neotron1 comments

Posted in: M5.6 quake rocks central Japan See in context


All good advice, but as someone who was living & working in Koriyama when the 2011 magnitude 9 quake hit, my experience is that you need at least 3 weeks worth of food & water.

The supply chain failed into Koriyama, with warped roads and rail lines, so gasoline stations couldn't get resupplied, and neither could supermarkets, for the first 3 weeks.

Gasoline was rationed in Koriyama for about 4 weeks after the quake - getting up at 3am in order to queue up at the local garage at 4am in order to get a voucher for returning back to the garage for 1500 Yen's worth of fuel later that afternoon wasn't a pleasant experience, but was necessary - so if at all possible, and I realise that not everyone can do so especially if they live in flats in Tokyo (I had a detached house in Koriyama), having a few Jerry cans worth of fuel stored in a safe place and treating the fuel with fuel preserver and implementing a fuel rotation system (use up the oldest fuel and refresh it after 6 months or so of storage, put the next oldest fuel next in the 'refresh queue') is a good idea if you have a car.

Have a generator handy - amazing how much you realise you need electricity in those times - in which case keeping a store of fuel is also necessary as above. I had a generator, but we were very lucky in our part of Koriyama because our electricity supply kept working - dunno how, I kept quipping that our supply equipment was made from Unobtanium at the time. Same for our water supply, it somehow was fine as well - I guess living quite close to the Miharu water dam might have had something to do with it.

Have one of those table top cartridge gas cookers, with a store of gas cartridges as well - serves as a backup method of heating food and boiling water in case you have no means of electricity supply.

And lastly, try to come up with a workable bug-out route or routes. When Fukushima Dai-ichi (which was about 33 miles from my house) went FOOM!, I immediately ensured that we had a full tank of gasoline in our little Wagon R by siphoning off the fuel from the big Honda Orthia we also had (which is why I mentioned keeping a fuel store above - that one caught me out big time), and kept that car on standy so we could bail out if required.

Obviously, even doing all of that above won't guarantee you won't somehow get caught out by circumstances around you, but at least you have tried to mitigate some of the effects of a disaster.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 6 types of Japanese people you’ll meet while living in Japan See in context

In my 6 years of living in Miyakoji-mura (Tamura, the mountain house was 22km from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, and I lived there for one year) and then the outskirts of Koriyama city (for the other 5 years), I never once encountered any of those types.

The encounters I had were the odd "Harro!" from curious schoolkids - which was fine by me. I did meet and make many English-speaking Japanese friends but that was my own doing and they were all down-to-earth and genuine human beings. Perhaps it was down to living in such 'inaka' locations. Good times.

(I now live in my native Scotland having Noped out of Japan in 2012.)

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: Bitcoin exchange CEO charged with embezzlement See in context

I agree with you about the fiat currency part.

However, Karpeles on the other hand, I believe stole the 3.something bitcoin I had with Mt.Gox, which I was trying to move to another wallet, and when I couldn't, I was trying to convert to fiat money and transfereed to my bank account, but got stonewalled right up until all the Mt.Gox scandal became public.

3.something bitcoin doesn't sound like much, but at the time it was worth around £1000 GBP, which I was hoping to retrieve at the time.

So, here's hoping that at least if I don't get my BTC back, that there's enough evidence to reveal exactly where all that BTC went, and that Karpeles, if found guilty, enjoys his stay in Japanese prison.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Olympic logo designer says he endured unbearable harassment See in context

Plagiarism or not - I was always of the opinion that this was a terrible logo design for the Tokyo Olympics. It looks more like a newspaper logo or some other corporate logo, and not what you might expect an Olympics-style logo to be.

Let's hope the new logo choice will be better.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Decontamination of Fukushima hotspots costly and complex See in context

I lived in my Japanese in-law's mountain house 1.5km "around the corner of the mountain" from Miyakoji-mura, in Tamura-shi, from 2007 till 2008, with my wife and our son. This house is about 21km due-east of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. In 2008 we bought a house in Tobu New Town which is right on the eastern outskirts of Koriyama and borders with Miharu, and we loved the house and the surrounding area - by that time we had made lots of friends and I had been helping to teach English both in Miyakoji and Miharu. Shortly after buying the house I managed to find an IT job and worked there over the next few years.

Then the quake happened on March 11th 2011, and subsequently the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster. I managed to obtain a geiger-counter about 4 weeks after the nuke plant went foom, and also paid close attention to the weather/wind patterns at the time. During those 4-5 weeks of food and gasoline rationing. (I ended up waking up at 4am a couple of times to drive down to my usual gas station to queue up to obtain a voucher, then buy a maximum of 2000 Yen worth of gasoline later that afternoon).

