6.1-magnitude earthquake strikes off eastern Japan

CNBC News World
No immediate tsunami warning, or reports of damage or casualties
Thomson Reuters Posted: Apr 20, 2016 9:05 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 20, 2016 10:23 AM ET

An earthquake measuring 6.1 magnitude struck off northeastern Japan on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

There was no immediate tsunami warning, or reports of damage or casualties.​

Full Story

Five Years After Fukushima, Japan’s Nuclear Power Debate Is Heating Up

by Mark Hay

Good



IAEA fact-finding team leader Mike Weightman examines the Fukushima site. Image via Flickr user IAEA Imagebank.

Last Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe threw his weight behind the redevelopment of his nation’s nuclear energy plants. It was a bold stance, made bolder because he voiced it on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the earthquake-tsunami in northeastern Japan that left 18,500 dead or missing and precipitated the Fukushima nuclear disaster—the world’s worst since Chernobyl and the reason for the eventual shutdown of the nation’s 54 nuclear facilities.


Full Story

5 years after Fukushima disaster, its lessons still speak to U.S. industry

Peter Behr, E&E reporter

EnergyWire: Monday, March 14, 2016

On March 11, 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Japan’s east coast was designed to withstand a magnitude-7-plus earthquake. A flood wall 18 feet high stood between the plant and the Pacific. But the Great East Japan earthquake that day measured magnitude 9, unleashing a tsunami that topped 45 feet.

The plant was inundated, backup generators were flooded and fuel supplies were swept away. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) emergency crews soon were without any electric power to run cooling water recirculation pumps to prevent the meltdowns of three reactor cores, explosions from leaking hydrogen, and the second-worst nuclear power accident in history. TEPCO workers, who could not know whether their families were among the 18,500 people killed or missing, had to battle through a horrific crisis they had never prepared for, subsequent investigation found.

 

Story

Robots Sent into the Fukushima Plant Have Not Returned

by NATALIE SHOEMAKER

BigThink

Not even robots can survive within the ruins of the Fukushima power plant. Operators lost contact with the five robots that went in, they are assumed to have broken-down from the radiation.

After a 9.0 Earthquake triggered a tsunami, killing 16,000 people and causing a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, officials began removing the spent fuel pins (or rods) back in 2013. This project was headed up by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco). They have so far removed hundreds of spent fuel rods from one of the damaged buildings, but there are still three more buildings to clear, and locating the fuel rods is proving difficult.

 

STORY

Miho Kazama on 5 year anniversary of Tohoku disaster

Miho Kazama, Think the Earth
http://ileap.org/archives/all-portfolio-list/miho-kazama

3/11/16

親愛なる米日コミュニティの皆さん、

はじめまして 風間美穂と申します。

昨年春から京都在住ですが、震災当時を含めて約10年ほど東京拠点に活動していました。
その当時は「一般社団法人Think the Earth」という環境系の中間支援団体で働いていました。
企業のCSRや環境省の国民啓発キャンペーンに関するプロジェクト企画・運営などに従事していました。

この団体では「Think the Earth基金」を立ち上げ、東日本大震災から半年間で8350万円を集め、現地で活動する44団体に手数料無しで寄付金を分配しました。
その後は「忘れないプロジェクト」を立ち上げ、5年間で約3000万円の寄付金を集めながら、20団体以上に寄付を分配しています。
私自身は日本海に面する新潟県出身です。
親戚は福島県いわき市や北海道で漁師をしていましたが、東日本大震災で船が流されて、
今は沿岸部から離れたところに住んでおり、漁に出ることはなくなったそうです。

私の仲間は依然として東北三県の各地で活動を続けていますが、震災から5年を経て、
当時支援で東北にいた団体のうち、今は約10分の1しか現地に残っていないと話します。

三月初旬に福島県の会津若松市や福島市、岩手県陸前高田市や大船渡市で暮らす農家や
現地の事業者さんと会話する機会を得ましたが、皆さん口々に「震災以前からあった問題が露呈してきた」、
「支援が途絶えた今は、改めて未来に対して、自分たちが努力して行かなければならない」と感じている、と仰っていました。
同時に、現在はインターネットだけではなく一般のテレビや新聞の報道でも、日本政府が隠してきた当時の原子力発電所の事故情報をはじめ、
「数十メートルもの防潮堤や土地のかさ上げ工事の無謀さと被災者格差」や「福島県で甲状腺ガンが確認された子どもたちの数の多さ」
なども明らかになってきています。

恐らく、日本に住む国民の多くは、気づき始めているのではないでしょうか…日本政府の取り組みで成功していることや機能不全に陥っていること、
民間企業や非営利組織や学術機関等のハイブリッド事業が新しい取り組みを進めていること、
それぞれがチャレンジしてきた事業の成果や行き詰まりを感じていること等々…
大震災からの復興の難しさと共に、日本社会のリアルな善し悪しの慣習と性質を、改めて身につまされているように思えてなりません。

