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Protest

69 Comments

Shoji Ando, a 67-year-old farmer from Chiba Prefecture, who brought his cow, joins a protest in front of the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) headquarters in Tokyo on Tuesday. More than 200 farmers affected by radiation spewing from the tsunami crippled Daiichi nuclear power plant staged the demonstration to demand that TEPCO pay them adequate compensation for loss of income caused by having to leave their farms, or for having produced withdrawn from the market due to contamination fears. See story here.

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Then pay the rest of Tohoku and Kanto stress cash. That'll finish TEPCO. Hurrah.

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To error is human; to forgive, bovine.

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laguna,,,priceless :D

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Farmers and cows just across the street from Ginza. That's a sight to see.

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one million yen..sounds large in Yen but its only chicken feed these days. about $12,000 People in that area need a lot more than that from these greedy companies.....

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One has to wonder if these protesters will moooove Tepco into action. They must think Tepco is the worst energy company heifer.

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Ando-san, his illustration, and the cow went to the city to protest. A refreshing picture : )

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Pay up, TEPCO! And stop thinking about the bottom-line and the miserable shareholders: those two factors are unimportant. This crisis will probably finish off these old fellas like Mr. Ando.

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The writing is on the wall already. The government will protect Tepco and shield them from too many claims and too much economic damage. They will then turn to you and I for payment in the form of income tax, sales tax and other fees.

That money will fail to find its way into the hands of farmers like this poor guy. Instead it will be devoured by red tape, pet contractors and study groups who will waste much of it and poor deploy the rest.

In the end, Tepco will go on, their stake holders and leaders undaunted while the rest of us bleed money that ultimately will fail to make up for the losses these people have suffered.

Meanwhile the mountain of money donated from abroad to Japan will get stuck in discussions until people in the area work out their own solutions.

I think Japan can be as corrupt and inefficient as Indonesia, one of the world's worst examples, only Japan masks it better under red tape, committees and contract awards.

Depressing and criminal.

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protests? really? how about a law suit?

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tkoind2: I've been saying this all along. No way TEPCO can pay what they're liable for. The government will back them up and a few years from now the great earthquake and tsunami will be water under the bridge.

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Is there insurance for these types of accidents? It's not like TEPCO decided one day "hey, let's spew radiation today!". It was a results of the 5th largest earthquake in recorded history, followed by the 2nd largest tsunami in recorded history. It seems under normal circumstances the safety and backup procedures were more than adequate. I'm not sure TEPCO should be liable for anything.

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Well put tkoind2.

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Just curious, how does one go about getting info about these demos before thtey take place? I would have loved to have joined. Still, in light of all that has happened to the farmers and their animals, 200 is a pretty low turnout.

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Dc2020: Doubt that protest info is easily available(no announcements) to the general public. And the army of police that shows up wants to keep it that way.

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He and his cow should protest mother nature. Why aren´t they up at Yasukuni Shrine protesting to the Kami?

Cows and scapegoats...

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WilliB. Because mother nature did not show up in their towns hawking nuclear power as the supreme safe energy solution. Tepco did. Do I need to really explain this?

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tkoind2: Well said !

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ManfromAmerica, it certainly was not the second largest tsunami in recorded history, and being the 5th largest earthquake in recorded history is irrelevant because it obviously depends on the earthquake level in the relevant area. It also certainly IS normal for Japan to be hit by such an earthquake, and TEPCO and the government were warned about the high likelihood of this years ago but decided to go for profits and inadequate safety measures first.

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oikawa - it is NOT normal for Japan to be hit by such an earthquake. It was the largest in recorded Japanese history.

And yet even so, the safety precautions seem to have been more than adequate to handle it. It was the combination tsunami comnbination that hampered the safety processes. And tsunami's of this sort are NOT normal for Japan.

TEPCO probably could have withstood 99% of natural disaster eventualities.

I don't see why they are negligent.

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TEPCO does not have the capital to fully compensate all the people effected by the Dai-Ichi crisis. Come to think of it, I don't think there is enough money in Japan to fully compensate all those effected.

I don't see why they are negligent.

They are negligent because they were warned two years ago that their plant was in disrepair and they did nothing about it. One of the points mentioned in the report was the electrical system, which directly lead to this disaster.

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They are negligent because they were warned two years ago that their plant was in disrepair

What was the finding?

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TEPCO probably could have withstood 99% of natural disaster eventualities. I don't see why they are negligent.

Are you on the TEPCO payroll?

