Tag Archives: japan
Just met Junko Suzuki Parsons and her friends at Mari Kawawa’s fundraiser “Twilight COncert on the Bay”, Saturday, April 27th, 2013 in Tiburon, CA, featuring the Edgewood Trio. Junko’s team is helping promote the Kids Orchestra Japan Project, an exchange program of youths in Japan and the U.S. collaborating with music. Their goal is to connect the kids in the affected areas in the Tohoku area of Japan to help them through these challenging times. Will be updating more about their progress.
ABC NEWS AP PRESS
TOKYO April 19, 2013 (AP)
A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck in seas off far northern Japan and far eastern Russia on Friday, but no damage was expected.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said sea changes were possible. No tsunami warnings have been issued.
The tremor struck around midday in the Pacific Ocean at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). The U.S. Geological Survey measured a stronger 7.2 magnitude.
Japan and Russia both claim some of the sparsely populated islands in the remote region.
The epicenter was 58 kilometers (160 miles) east-northeast of Kuril’sk, Russia, and 528 kilometers (328 miles) northeast of Nemuro, Japan.
The nearest land is the volcanic islands of Urup, Iturup and Sumushir. Hokkaido officials said the islands were not under Japanese control.
The area is about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) northeast of Tokyo.
Some tuna are carrying radioactive contamination from Japan’s power-plant leak.
Shoko Hikage, acclaimed koto player, performed at the recent, Berkeley Bazaar, May 20, 2012 with the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble. (Berkeley Buddhist Church, Berkeley California).
This taiko group from Matsukawa, Japan is touring the US on a “thank you” tour for support Americans shared in the months after last year’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The Japanese Consulate in Denver invited the group to play a few songs at a memorial reception to mark the first anniversary of the disaster. We couldn’t make the concerts in Colorado Springs and Denver, so we were glad to get to see Kyougaku live at the Botanic Gardens during the memorial reception. They were amazing!
via Gil Asakawa
By AKIKO FUJITA | Good Morning America
Good Morning America, Yahoo
Japan’s Nuclear Exclusion Zone Shows Few Signs of Life (ABC News)
What’s most striking about Japan’s nuclear exclusion zone, is what you don’t see. There are no people, few cars, no sign of life, aside from the occasional livestock wandering empty roads.
Areas once home to 80,000 people are now ghost towns, frozen in time. Homes ravaged from the powerful earthquake that shook this region nearly a year ago, remain virtually untouched. Collapsed roofs still block narrow streets. Cracked roads, make for a bumpy ride.
In seaside communities, large fishing boats line the side of the road, next to piles of debris. Abandoned cars, dot otherwise empty fields. It’s a scene reminiscent of tsunami-battered prefectures Miyagi and Iwate, last March – except those communities have cleaned up a significant amount of the debris since, in preparation for rebuilding efforts.
We had been trying to get our cameras inside here for months, eager to document the fallout from the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, 11 months on.
While workers of the Fukushima plant are bused in daily, the government has maintained a 12-mile no-go zone around the area for everyone else, only allowing for brief, supervised visits home for residents who still have homes here.
Few Signs of Life in Fukushima Exclusion Zone
“There are police cars patrolling every corner,” we were warned. “As soon as they spot your camera, you will be arrested.”
On Saturday, a local driver with a special permit agreed to sneak my cameraman and I in, so long as we didn’t reveal his identity.
We put on thin, white hazmat suits and masks as a precaution, grabbed a Geiger counter and dosimeter to monitor radiation levels, then slipped past police guarding the exclusion zone entrance, onto the main road running through Japan’s nuclear wasteland.
That road, Highway 6, seemed remarkably, unremarkable. We drove past miles of empty parking lots, barren land, closed storefronts. Something you’d expect in any small town, early on a Saturday morning.
Then, the Geiger counter quickly reminded us of where we were. As we approached the road to the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, the numbers ticked up. Less than a mile out, the counter read “27.62 microsieverts an hour” – not a dangerous dose in the short amount of time we were there, but nearly five times the acceptable limit for U.S. nuclear workers, if consumed over a year.
We passed a bus full of Fukushima plant workers, as we drove further away from the reactors. The numbers started to tick down again.
In the the town of Namie, we met Masami Yoshizawa, a rancher who has defied government orders to euthanize more than 200 of his cows. His cattle, raised for premium wagyu beef, used to fetch $13,000 a head. Now they are contaminated with cesium.
Yoshizawa witnessed the reactor explosions from his farm, located just 9 miles from the plant. Radiation concerns forced he and fellow ranchers to evacuate soon after – his, boss opting to unleash all of the cows, thinking he would never return.
Yoshizawa said he couldn’t abandon the cattle, completely. He obtained a permit to re-enter the exclusion zone, so he could feed the animals. He’s been driving an hour and a half from his temporary home every day since, to look after them.
“The government didn’t even try to save the animals,” he told me. “They just wanted to kill them. I am filled with rage.”
He displays the rage outside his ranch, where he’s handwritten angry messages on large, pieces of plywood. One sign placed near a cow’s remains reads “Stop killing our animals.”
The government has said it will take at least 30 years to decommission the crippled reactors. While Yoshizawa insists he isn’t going anywhere, the reality is, this nuclear wasteland may not be livable for decades.
As we hopped back in our car, to drive out of the exclusion zone, our driver asked if he could take us to the town center in Futaba. There was something he wanted to show us.
We drove past the main train station, past small office buildings, and retail stores, until we saw a sign marking the entrance to the main shopping district.
It read, “Nuclear power – the bright future of energy.”
Dr. Shigeki Imamoto, who runs the Shinjo Animal Hospital in Nara Prefecture, Japan, realized that there were many veterinarians who were fighting to save dogs and cats in Fukushima, but what about the livestock? Considering them the forgotten victims, he’s made it his mission to fight for the lives of cows, pigs, horses and chickens, as well as help the region’s farmers.
Iwamoto became the chief medical advisor for the organization Farm of Hope (http://bit.ly/qjePKP), an organization that is trying to help farmers in the 20-kilometer “no go” radiation exclusion zone in Fukushima. The zone was declared a restricted area by the Japanese government on April 22, 2011, because of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The Japanese veterinarian will be in the United States to help raise awareness of the plight of livestock abandoned in the evacuation zone in Fukushima Prefecture and will be giving presentations in California about the issue and his efforts to save the animals.
The Northern California talk by Dr. Shigeki Imamoto will be on Friday, Feb. 10, at 1:30 p.m. at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St., San Francisco, and is being sponsored by the JCCCNC and its Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. The event is free and open to the public. Call (415) 567-5505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
The Southern California talk will be on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 1:30 p.m. at the SPCA, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach (in El Dorado Park). Iwamoto will be introduced by Dr. Yuko Nishiyama of Village Veterinary Hospital in Gardena.
For more information about Imamoto, see his YouTube presentation at http://bit.ly/xoDDpa.
The JCCCNC (www.jcccnc.org) established the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund on March 11, 2011, to provide aid to the citizens and survivors of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and tsunami. The fund was created to provide citizen-to-citizen assistance to bring hope and direct assistance to the most affected communities. NJERF has become the largest Japanese American community-based relief fund, with more than $4 million in donations to date. All of the donations go directly to citizen relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts.
10 Months Ago, March 11, 2011