福島の原子力発電所の事故から、私たちはもう既に気づいているのです。
これまでの理想としてきた社会構成が、多くのリスクを含んでいたことを。
私たちが盲目的に信じていた経済優先社会には、限界が訪れていることを。

再生可能エネルギーの技術力向上を願うよりも、むしろ私たちは政治への参画性を高めなければ、日本社会に変革を起こすことを早められない…ということに、私たちはいま痛いほど気づかされているのだと思います。
しかしながら、分かってはいるけれども、なかなか日常生活や日々経済の営みを変化させることは困難です。
だからせめて、多くの人たちは次なる大震災のリスクに備えようと、防災に関する情報発信や近所との関係性構築を見直し、レジリエンス力を高めようと色々な取り組みを始めているのだと思います。

そして、都市ではライフラインの見直しや防災訓練が各地で行われており、田舎では食料確保やエネルギーの自給に関する関心が高まりを見せています。

だからこそ21世紀の日本社会のトレンドは、誰かのリードやアクションを待つよりも、自分たち自身が本質的に求める安心・安全で豊かな暮らしを体現することから生み出されるのではないか、と思わずにはいられません。少なくとも、私は東京から京都へ引越して、そう感じながら日々過ごすようになりました。

いま現在も、東北ではたくさんの方々が、気持ちを重ね合わせながら協力して生きていらっしゃいます。たくさんの仲間たちも、東日本大震災から学んだ教訓を活かし、毎日を懸命に創りだそうとしています。

どうか私からのパーソナルな意見に捉われることなく、日本のいまを感じ・語り合いに東北へいらしてください。
どうぞこの週末に限らず、米日コミュニティの皆さんから日本への想い、重ね続けていただけましたら幸いです。

個人の主観を含んでいます、
乱文散文をご容赦ください。

皆さんからの気持ちに深く感謝を込めて、
繋がり合う機会をありがとうございました。

風間美穂

 



 

Everyone dear US-Japan community,

Hello My name is Miho Kazama.

Kyoto resident from last spring, but had been working in Tokyo base about 10 years, including the time the earthquake.
At that time worked at an intermediate support groups of environment system called “Institute Think the Earth”.
We were engaged in, such as project planning and management related to CSR and the public awareness campaign of the Ministry of the Environment of the company.

This organization launched the “Think the Earth Fund”, attracted 83.5 million yen in the six months from the Great East Japan Earthquake, we distribute the donations with no fee to 44 organizations working in the field.
Then launched a “Do not forget Project”, while collecting 30 million yen in donations in five years, you have to distribute the donations to more than 20 organizations.
I myself am from Niigata Prefecture, facing the Sea of ​​Japan.
Although relatives had been a fisherman in Iwaki City and Hokkaido, Fukushima Prefecture, is flowed ship in the Great East Japan Earthquake,
Now lives away from the coastal areas, it is so no longer able to go on fishing.

My companions are still continue to work in various parts of the Tohoku three prefectures, but after five years from the earthquake,
Among the organizations it was in the Northeast at the time support, now you talk to only one of about 10 minutes does not remain in the local.

Fukushima Prefecture Aizu-Wakamatsu City and Fukushima in March early, Ya farmers to live in Iwate Prefecture Rikuzentakata and Ofunato
But I took the opportunity to talk to the operator’s local, “a problem that was from the earthquake earlier have been exposed” to you every mouth,
“Now that support is lost is, to again the future, must go to their own efforts,” I had felt that, as saying.
At the same time, also in the coverage of the general television and newspapers as well as the Internet is now, including accident information of the nuclear power plant at the time that the Japanese government has been hidden,
“Recklessness and victims disparity of raising the construction of a few tens of meters of seawall and land” and “the large number of children that thyroid cancer has been confirmed in Fukushima Prefecture”
Also it has become clear, such as.

Perhaps, many of the people who live in Japan, that have fallen into it and dysfunction that have been successful in the I think we are beginning to notice … the Japanese government’s efforts,
That the hybrid business, such as private companies and non-profit organizations and academic institutions are promoting new initiatives,
So that each is feeling the results and stalemate of the business, which has been challenging …
Along with the difficulty of the recovery from the earthquake, the realistic practice and the nature of the quality of the Japanese society, it will have seem to be again Tsumasare to wear.

From the nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima, we are you already noticed.
This social structure has been the ideal until, that contains a number of risks.
The economic priority society in which we were to believe blindly, that the limit is visiting.

Technical capabilities than the wish to improve the renewable energy, if we increase the participation of the political rather, not as soon as possible that cause change in Japanese society … to the fact that, we are aware painfully now I think that.
However, although the fall is known, it is difficult to easily change the workings of everyday life and day-to-day economy.
So at the very least, and a lot of people get ready to risk the next earthquake, review the relationship building and information dissemination and neighbors about disaster prevention, I think has started a variety of efforts trying to increase the resilience force.

Then, review and disaster drills lifeline has been performed in various places in the city, in the countryside has been a growing interest in the self-sufficiency of food security and energy.

