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Anti nuclear protests in Japan

I don’t want to get political, but nearly EVERYbody is against nuclear power in Japan, yet politicians and big businesses are ignoring democratic demands. A member on Google+ posted this picture and message:

Tens of thousands protesting in front of the Prime Minister of Japan’s office – protesting NO NUKES!!! Yet there isnt any disclosure of this in any of the media and press throughout all of Japan.  Please share..
首相官邸前に多くの人が集まり、原発反対と訴えています。これが​報道されていないとは。メディア・コントロールって言うの (G+)

My reply was, “when popular media fails, we have Google+“. At the same time, there are extremely dangerous levels of radioactive water in the basement of reactor four at Fukushima, which is located by the sea (Japan Today). Furthermore, Fukushima seafood is back on the menu (BBC). Also see the New York Times article on that 10,000’s protested (some claims of up to 150,000), claiming it’s the largest protests in Japan since the 1960’s (NYTimes).

POTW: 5Mar 2012 Sakura

This Photo of the Week is for Spring. In southern parts of Japan cherry blossoms, known in Japanese as ‘sakura’, will soon start blooming, and as the warmer temperature clime moves north blomming will reach central Japan early April, and be in Hokkaido at about the end of April early May. Of the many species of cherry blossoms in Japan, the particular ones Japanese most enjoy bloom for just one week. However, some springs are a bit windy which blows the petals away within a few days, and some springs are warm and so the blooming time can be almost two weeks. Whilst the flowers are in bloom, many community groups, groups of friends & families, and companies get together for picnic, barbeques, and to consume lots of Asahi beer. This kind of party is known in Japanese as ‘hanami’, translated as ‘flower viewing’.

The reason why cherry blossoms became so popular for parties is that they are a metaphor for a warrior’s life. It is short lived, beautiful, and ends suddenly. The tradition continues in modern times presumably because it is a convenient narrow-point in the calendar to identify the time for such parties. In spring there are other species of cherry blossoms that bloom for almost a whole month, and the much prettier plum flowers bloom for a month or so as well.

Lunar Eclipse, 10 December 2011

Last night, here in Japan most of us got to see the total lunar eclipse… or parts of it. There was cloud cover on the Korean Sea side of Japan, and patchy cloud sliding across the sky where I am. And it was quite late, so most people had brief looks at it. The last total lunar eclipse that was seen in Japan was eleven years ago, and only seen from Okinawa. I think the next total lunar eclipse will be 8th October, 2014 at or just after moon rise.

JASDF Grounds its F15 jets

It was announced tonight that the Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) has grounded its fleet of 202 F-15 Eagle fighter jets. This follows an incident today where the external tank under the port wing of one appeared to have disintegrated or exploded and fell near Nomi City as the jet was approaching the Komatsu City air base for landing. The NHK report also says that even though the jets are grounded, they will still be on stand by ready to respond to any airspace incursions. This comes at a time when the Chinese military is attempting to extend its reach into Asia and make maritime claims including Okinawa’s Sengoku Islands, and the Spratley Islands of Vietnman, Malaysia, Philippines, and Taiwan. The incident with the F15 today, follows several other incidents where parts have fallen from the planes mid-flight.


Studio Sessions

Having a play around in the studio with a new flash can be fun. I thought of putting on a hat, then headphones, and thought of a DJ. Without DJ gear, the next best accessory had to be a CD. Here it is, “DJ in the dark”.

DJ in the dark

DJ in the dark

DJ in the dark

DJ in the dark

Eco-points scam

The Hatoyama Government has made a very public pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 25%. Ambitious, but possible. However, this was made amid a very serious economic downturn, and still the Japanese economy is fragile, and many tens of thousands factory workers are still unemployed. To maintain the economy, keeping money floating and changing hands, the ordinary people are not being asked to pay out so much. Public education is set to become free (a bill will be submitted later this month to parliament), but two important points are being made public in Japanese media. National highway tolls will be cut to just one-thousand yen per section, and “eco-points” (ie: government cashback offers) for all new “ecologically friendly” televisions and other appliances bought.

In previous holidays, we saw that with a decrease to one-thousand yen highway tolls, that there was a significant increase in traffic. Meeting the 25% carbon reduction appears more difficult to attain. However, can eco-points assist in this? Perhaps not. The offer ends on March 31st, 2010.

Our previous television used about 190 watts per hour, and it was an older, 36″ cathode-ray type. The new “eco-friendly” television, at 40″, bought second hand (ex-shop display) uses 170 watts per hour. Hardly a reduction at all. But we do get twenty-thousand yen back from the government, which should cover the electricity bill for the times when I accidentally leave a 40 watt desk lamp on while watching my environmentally friendly television.

Why offer cheaper highway tolls, cash back on electronic products, and free education? Not really to keep the economy turning (at least artificially), but because there’s an upper house election later this year. But a High Definition LCD TV is so much nicer than the previous cathode ray tube.

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