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Japan's disasters highlight vulnerable infrastructure

15 Comments
By Anne Beade

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Japan's disasters highlight vulnerable infrastructure

I would have gone with poorly designed and cheaply constructed, but vulnerable would be the politically correct term to conceal the truth.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

"Because of concerns about engine noise, Kansai -- located in the bay of Osaka -- is the world's first airport entirely situated on a huge man-made island, putting it at risk of flooding, tsunamis and typhoons."

Japan in a nutshell: who cares if it's a terrible idea (after we've asked what you think), we just want to say we were first, like with Beaujolais Nouveaux.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Seems to me the infrastructure does a pretty good job under extreme conditions like massive typhoon, earthquake and similar.  We sure spend enough money on it.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Everything in japan is over 40 years old, global warming is also 40 years old.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Cheaper infrastructure means fragile frameworks that causes bigger disasters. It's common sense and it will never be discovered 'til the real disaster happen. Very intrigue and doubtful many experts of big companies are concerned and authorities experts allowed that infrastracture less prices. Many fragile points will come up when disasters occur and this high technology of always advancing will show the defects of capitalistic system, one day soon...Unfortunately who are guilty for those results, are the subcontracted small/ micro-companies.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Goodlucktoyou - Everything in japan is over 40 years old, global warming is also 40 years old

Allow me to add some perspective to your statement. The recent storm to hit Osaka was the strongest in 50 years. That means storms of that intensity had struck Japan before these infrastructure were built (40 years ago). This also means you cannot blame global warming for Japan’s poor judgement and standards of infrastructure. Japan is like a ¥100 chocolate bar in a Mitsukoshi wrapper. It looks great on the outside, but under the wrapper it is just cheap and poorly manufactured crap.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Smithinjapan

Japan in a nutshell is not thriving on terrible ideas and not caring. Japan is a fantastic place that is far from perfect and has its own problems and corruption and bad ideas just like everywhere else.

But to do things just to be first and not caring...no thats not us in a nutshell.

It takes maturity and objectivity to see things maturely and objectively.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Vulnerable landscape

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Mess+Mess= Tragedy"

As many of you have said, the poor Infrastructure of Japan has done nothing but make Japan more prone to a Disaster, like the one in Hokkaidō. This is one mess.

Putting all this on man-made islands that are Obviously easily flooded and not doing anything about it is another mess...

But when something big happens, then it will be because of the two messes we have... Mess + Mess = Tragedy

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The house of cards had to come to an end at some point. Better to use and improve other airports than keep pretending a sinking island airport in a nation beset by typhoons was such a great idea

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There's a lot of 'infrastructure' in this country, as they've been propping up their economy with concrete for a generation. Tunnels, bridges, rivers, sea walls, mountain roads, they all need maintaining through baking summers and freezing winters. And of course typhoons, quakes, eruptions and landslides. I think they do a commendable job of keeping it all ticking over, but by jove the annual cost must be enormous.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

thepersoniamnow: "But to do things just to be first and not caring...no thats not us in a nutshell."

Hogwash. Just ask the people that pay millions of yen for the first melons, the Japanese who scramble for the first Beaujolais in the nation that enjoys being the first to buy it (while the town in France laughs to the bank), that brags when because of time zone they are the first to screen a Hollywood blockbuster, first to buy SARS scanners at airports (which didn't work), etc. etc. In the article we are posting on, of course, they wanted to build a "world's first" airport, and we've been paying for it ever since to keep it afloat and now with disasters that were incredibly easy to predict would happen. Why can't you admit it was just a bad idea to build KIX the way it was in a nation so prone to natural disasters that come off the sea?

"It takes maturity and objectivity to see things maturely and objectively."

He says subjectively and with extreme bias.

"Japan is a fantastic place that is far from perfect and has its own problems and corruption and bad ideas just like everywhere else."

I don't disagree with that, but you cannot deny it loves to be able to say it is the first to have done something, even if that means sacrificing quality or paying an arm and a leg for a product/service that should cost a couple of bucks.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Don't know why everyone is saying its all about the infrastructure. From the story a tanker rammed into the bridge. Not like anything is going to be able to be made that would have stopped a huge ship from doing damage. When it comes to reality we can only build to a certain level with diminishing returns and have to wait to see where things go wrong over the years of service.

If you want to see real broken down infrastructure then look no where else than the USA now that is infrastructure that is old and nothing is been done. But hey we do have the biggest Navy in the world so that much count for something? /s

1 ( +1 / -0 )

KIX should have been place closer to shore, like Hong Kong's airport, which also has two road links, not one like Kansai's.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The infrastructure of Japan isn't terrible, and I'm not sure why people are necessarily supporting this idea. As far as earthquakes, warning systems, transport safety and general infrastructure, Japan is safer than most countries. There is limited space in Japan and I don't believe the Japanese are great decision makers, and obviously the Kansai airport was a dumb one, but once they make something, it's pretty well built. We see buildings, bridges and structural damage from natural disasters, throughout the world, and I find people ragging on the Japanese infrastructure to be whining about something where the relativity to its place among the world should be taken into consideration and further, it is one of the best infrastructures in cities worldwide.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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