe in 1995 and look at what Kobe looks like today. Yes Kobe a smaller area, but it just shows you how when they put their minds to it, you can rebuild and rebuild fast.

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i have been to kesennuma a few times, my partners family are there. i have been told the history of the town.as a fishing town, this may not happen. redevelop further inland , a possibility. i know these people are stoic and tough. the town will not fade away but will evolve into something sustainable

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These people that remain in these coastal towns are mostly obachan and ojichan. They have generations of attachment to the land and that is their roots. Problem is that there is a lack of money to rebuild the same town the way it was before. Even if they can rebuild close to the ocean, they should build in a mountain slopes and goverment can build new roads and infastructure.

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Build from concrete! There would be some damage, but people would survive! ban wooden constructions in coastal areas! They are a bloody hazard!

Wind farms is a great idea. Seriously at times like this, who cares about damn sea birds?

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Foundations are good in concrete, then slopes are manageable, how you roof yourself is individual...domes anyone....or chop down some mountains, they do that everywhere...flexibility of lifestyle is needed in order to rebuild without creating conflict from surrounding parties. Demanding the same and straight away, seems like you havent even taken in the depths of what you have just faced-todays tv stated demands on sizes for underwears; and Im still trying to get my size here, even after living here 20years!

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