Presentation Contest / Students impress audiences with ideas, skills

JAPAN NEWS
December 24, 2014

By Rie Tagawa / Japan News Staff Writer

Anna Ota of Yokohama City University won the Grand Prize of the third All Japan Student English Presentation Contest held in Tokyo earlier this month.

The freshman presented her idea that she found during a camping trip program for children in Fukushima Prefecture, at the annual presentation competition held in Yomiuri Otemachi Hall in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Dec. 6. Students were asked to convey their ideas in four-minute presentations on one of three given topics.

Ota, 19, responded to the prompt “propose a plan to bolster reconstruction efforts in the areas hit by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake at an international forum.” After the ceremony, she said, “I’m happy with the award, but the next step, I hope, will be to turn my words into action.”

>STORY

Honda’s “Building Dreams of Friendship” Float Reunites Japan Earthquake Survivors with U.S. Military First Responders at the 2015 Rose Parade

Yahoo Finance
Press Release: American Honda Motor Co., Inc. – 6 hours ago

– Students impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011 and U.S. military service members who participated in the humanitarian relief effort to ride float
– Honda will lead the Rose Parade for the fifth year as presenting sponsor

TORRANCE, Calif., Dec. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Honda’s 2015 Rose Parade float entry, Building Dreams of Friendship, will lead the 126th Rose Parade presented by Honda. The float celebrates the friendship shared by the United States and Japan through the TOMODACHI Initiative, and pays tribute to the resilience of the people of Tohoku, Japan. The float also seeks to highlight the ongoing reconstruction effort in the regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011, and pays tribute to the role played by the United States military in the humanitarian response. Themed “Inspiring Stories,” the Rose Parade will take place Thurs., Jan. 1, 2015.

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One day, robots may work in zones too dangerous for humans

robots

Washington Post

December 22
Dennis Hong first spied Japan’s ruined nuclear power plant from a bus wrapped in plastic. A hefty layer of protection guarded the seats, floors and handles from radioactive dust. Hong wore a face mask and gloves to limit his exposure. Like the other passengers, he had dressed in old clothes that he was willing to toss after the trip.

More than three years earlier, after an earthquake and tsunami battered Japan’s eastern coast, portions of the Fukushima Daiichi power station blew, blasting radiation into the sea and sky. Today, villages outside the plant still lie as barren as ghost towns. Along the coast, smashed buildings, flipped cars and train tracks twisted like taffy stand as reminders of the catastrophe.

>STORY

Global eco-radiation research institute opens in Fukushima

ASAHI SHIMBUN

December 04, 2014

FUKUSHIMA–With its team of international researchers, Fukushima University’s Institute of Environmental Radioactivity moved into full-scale operation on Dec. 3.

An official ceremony was held to mark the opening of its new two-story-high facility built with a government subsidy of roughly 1.8 billion yen ($15 million).

Established in July 2013, the institute studies the effects of the fallout from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant accident triggered by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster as well as various forms of environmental contamination globally.

>ARTICLE>

Fukushima ‘dark tourism’ aims to rebuild city

fukushima_khon2

Khon2

By WILL RIPLEY | Published: November 30, 2014

FUKUSHIMA, JAPAN (CNN) – Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster is leading to a new kind of “dark tourism.”

Almost 4 years after the meltdown forced entire towns to evacuate, tour guides are taking people through abandoned neighborhoods.

CNN finds out why one devastated town is allowing others to witness its tragedy.

The first thing people ask about is the radiation. Is it even safe to go in when most are kept out? Our local government tour guide says contamination levels are low.

They are allowing quick trips into the safer parts of Fukushima prefecture, still empty from the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Nearly 4 years later, outsiders are getting a rare look at this desolate, abandoned place.

Damage from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami sits untouched. Crumbling buildings are falling further into disrepair. Weeds are slowly taking over.

Article

Damage worse than thought in Japanese earthquake

Yahoo News
1
1/23/14

TOKYO (AP) — The damage from an overnight earthquake in a mountainous area of central Japan that hosted the 1998 winter Olympics proved more extensive than initially thought.

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A daylight assessment Sunday found at least 50 homes destroyed in two villages, and 41 people injured across the region, including seven seriously, mostly with broken bones, officials said.

The magnitude-6.7 earthquake struck shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday west of Nagano city at a depth of 5 kilometers (3 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The agency revised the magnitude and depth from initial estimates. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a magnitude of 6.2. Since the quake occurred inland, there was no possibility of a tsunami.

STORY

Ioyama volcano raises fears Japan’s Sendai nuclear power facility may be at risk


News.com.au

Occtober 26, 2014

FIRST it was an earthquake. Then it was a tsunami. Now Japan fears another nuclear disaster — this time because of a stirring volcano.

The Japan Times has reported a sleeping volcano next to its already damaged Sendai nuclear power facility has woken, and is beginning to shake.

The new activity comes barely a month after the sudden and unexpected eruption of Mount Ontake killed 57 hikers enjoying its until-then scenic slopes.

Volcanologists have warned that the enormous magnitude 9.0 earthquake of March 2011 may have increased the likelihood of volcanic activity throughout Japan — which sits on the “Ring of Fire” band of more than 100 volcanoes which forms the Pacific Rim.

Now the signs appear to be proving them right.

STORY

Volcano near Sendai nuclear plant is shaking and may erupt: Japan weather agency

REUTERS

Authorities warned on Friday that a volcano a few dozen kilometers from the Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture was showing signs of increased activity and may erupt. It warned people to stay away from the summit.

The warning comes nearly a month after another volcano, Mount Ontake, erupted suddenly while it was crowded with hikers, killing at least 57 people in Japan’s worst volcanic disaster in nearly 90 years.

Ioyama, a mountain on the southwestern island of Kyushu, has been shaken by small tremors and other signs of rising volcanic activity recently, including a tremor lasting as long as seven minutes, an official at the Meteorological Agency’s volcano division said.

STORY

City Assembly Approves Sendai Nuclear Plant Restart in Japan

MENAFM.COM

MENAFN – Qatar News Agency – 21/10/2014
Repost

(MENAFN – QNA) A special panel at a city assembly in southern Japan has approved a petition to allow a local nuclear power plant to resume operations.

The panel at the Satsuma Sendai city assembly in Kagoshima Prefecture discussed petitions both for and against the restart of the Sendai plant.

The plant is operated by Kyushu Electric Power Company. Last month it became the first to pass new regulations for nuclear plants introduced after the 2011 Fukushima accident.

Panel members in favor of the restart argued that the local economy has been sluggish since the plant went offline. But others opposing the restart said the screening by the government’s Nuclear Regulation Authority does not guarantee the plant’s safety.

The panel rejected ten petitions against the restart, and adopted one calling for the plant to return online.

MENAFM.COM