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manfromamerica - they are entirely negligent, the power plant was built to withstand a quake in the mid 7s and resist a tsunami of 5 metres. They knew full well there would be a bigger earthquake than this as history has shown. Why do you think they are tsunami markers warning of this from the past. It is obviously normal (as in happens every 100-200 years). When you have building standards you build to extreme levels (particularly nuclear power stations) not to standards from natural disasters from the past 50 years. The govt. will bail them out as theyll pretend there`s no way they can pay the compensation amounts, all this while those at the top will probably be getting bonuses.

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He needs to get that cow out of the truck and up on the HQ doorstep where it can really make a point......... or at least a pattie.

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namban -

they are entirely negligent, the power plant was built to withstand a quake in the mid 7s and resist a tsunami of 5 metres.

That seems entirely reasonable. Should they also make the plan asteroid proof?

Also, can farmers or people near the plant purchase some kind of insurance for this?

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"That seems entirely reasonable."

Not really Man, as was pointed out, there are stone markers(some as old as 800 years old) that warned not to build below that point. TEPCO, and thousands of citizens for that matter, chose to ignore the warnings. And of course those citizens built only houses, stores, etc. TEPCO built a nuke plant.

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ManfromAmerica, of course tsunamis that big are normal for that area. A simple wikipedia and google search will show you that. Tsunamis higher than 5 metres have hit Japan at least twice in the last 100 years alone, let alone in the previous millions of years which can also be scientifically detected. And as both you and I said the plant did indeed withstand the earthquake, it was the tsunami that broke its defences.

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paul -

oh, stone markers. There were also old maps that clearly showed the world ended somewhere in the mid-Atlantic.

oikawa - Then TEPCO is also faulty for building facilities in Tokyo so close to Fuji, because everyone knows that eruption is coming.

Come on, you have to be kidding to believe TEPCO or anyone could have been 100% immune to this level of natural disaster.

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Not if their defences are adequate against a predicted eruption. That's the main point, a lot of people, including you, seem to think this disaster was unpredictable, but it certainly wasn't, and they WERE warned about it which is why they were negligent. Again a simple search will show you that. This was not like an asteroid strike, like you compared it to. A Fuji eruption is a fair comparision and like I said if they have prepared reasonably then they are not faulty. Having said that there are some experts who say Japan simply cannot ever build nuclear reactors safely anywhere in such a seismologically active country. However that does not mean this specific disaster was unable to be safely protected against.

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oikawa - wow! How about defense against meteors? After all, hundreds of thousands of meteors have hit the earth, and continue to.

I don't see how TEPCO can be faulted too much for not being able to handle this level of natural disaster. I also wonder how, if living and working in these areas were so dangerous, why people didn't adequately prepare or buy insurance to cover these types of events.

I think there really isn't anyone to blame in this situation, no matter how badly people feel the need for a scapegoat.

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oikawa - just to clarify - I do understand the good points you are making, so I'm not trying to be dismissive. I just think the level of natural disaster here is unusual. I also don't want to automatically heap blame on the corporations just because they are corporations. I also don't want to make this debate an argument about "nuclear energy - should we or shouldn't we", which is where some people are taking this, and which is entirely irrelevant because we do do nuclear energy.

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I tend to agree with those who don't believe TEPCO should be liable for negligence. Negligence is a legal concept, basically requiring one to act as a reasonably prudent person would do in similar circumstances. This does not mean they must take all precautions to avoid any accidents whatsoever. Granted, this is a nuclear power plant so a high degree of care is warranted. But did they do anything different than such plant operators do around the globe? This is a 40+ year old plant, without any serious accidents despite Japan being a quake-prone country, until the unprecedented 9.0 quake and tsunami. Perhaps they ignored warnings, but the question is whether their actions were in line with a reasonable person (or plant operator) -- not a perfect one, but a reasonable one -- in like circumstances. This will be for industry experts to fight out, not a bunch of farmers or internet posters.

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manfrom america: I see your point and do share a similar opinion. But if there was an inspection that found that some of the electrical system was faulty, and it played a major role in the inability to keep the powerplant cooled during an emergency...then I think there is a bit of blame to be put on them.

But from what it seems, it was the tsunami that knocked everything out. And even though in the past tsunamis may have been that high, it doesn't seem the building regulation actually required TEPCO to have waterproof backup generators. If there was no building requirement before, it seems really hard to ding them for it. But I can gaurantee that there will be such a requirement from now on.

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combinibento and sakurala-

I agree with both of you. Hard for us to judge and assign blame in this case. As combini says, "This will be for industry experts to fight out, not a bunch of farmers or internet posters", so at this point to whip up a frenzy against the evil corporations is just out of place.

