Abe vows Japan will emerge stronger from 2011 disaster

By Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka

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This is the biggest myth around: that disasters make societies stronger. Kobe? No. Katrina? No. Titanic? No. Asian tsunami? No. And Tohoku...no.

Disasters seriously hurt societies, they don't help them "become stronger."

15 ( +17 / -2 )

"The Abe cabinet will promote a reconstruction that people can truly feel by implementing (policies) one by by."

Or how about actually building some houses.

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Abe vows Japan will emerge stronger from 2011 disaster

Japan will only get "stronger" when someone with half a brain sits in the PM's office.

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And, when exactly does he expect this to happen? No mention of any sort of timeline or schedule. I dare say, the PM's revolving door will have swung many times before there are any significant improvements in the north-east. This is just political lip service. Nothing more and nothing less!

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By "speed up", does he mean "get started"? Because so far all I've seen is lacklustre efforts, and reconstruction funds funnelled into lucrative contracts for big business, little of which gets spent in the disaster zone, and a substantial portion of which goes to the whaling indus...pardon me, "scientific research".

Two years on, and Japan is certainly not "stronger", unless we mean the same elite that have been lining their pockets while telling the people of Japan to tighten their belts.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

while a favourite origin method from Stan Lee, it won't make people stronger in real life

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It's easy to make fun of this but I believe Abe is right. But not because of him, but because of the Japanese people who really are doing something everyday to clean up the mess. If Japan is to be stronger it would need more volunteers to make it happen, not bluster from a politician. If Japanese seek reality and no longer listen to the corporations and their minions then that would indeed make Japan stronger.

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It's very difficult to believe it will become stronger. How many positive articles have we seen about reconstruction? Not many. I think 25% of donations to the area was mispent on completely unrelated projects. Japanese politics has been a mess for so longer, with no leader being able to get anything done. Unless it is an anniversary of the disaster, 3/11 doesn't appear in the news that much. We had a JT article the other day with people claiming to see more ghosts and spirits there.

But to say Japan will become stronger, 2 years after the event? Just seems like Abe is trying to put a favourable spin on things.

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It has been 2 whole years, and basically nothing has happened.

That is the same as if Liverpool had been wiped out and everyone in London just ignored it.

They don't behave properly over here.

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The only things emerging stronger are the voices of discontent.

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Very brave, but don't resign after a year like last time. People of Fukushima and Tsunami hit area need more action, then empty words.

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promising that the nation would emerge stronger from its worst disaster since World War Two.

Same BS the government has been slinging for two years now. Doesn't make the 300,000 folks still in temporary housing one bit better off, does it?

Abe had earlier run an advertisement in English-language newspapers on Monday extolling the virtues of a resilient “New Japan” two years after 3.11

This is really what the J-government is best at -- putting a lovely veneer on things to mask all the real issues so that the outside world things the country is still great. How sad.

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Abe, enough of the rhetoric already. Just saying it won't make it so.

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It's easy to make fun of this but I believe Abe is right. But not because of him, but because of the Japanese people who really are doing something everyday to clean up the mess.

If you think that putting the country even farther into debt, mismanaging what money has been allocated already, putting out false or misleading information about the "recovery" and problems associated with Fukushima are going to make Japan stronger in the future, I sincerely want to share what you've been smoking.

Be nice to get away from reality for a while too.

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Disaster is exactly that, and not some incident that gives strength. How exactly has Japan proven to be stronger? Deficit up massively, yen weaker, lots of people still displaced. Funzo is sppouting all the right platitudes (that is his job) but the facts don't support his story.

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Abe vows Japan will emerge stronger from 2011 disaster

Believe or not that was one of the reasons why US took an initiative called "Operation Tomodachi" to protect Japan from China, NK and Russians invasions. US Navy was cruising around the Islands of Japan.

Japan was very weak and vulnerable when the Earthquake and Tsunami hit Japan. Hope Japanese people see that.

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The event was certainly a disaster, and a tragedy, and no one should forget the damage and suffering involved, nor that it remains an on-going mess, but I'm getting really tired of politicians milking it for any old d*mn thing from the TPP to the Olympics. Shameless.

Compared to most nations, Japan is already strong. What kind of incremental increase in strength can possibly result? Stronger in what? Katrina was a disaster for the USA; did it result in additional "strength"? Not noticeably, and many argue there's persistent, and perhaps more weakness in relevant areas. Is the Fukushima area going to be strengthened? If so, does that impact Japan as a nation and people?

In ten years, will the global community go: Wow, Japan sure came out of the 2011 Fukushima earthquake disaster on top! Who's willing to bet eating their hat over that one?

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Just one note: better to not rebuild near the Pacific coast. The disaster can happen again since the American continent and the plate under the Pacific is gradually moving to the Japan direction.

