David McIntosh comments

Posted in: Top 10 things even Japanese people think they’re too obsessive about See in context

The wording of #3 (politicians and celebrities accidentally saying the wrong thing) is a bit too sweeping, I think. Most people occasionally say something "wrong" accidentally; e.g. mis-state a number by a factor of 10, or say the name of Mr.B when they meant to say Mr.A. Japanese people don't obsess about this sort of "wrong." What they DO get worked up about from time to time is public fugures saying things that are outrageous. For example, former Prime Minister Aso saying Japan could learn constitutional reform lessons from the Nazis. Or a male lawmaker yelling across the lgislature floor at a young female diet member speaking about the problem of falling rural population, "You should give birth first!" Or a politician stating; Japan needs nuclear power plants so we can produce plutonium for atomic weapons. In Japan such people offer a lame excuse or half-hearted apology and remain right where they are. In many other countries they'd suffer graver consequences, at least temporarily, to save face for their political party. All of this to say, Japanese people actually appear to obsess about a-hole politicians much LESS than do the citizens of many other countries. Attention given to loose-lipped celebrities is another matter altogether: If you ask me, anything more than a 5-minute twitter storm is ridiculous/disgusting, if it about something said by Beat Takeshi, or by some AKB49er. But this is not a phenomenon unique to Japan.

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Posted in: No rise in cancer seen from Fukushima nuclear disaster: U.N. See in context

@Mike O'Brien "Except the rate of thyroid cancer in Japan is about 4.2 cases per 100,000 people per year. So a couple of cases in two years with 160,000 evacuees is actually fewer cases than expected."

4.2 per 100,000 sounds about right for the population as a whole, averaged across age groups. But among children the incidence of thyroid cancer is much lower than this averaged figure. This is why just 2 cases among Fukushima children represents a statistically significant spike.

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Posted in: No rise in cancer seen from Fukushima nuclear disaster: U.N. See in context

Hmm. Japanese media has already reported a couple of cases of thyroid cancer in Fukushima children since the two Fukushima nuclear plant explosions, that this represents a statistically significant spike in incidence, and that further monitor and analysis is needed to determine whether or not this spike is related to the Fukushima Daiichi accident. This article mentions none of this. Is it because the "experts" who wrote the UNSCEAR study MISSED this information, OMITTED it, or ADDRESSED and DISMISSED it on scientific grounds? These questions would lead to a much more interesting and informative article.

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Posted in: OECD chief says Japan needs nuclear power See in context

Re upintheair's post:

1 - Nuclear energy is neither safer nor more dangerous than oil.

The dangers of nuclear and oil energy are different in quality, not quantity. The word "more" has no meaning here, absent full discussion of "danger."

2 - Japan does in fact need this energy source at the moment to function well.

Japan has been functioning just fine for over 1 year with every one of its 47 nuclear plants down. Best not to talk through your ass when posting comments in the internet.

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