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While the jury decides, we the people should look for unbiased and intelligent sources for information about this very complex topic. I recommend a blog called "atomic power review", please google it. So amazingly informative.

Everyone involved, TEPCO, the farmers, the Tohoku people, they are all suffering a great deal, it's just such a horrible situation for all parties. At the very least, this will have a great impact on the construction of nuclear power plants.

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yongyang:

" Then pay the rest of Tohoku and Kanto stress cash. That'll finish TEPCO. Hurrah. "

Sure. Why don´t you switch off all your electrical appliances, and live without using electricity. Try to windmill and candle-light yourself through your day. Oh yes, and your workplace too.

Hurrah indeed...

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Japan Today, Bungling, cover-ups define Tepco March 19, 2011

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Nothing is safe from nature. Nothing. And nothing is free: energy production from any source causes repercussions. This point is MOOt.

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tkoind2 at 10:55 AM JST - 27th April WilliB. Because mother nature did not show up in their towns hawking nuclear power as the supreme safe energy solution. Tepco did. Do I need to really explain this?

tkoind2 you hit the nail right on the head, nicely said. TEPCO is liable for all this damage and suffering caused. They should compensate all these poor farmers and people living in the zone.

Of course that's probably never going to happen though. Like someone here said, in a few years, it'll all be water under the bridge.

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@Willy: That might be a Boomer approach but us younger folks are already ahead of you, saving energy. Not got electrical wheel chairs to charge or anything but the essentials. You Boomers don't run the show, thank time.

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By the way, that's one very nice looking cow sitting in the truck.

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I wonder if Ando's cow knows it doesn't have long to live.

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Some of you people here have GOT to be kidding me! TEPCO does not prepare their dangerous nuclear power plants properly for the type of tsunami that has happened in the past in Japan, and you say they are not guilty? LOL!~

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I wonder if Ando's cow knows it doesn't have long to live.

please have sympathy for the poor animal.

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Laguna wins before I even finish reading the rest of the comments to this mega-tragic story.

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And, finally, some disaster humor. Thanks everyone, really needed that! :D

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The animal situation is completely heart rending. Is nuclear power really the answer? I don't think so. Wait until another two or three of these disasters happen. Maybe then humans will be motivated to wrest control from the Powers That Be and do things that will work long term, instead of by ludicrous quarterly stock returns. But, I doubt this is going to happen, and we will soon join the cows of Miyagi.

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"please have some sympathy for the poor animal"

Love, sorry, I should have added, "I feel sorry for the poor cow."

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Sarge, the cow is so cute, joking with its life expectancy is a bit unsympathetic. Look at its intelligent eyes,ost probably it knows what is happening and is looking reproachfully.

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This farmers Dignity is unimpeachable. Love the pose. He is in the right according to a recent article wherein the grass should be checked for radiation levels, from prefectures Aomori to Shizuoke, excluding a few along the way.

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Why not sit down to make a deal - TEPCO said to people. Don't do what you don't want others do to you. Others can watch you .... "secret cameras" .... Don't do that ... what kind of person you are ... Use your money to make people feel happy, not to make people hate you!!!

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Does TEPCO have insurance to cover public liability in any case of nuclear accident? If it does , then insurance premium will go up and up ...meaning everyone will pay.

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tclh, No insurance company on earth sell insurance premium to nuclear power plants. Why? If TEPCO purchased such policies, It would have pay at least $500 million to $1 billion a year in the last 40 years. Furthermore, most of utilities companies, either private or public, have some connections with the government's ministries and administrations. Then, .... the consequences are ... consumers need to pay more or ... what?

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If thats the case( no insurance) I wonder why TEPCO is allowed to run its business in the first place at all ? Like car insurance in Australia, compulsary third party insurance is a MUST to register your car because if you cause accident and injure or kill somebody(ies) ,the cost of compensation is just too high for most people to bear.

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tclh:

" f thats the case( no insurance) I wonder why TEPCO is allowed to run its business "

Because there is no insurance against force majeure.

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good on this man! fight fight! so many farmers are suffering. tepco pay up!

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Man - thank you for your reply. The crux of the dispute is whether this event was a reasonably predictable event which should have been protected against. Meteor strikes are just irrelevant, they are so random and massive meteor strikes literally unprotectable against, but that is simply not the case with these earthquakes. They are not random and not unprotectable against. Please just google the 1896 and 1933 Sanriku earthquakes, which weren't even 9.0s, but only 7.3 or something, and produced tsunami as big or bigger than the recent one.