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yea put your concrete where your mouth is Abe-san

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People get stronger after a disaster. My life was a big disaster, I lost my home, my wife and I cried a river of tears. But that made me a stronger person. I am rebuilding my life, this time is far stronger and if I fail, I will do it way stronger. Gambare!

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Politicians alway tell us those sweet lies that we want to hear. Now I would be interested in how he plans to actually do something about it. First I would question that clean up of a irradiated disaster area is even possible. They were just pointing out the the forests are radioactive an suggesting that it may be necessary to cut them all done. Or do they just forget about cleaning the area up and rush the people back as fast as possible, leaving the health costs down the road? Or do they start giving the money for people to permanently relocate to new areas and abandon the irradiated area for a century or two? I sure sure the victims would like to know just what is actually going to get done, and on what schedule.

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A cleanup is impossible. We've known this all along. Just ask the people of Chernobyl how their "clean up" is going.

Unless some incredible advance in decontamination technology happens, those contaminated areas will stay contaminated 600 years from now, long after we're all gone.

...and yet the government still wants to tell this decontamination story to make it look like they can do anything about this.

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As has every politician in history promised to the voters. I'll believe it when I see it. So far, not at all impressed. Hot air promises and dreams (especially combined with questionable fund allocation) will not shelter those displaced, nor will it decontaminate Fukushima's mess. So far, the only ones I've noticed coming out of this disaster "stronger" since 2011 are the politicians themselves, who ironically have been "holding each others hands" with the nuclear industry since even before 3/11.

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Sorry, not Fukushima's mess. That is an unintentional insult to the people of Fukushima. My apologies and I take it back. I meant TEPCO and the Japanese government.

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kiyoshi All my sympathy, but countries are not people.

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“We pledge anew to learn from them and move forward, holding each other’s hands,”

Yeah, except that you can't do that successfully when you only look at the GOOD things your ancestors have done.

Here's what happened; Abe has spent the past two weeks bragging about how Japan has emerged from these disasters and saying to the IOC Japan has recovered, and now he's taken an add out in English papers to say 'look how well Japan has recovered in two years'. But there's a problem; more and more problems with Fukushima and the radiation it's still spewing out are coming to light; articles about how people are still in shelters because reconstruction is at 0.5% of where it should be by now, but instead new highways have been built in Okinawa and contact lens factories in Nagoya with Tohoku relief money.

Now, THAT can't be the 'recovery' Abe was bragging about! So now that's he's been caught with his pants down we get his separate set of claims and promises to the people. As other posters have said, that'll only happen when an actual leader is elected.

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Unfortunately Japan has been in decline for a couple of decades now, and even though the didaster appears to have brought out the best in some of the populace and sympathy from abroad, don't think it will be a catalyst for A Japanese resurgence.

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Isn't the line that 'we will emerge stronger from this disaster' something a politician say about a week or two after the disaster?

Not 2 bloody years later, when sweet F all has been done!

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when exactly does he expect this to happen? No mention of any sort of timeline or schedule.

If you want to know the government's master plan, read this.


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Disaster or not, Japan has been slowly headed down the drain for some time now. It was possible that the tsunami and nuclear disaster might have jolted the nation out of its downward spiral, but that doesn't seem to be the case. It wasn't enough. It seems the country and culture are only capable of real radical change and adaptation in times of crisis like the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries. Upshot: no, Japan will likely not emerge stronger from this particular debacle.

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It has been 2 whole years, and basically nothing has happened.

Oh come on!

Be fair!

There have been literally hundreds of meetings about it and several reports have been commissioned!

Why, in just a few short years, the paperwork will be all finished!

And Mr Abe says that we'll all emerge stronger from this.

If he says so, it must be so!

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Best of luck in that. I see the next big one brewing: Mt. Fuji eruption. If that professor from Okinawa is correct, it will happen before 2015. So, hope some lessons are learned.

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"Best of luck in that. I see the next big one brewing: Mt. Fuji eruption. If that professor from Okinawa is correct, it will happen before 2015. So, hope some lessons are learned."

East Asia needs to help each other out. Korea and China should donate and help prop up Japan if it happens. Historical issues can easily be resolved. All three east asian nations have phenomenal soft power due to their attractive culture and a sense of chinese confucianism that ties everyone together. Their potential of working together for economic prosperity is seriously hampered by easy to fix issues.

But like always East asian cultures involves saving face so nothing is ever accomplished. Pity. An asian "EU" would have been amazing.

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As a European, I wouldn't say that the EU has been a smooth road by any means.

And, as you suggest, an Asian version of the EU would be very difficult indeed.

However, at the same time as keeping different nationalities and ideologies, there are many ways that Asian countries can cooperate.

In fact, it is only by doing so, that the energy problems can be solved.

Nuclear power is not the only way to provide energy. By cooperation with neighbouring countries, we can help each other to establish renewable forms of energy production that are safer and less polluting than nuclear power.

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