Miyagidad comments

Posted in: Group helps Tohoku kids find some kind of normalcy See in context

The area of psychological support is particularly weak in the Japanese health system as we all know. This period of post-disaster support is particularly vital, by month 3-4, the majority of the survivors have secured the basics and reached a plateau, just as levels of volunteering plummet and they are moved from emergency provision to longer term resettlement/relocation.

That is a huge leap. I believe there are only about 20 specialists in post traumatic stress treatment in the entire country, 4 in Tohoku prior to the disaster. This is also being compounded by the governments decision to run individual lotteries for temporary housing for survivors, which has led to the communal strength and survivors support capacity that has been built up over the previous months being dissipated, diluted and many survivors feeling isolated and compounding the helplessness they feel as they look to the future.

These types of volunteering projects, while not perfect, have a profound effect on the kids and the volunteers themselves, create bonds that endure and show that we care, we will continue to care and the kids themselves will grow-up with the spirit of caring for their own communities - now that is where a sustainable long-term caring system will be born, not from a top-down system that has failed everyone with mental health problems for a very long time.

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Posted in: Alcoholism, suicides rising among farmers hit by nuclear crisis See in context

Truly tragic situation, we have many friends in the S. Miyagi / N. Fukushima areas and they have been devastated. It is going to be especially difficult for any ceritfied organic farmers as it takes 7 years to certify land as organic in Japan, they have sacrificed so much to get certified and now it has been taken from them . This all began to show-up within weeks, a 64 yr-old organic farmer killed himself back in March - In japanese http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0328/TKY201103280468.html

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Posted in: Record high radiation reported at crippled Fukushima nuclear plant See in context

A Man-made tragedy? - about 4 weeks prior to the earthquake/tsunami, the govt gave the go ahead for a 10 year extension to the Fukushima reactor operation, even though in 2002, TEPCO operatives were caught cementing over cracks to the main containment vessel. 2 weeks prior to the earthquake/tsunami, TEPCO issued an official apology, stating that they had failed to test and therefore certify 36 critical systems, including the back-up generators, battery back-ups, the emergency pumps and piping, all of which subsequently failed in the ensuing disaster. Given that, the Nuclear agency still did not take any action......

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Posted in: Gov't names 4 more radiation 'hot spots' near Fukushima plant See in context

The Fukushima Governor, Yūhei Sato and Miyagi Governor, Yoshihiro Murai assisted, protected and promoted the use of MOx fuel in the nuclear facilities in their prefectures, especially Murai's efforts to persuade the Onagawa plant in Ishinomaki to accept MOx fuel, the first in the nation to do that and a decision that weighed heavily on the Fuushima decision to accept that poison.

Check these out: http://cnic.jp/english/newsletter/nit135/nit135articles/nw135.html#onagawa http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9E9Q0I00&show_article=1

They are complicit in this disaster and still in positions of power, hopefully they will go when Kan does.

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Posted in: Gov't asks Kansai to cut energy consumption by 10% See in context

Perhaps it is time to take a long hard look at the energy grid here. Western and Eastern Japan run on different current, 50Mhz and 60Mhz with just a handful of transformers that connect the two. Thus any surge in demand or heaven forbid a CRISIS might occur then electricity can not be supplied from the other region to compensate.

In a country with a cocktail of natural challenges (earthquakes, heatwaves, heavy snow, volcanoes and typhoons) one would think risk management would be at the fore - not the case. A 'just in time' delivery system in the energy sector doesn't make sense at the best of times.

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Posted in: Lower house approves Y2 tril 2nd quake recovery budget See in context

Most of these reconstruction funds (up to 90%) will end up recycled back to the large corporations in Kanto or Kansai - direct repatriation of profits, through building material distribution networks, or simply through money spent in large retailers. There should be a government stipulation attached to all reconstruction funds that there is a limit to the ridiculous levels of subcontracting and that 50%+ of all funds remain in the region.

The large construction companies will hate it, transport companies will grumble about lost profits, energy use will go down and the construction material industry might even have to move large numbers of jobs to the region to meet demand.

It is also an opportunity (though it won't be taken) to move away from the ridiculous notion that PV solar power or Wind turbines can or should be an electricity generating substitute. Invest now in proven systems - combined heat and power (CHP)plants, solar water heaters and preheaters for every home -cheap and effective, substituting portland cement production with flyash and lime based materials (40-90% reduction in energy use in a sector using 12-15% of all energy use), establish a committee to design industrial clustering development for the tsunami areas and beyond, where the waste and energy generated by one factory fuels or contributes to the production of the next one. And so on.....

These are the areas of development that need to be enacted, but there is no discussion, little government capacity, no political will and little understanding of what sustainability actually means.

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Posted in: Japan bans all cattle shipments from Fukushima over radiation fears See in context

Open letter to the experts:

As a father who has evacuated his wife and children from the Fukushima mess I would like to share a couple of insights that will hopefully inform the debate, or lack of one that has been raging:

1 – We don’t know – this is a simple admission, but one that seems to be very difficult for the administration and the so called experts that have visited the villages and towns of Fukushima and Miyagi to reassure us. We don’t know because nothing like this has ever happened before – forget Chernobyl, Hiroshima, Windscale – the timeline, location, climate, topography, wind patterns, ground water systems – are all unique.

2 – We can’t tell – the authorities have simply not taken systematic readings. Air, water and soil samples were not taken in the areas that mattered. We have no benchmark, because samples were not taken prior to the tragedy, the Speedy sensor system failed immediately after the earthquake due to inadequate electricity back up. There are no future projections of radioactive contamination or the isotopes that are involved and no model on which to base them.

3 – We can’t wait – the fact that livestock are receiving more attention than the children in the region is a disgrace. If we had contemplated the scene of our children attending contaminated schools wearing dosimeters on March 10th, it would have been seen as unbelievable. It is still not too late – internal radioactivity is not just for life – it will be passed onto our children’s children and so on down the line – cesium will remain in the environment for approximately 150 years - as a parent that is an unforgivable neglect and we all know that.

Admit we don’t know, accept we can’t tell and act now, move the children out and provide them with a chance at a future. Let’s turn our minds to how to make the evacuation an opportunity for them, rather than ringing our hands over whether we should.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

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