We were almost going to evacuate to a friend's place in Kyoto during that time, but, it turned out that the wind patterns and direction had blown the radioactive plume north-westwards from Dai-ichi almost directly to Fukushima city, and then turned south-westwards after that. The result of that was that most of the plume missed Tobu New Town by about 4-5km and we decided to bug-in until either the situation improved or we ran out of supplies. We had plenty of supplies because weirdly enough about a year before the disaster I had strongly started prepping for SHTF situations.

Anyway, about May 2011 I made a trip back to my in-law's mountain house with my geiger-counter to see what the radiation levels were like there. It was increasingly very,very spooky driving towards Miyakoji up route 288, as from about the town of Tokiwa onwards things started to get very quiet - the people living there had been evacuated or had fled the area themselves. The village of Iwaisawa was a ghost town. Eventually I reached the mountain house. I was measuring about 0.5 uSv/hr in the house, and outside, but with the odd spike which sent the geiger-counter bleeping away and it registering 1.5+ uSv/hr, so, it seemed it had mostly escaped the worst of the plume as well. I did measure a lot of hotspots around the area though, but nothing life-threatening, and after an hour or so decided it was better to get back out.

Ironically enough I was measuring much bigger amounts of radiation on the lawn of a friend's house. He and his family lived quite close to the center of Koriyama city - I was measuring more than 8 uSv/hr at ground level on his lawn - I didn't hang around there for long.

Anyway my point is this - a year later and most people were not prepared to move back into Miyakoji. The terrain there is mountainous and it will be almost impossible to clean radioactive soil there from the mountains, where I know for a fact there are plenty of pretty high-radiation hotspots. I can envisage water run-off from the mountains getting into the streams and rivers there - you'd have to scrape the soil and trees and vines off the mountains before making a dent in the radiation levels on there. And then there's the numerous rice fields in the valleys, which are supplied by the water run-off from the mountains - these are going to be unusable for numerous decades.

I've since then taken my wife and son completely out of Japan and we moved to my native Scotland at the beginning of this year - I had had enough of worrying about our future in Japan - coping with the quake and the nuclear disaster really dented my confidence at the time. Oh and I lost my job in August 2011 due to the western company I was working for losing all confidence in having a presence in Koriyama, then there was the long term worry about my son's future - and I suspect that within the next decade or so there's going to be a major quake hitting Tokyo, which will further put Japan in the doldrums. I have no plans to return to Japan.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Posted in: Chernobyl experts hopeful on Fukushima See in context

Onniyama says:

neotron1. Since when is 3 to 7.5 millisieverts/year safe to live? My family and I left Koriyama City. I would advise to get out of there.

The average annual U.S. radiation dose is 620 mrem [1] - which is 6.2 millisieverts per year, yet I don't seem to hear of people evacuating America because of that.

[1] source :

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Chernobyl experts hopeful on Fukushima See in context

zichi wrote:

No one should return to live inside the current no-go zone until all the spent dual and the melted fuel is removed from the NPP and the plant fully decommissioned.

Inside this area, radiation is still reading 25 to over 100 microsieverts per hour. The ground is contaminated with levels above 25 millisieverts to over 100 millisieverts per year.

Are you saying that within the entire 20km radius of the no-go zone, those are the radiation levels? Please cite where you got those figures from. You can't? That's because what you say is untrue; sure, there are areas within the 20km zone where radiation levels are quite high - those will be the areas to the north and north-west of Fukushima Daiichi, which is where the initial plume of radioactive debris and particles were transported by the wind at the time of the hydrogen explosion incidents and subsequent releases.

How do I know this? Because my in-laws have a mountain house in Tamura-shi, which is located just 21km slightly south and west from the nuclear power stations. I and my wife and son lived there for 1 year before moving to the Eastern fringes of Koriyama city, 3 years or so ago. I've been back up to the mountain house since March 11th a few times and measured the radiation levels there myself. Around that place it's roughly between 0.35 to 0.85 microsieverts/hour, which gives an annual dosage of between 3 to 7.5 millisieverts - levels which are to be considered safe.

I already know that there are people living in the nearby village (Miyakoji) who have already moved back. There are areas within Koriyama city with higher radiation levels than areas closer to the nuclear power plant.

What the scientist stated is true - some areas within the 20km zone will be safe to move back to.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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