That is why the 21st century trend of Japanese society, rather than waiting for someone of lead and action, but think whether their own but is not produced from it to embody the safe, secure and prosperous life essentially seek, and It does not help. At least, I moved to Kyoto from Tokyo, now spend every day while feeling so.

Even now current, a lot of people in the Northeast, we Irasshai live in cooperation while superimposing the feeling. A lot of friends also, taking advantage of the lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake, we are trying to Daso create so hard every day.

Whether without dividing bound by personal opinion from me, please need to northeast Japan of the now to feel-talk.
Please not limited to this weekend, thought to Japan from your US-Japan community, I hope if you can continue to pile.

It contains the subjectivity of the individual,
Please pardon the Ranbun prose.

Deep gratitude to the feeling from you,
Thank you for the connection each other opportunity.

Miho Kazama

 


Thank you Miho-san.
All my best to you and your family.
Regards,
Steve

Jun Yamadera, Fukushima tech entrepreneur on challenges and opportunities

I met Jun Yamadera at the SVForum Japan Pitch Night, March 10, 2016 in Menlo Park, CA. He reminded us about the 5 year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region of Japan. His company is developing a cancer diagnostic system, and much of his work has been inspired by the strength and the fortitude of the people of Fukushima. http://www.nowhere.co.jp

His other company, Fukushima Wheel, http://fukushimawheel.org/
developing:
“A specially outfitted bicycle features environmental sensors to measure live city data such as radiation, temperature, humidity, NOX, and so on.”

Both endeavors demonstrate the forward and innovative thinking from the new entrepreneurs in the Fukushima region.

Fukushima Wheel

Tsunami Recovery, Adoption, and Life as an Expat

Finding Home, Finding Hope in Japan, with author Leza Lowitz

March 24 @ 6:00 pm9:00 pm

Thursday, March 24 | 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Digital Garage, San Francisco

As we approach a more unified world culturally and economically we begin to meet others from distant places, far from their native lands. Or we may be the travelers, ourselves. How can we be at home wherever we are in the world, especially when facing challenges, or when disaster strikes?

In this inspiring talk, award-winning writer Leza Lowitz shows us how the idea of ‘home’ can be more than a physical location and that family can transcend the nuclear unit.

Lowitz knows this from personal experience. She moved to Tokyo at the age of 40, but rather than struggle to fit in she opened a yoga studio and made a home for others. Then, at 44, she and her Japanese husband sought to adopt — in a country where bloodlines are paramount and family ties are almost feudal in their cultural importance.  Her memoir, Here Comes the Sun, charts this journey of adapting and adopting. By embracing outsider status, Lowitz become an insider.

Then disaster struck. Lowitz was in Tokyo on March 11, 2011, and her yoga studio mobilized to organize the largest non-corporate donation drive for Tohoku on record. She volunteered at the temporary housing shelters, and her studio helped build a library in a town devastated by the tsunami. But she wanted to do more.

Inspired by a young boy she met in the disaster zone, Lowitz began to write Up from the Sea, a novel about a boy who loves soccer and creates a team to rally his town after the tsunami. Later, she discovered that exactly this had been done. Then she learned that a soccer ball belonging to a teenager in Tohoku had washed up in Alaska. The ball was found by a man with a Japanese wife who traced the owner and returned the ball. 

In June 2011, four Japanese school students who’d lost family members in the tsunami flew to New York to raise funds for the children of Tohoku orphaned in the March 11, 2011, disaster. Two American students, one who had lost her father in 9/11 and another who had lost his mother in Hurricane Katrina, joined them. Lowitz was deeply inspired by this story of survivors of tragedies in one country reaching out to survivors in another.

Mixing fact with fiction, she based her novel on these events to keep a light shining on Tohoku.

In this special talk, Lowitz will share these stories of hope, resilience and activism to suggest that even ordinary people can help each other across vast oceans and overcoming great obstacles.

As the Dalai Lama has said, “no matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”

 

Leza Lowitz is an award-winning author of over 20 books, many about Japan. Formerly a lecturer in literature at Tokyo University and an editor at NIRA, a semi-governmental Japanese think tank, Lowitz has run her own highly successful yoga studio in Tokyo for 13 years, and has shared the power of mindfulness and the nurturing potential of creativity with Fortune 500 companies to Academy-award winning actors and directors to everyone in between.

Half of 2011 evacuees say local recovery lagging

Half of 2011 quake, tsunami evacuees say local recovery lagging

“113 Project” Film Screening

On March 11, 2011 at 2:26pm, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and devastating tsunami hit the Tohoku region. 2016 marks 5 years anniversary of the disaster. We have many events related Tohoku. It is good for us to remember what happened to Tohoku. This month we want to go to one of the Tohoku events hosted by JET Alumni below.

“113 Project” Film Screening for Japan
Earthquake Recovery
When: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: JCCCNC, 1840 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

*YOU MUST BUY A TICKET FROM THE EVENTBRITE.
http://113sf.eventbrite.com/

About 113project
http://www.113project.org/