I agree with you that this shouldn't be a debate about nuclear energy and they shouldn't be blamed simply because they are a corporation, but the simple fact remains that they were negligent because they were shown the evidence for just such an event as this occurring and did not act on it. It's that simple. For whatever reason that was I don't know but it's irrelevant. If you are shown something like this can happen tomorrow then you have to act as soon as reasonably possible.

As for "internet experts" not being able to join in this debate I think in the age of the internet almost everyone is an expert to some extent. Don't be so quick to dismiss what "ordinary" people can find out. Just look at how many people have diagnosed their own illnesses on the net when their doctors couldn't. All experts are are people who have the relevant information and facts at hand, but the real expert is the one who interprets that information the best, and it just takes a few searches as I've shown to find all the recent massive earthquakes and tsunamis that have hit the same area in the last 100 years, so if the "experts" couldn't see there was a likelihood for a similar event happening again and which needed to be protected against then I think we need to redefine what an "expert" is. As I've said it takes a few seconds to find on as simple a site as wikipedia information about massive tsunamis hitting the same coastline very recently, but the "experts" didn't see this and couldn't predict this?? My 4 year old could do that. If the TEPCO scientific advisors couldn't they are either incredibly negligent or incredibly stupid.

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@Oi: Just greedy, arrogant men. Nothing new.

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For such matter, Japanese consumers may know how to ask lawmakers to pass new bills. Safety and other concerns can cost Japan's economy because Japanese companies can allocate their factories and offices to overseas. But Nuclear power is cheap when it does not cause widespread nuclear radiation. but Tsunami and quakes are out of human controls. The picture can be translated into different directions - you earn more, but we hurt more; or you earn less, we feel safe. Farmers and residents need safe environments for working and living from today. How many people lost their jobs and income and evacuated so far?

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YongYang, you talked to yourself or your boss? I guessed both.

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@MYRB: No, I wrote 'men'. Greedy, arrogant men as in the male of our species. Oh, greedy, arrogant and of course RUDE.

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LoveUSA - I wasn't joking.

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LoveUSA - I wasn't joking.

Useless to say the destiny of the cow makes me too sad. I thought you are amusing yourself with the poor cow. I hope the farmers are renumerated and compensated. in the best possible way.

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oikawa -

good points. I think our disagreement is on where the line of reasonable expectation is. Anyway I appreciate your stance, and largely I agree with you.

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now a different question - who is organizing this protest? Anti-nuclear energy groups perhaps? Or is it really grassroots? (good for them if it is authentically grassroots).

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manfromamerica wrote:

oikawa - just to clarify - I do understand the good points you are making, so I'm not trying to be dismissive. I just think the level of natural disaster here is unusual.

And ...

I think our disagreement is on where the line of reasonable expectation is.

Yes, 'reasonable expectation' is the point. I'm with Oikawa.

As Oikawa notes, the M-number on the quake is irrelevant. Smaller, and quite common, sized quakes have generated larger tsunami along the Sanriku Coast (aka "Tsunami Coast") twice prior to this one within the lifetime of people living today.

The size of the tsunami depends on exactly how the earth on the ocean floors moves, not the magnitude of the quake. Many large off-shore produce very small or nil tsunami.

Tsunami in the range of 20-30 meters happen, on average about once every 40 years in the area of the Fukushima plant. This is documented in numerous news reports and academic papers going back a hundred years. Those reports are easily available with a google search.

Google "Teru Suzuki" to read the story of a woman who has seen her village of Ofunato completely destroyed three times (1933, 1960, 2011). The 1960 tsunami was caused by a 9.5M earthquake in Chile and was just a decade before Fukushima was built. It was estimated at 23.6 meters while the '33 quake was about 30 meters. There was another in 1896 that was about 25 meters.

The plant had an estimated use period of about 50 years so it could be reasonably expected that a tsunami in the range of 25 to 30 meters would hit it at least once during that period. And it did, no surprise.

The plant is on a 13 meter rise above the sea and had a 5.7 meter wall so it's clear they prepared for less that could be expected, 20 meters, not the maximum which would be at least 30 meters. So reason should have told them to prepare for 30 or even 40 meters to be on the safe side.

But being on the safe side costs more money, money they didn't want to spend. They gambled and lost. Now they should be forced to pay off their marker.

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Well said Moondog. I still can't understand at all how anyone with a search engine could still think 3/11 was an unusual occurrence.

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Spray Tepco with milk :P

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