US energy chief offers Japan nuclear cleanup help; says small plants good option for future

Washington Post
By Associated Press, Published: October 31

TOKYO — U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Thursday that he expects deepening cooperation with Japan over the high-stakes cleaning up and decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

The Fukushima plant has had a series of mishaps in recent months, including radioactive water leaks from storage tanks. The incidents have added to concerns about the ability of operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, to safely close down the plant, which suffered meltdowns after being swamped by the March 2011 tsunami on Japan’s northeastern coast.

Just got my postcard: Fukushima is Here


Just got my postcard in the mail from the “Fukushima is Here” human mural. It was great meeting others in this alphabet soup on a beautiful Saturday morning (October 19, 2013. I’m the 4th or 5th dot in the “i” in Fukushima). Together we can spell a coherent message: that the radiation leakage is not just Japan’s problem, it is a global problem.

For more info, goto:


Fukushima: 28 Signs That The West Coast Is Being Absolutely Fried With Nuclear Radiation…

Ukiah Blog
In Around the web on October 22, 2013 at 7:44 am

From Activist Post

The map above comes from the Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center. It shows that radiation levels at radiation monitoring stations all over the country are elevated. As you will notice, this is particularly true along the west coast of the United States. Every single day, 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima enters the Pacific Ocean. That means that the total amount of radioactive material released from Fukushima is constantly increasing, and it is steadily building up in our food chain.

Ultimately, all of this nuclear radiation will outlive all of us by a very wide margin. They are saying that it could take up to 40 years to clean up the Fukushima disaster, and meanwhile countless innocent people will develop cancer and other health problems as a result of exposure to high levels of nuclear radiation. We are talking about a nuclear disaster that is absolutely unprecedented, and it is constantly getting worse. The following are 28 signs that the west coast of North America is being absolutely fried with nuclear radiation from Fukushima…

1. Polar bears, seals and walruses along the Alaska coastline are suffering from fur loss and open sores…

Wildlife experts are studying whether fur loss and open sores detected in nine polar bears in recent weeks is widespread and related to similar incidents among seals and walruses.

The bears were among 33 spotted near Barrow, Alaska, during routine survey work along the Arctic coastline. Tests showed they had “alopecia, or loss of fur, and other skin lesions,” the U.S. Geological Survey said in a statement.

>read article

Fukushima fishermen watch recovery slip away

Los Angeles Times
By Yuriko Nagano
Oct 20, 2013
Their lives are back in limbo because of the massive radioactive water leakage discovered at the tsunami-damaged nuclear plant.

SOMA, Japan — For much of his life, Koichi Matsumoto, 58, happily slipped out of bed in the dead of night to work on a fishing trawler.

But these days, his catch is tree branches, tires and other rubble still adrift since the massive earthquake and tsunami that shook Japan more than two years ago.

“It feels as if we’re right back where we were after the disaster,” which struck March 11, 2011, said Matsumoto, a third-generation fisherman and head of the trawl boat unit at the 1,000-member Soma-Futaba fisheries cooperative.

The lives of Matsumoto and about 1,500 other fishermen in the Fukushima region are back in flux because of the discovery in August that 300 tons of radioactive wastewater was pouring into the ocean each day from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
>Full Story

Jina Brooks – Fukushima is Here

Jina Brooks, one of the organizers of the “Fukushima is Here” human mural at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, Saturday, October 19, 2013, talks about all the planning and effort it took to stage this momentous event. The hopes are to create awareness about the continued radiation leakage at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan and how it is affecting the Pacific Ocean and eventually the California coast. Jina and her organization are lobbying the state of California for more testing of our water, food and environment. For more info, goto:

How strawberries saved my city: Hiroki Iwasa at TEDxTohoku 2012

Here is a presentation by Mr. Hiroki Iwasa, entrepreneur and speaker for TEDxTohoku2012.

Mr. Iwasa wishes to revitalize his hometown, Yamamoto-cho in Watari-gun, Miyagi prefecture, which suffered catastrophic damages from the earthquake and tsunami.
In the presentation, he introduces his way of producing strawberries via the integration of cutting-edge IT management skills and the agricultural skills well-practiced by local farmers.

This presentation will fill your whole senses with a sour-but-sweet feel – and we’re not just talking about the flavor of the strawberries!
Mr. Iwasa’s humor and enthusiasm will definitely bring a smile to your face, so please have a look!

TEDx Tohoku will be held this weekend, Sunday, October 13, 2013 (Japan time) at the Kodomo-Gekijo, Research Center for Children Art Education, Tohoku University of Art and Design in Yamagata City.

For more information, please visit the website:

Fukushima crisis new blow to fishermen’s hopes

Tied to the shore, Fukushima fishermen face demise of livelihood as new crisis strikes

Associated Press Yahoo News

Miki Toda and Koji Ueda, Associated Press 16 hours agoEnvironmentNature

YOTSUKURA, Japan (AP) — Third-generation fisherman Fumio Suzuki sets out into the Pacific Ocean every seven weeks. Not to catch fish to sell, but to catch fish that can be tested for radiation.

For the last 2 ½ years, fishermen from the port of Yotsukura near the stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant have been mostly stuck on land with little to do. There is no commercial fishing along most of the Fukushima coast. In a nation highly sensitive to food safety, there is no market for the fish caught near the stricken plant because the meltdowns it suffered contaminated the ocean water and marine life with radiation.

A sliver of hope emerged after recent sampling results showed a decline in radioactivity in some fish species. But a new crisis spawned by fresh leaks of radioactive water from the Fukushima plant last week may have dashed those prospects.

<click here for full article>

Statement from USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye on the Second Anniversary of March 11, 2011 – Press Release

From US Japan Council

March 11 2013

For Immediate Release

Two years ago today, Japan suffered enormous tragedy.  On the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, we remember the loss, but also recognize the progress made towards recovery and the strength and determination of the people of the Tohoku region.

I am currently in Japan with the 2013 Japanese American Leadership Delegation. This program brings Japanese Americans to Japan to build people-to-people connections with Japanese leaders from all sectors of society. For the first time in program history, the delegation visited Fukushima, where we learned about the state of the recovery efforts and sought to demonstrate that Fukushima is a safe and enjoyable place to visit. It was especially meaningful to be there on the anniversary of the disasters. From seniors to school children, we were inspired by the resilience and spirit of the people there.

We visited a temporarily-constructed elementary school that brings together three schools in one facility, spent time at Fukushima Medical University and toured an agricultural inspection center. At the exact moment of the earthquake, 2:46 p.m., we were at Odagaisama Center, a community support center for evacuees living in temporary housing. We observed a collective moment of silence.

Every visit in Fukushima reflected the sentiment that people want to share their experiences with the world so that others can benefit from the lessons learned. As Japanese Americans, we understand the importance of sharing one’s story in order to find common ground as the first step to building people-to-people and country-to-country connections.

Many alumni of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation program have shown a commitment to supporting Japan, reflecting the strong bonds built while on the trip. Past participants, along with U.S.-Japan Council Members and Board Members, have made numerous trips to the Tohoku region since the disasters.

The U.S.-Japan Council continues to support recovery and revitalization through TOMODACHI, our major initiative launched with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo with the support of the Government of Japan, corporations, organizations and individuals from the United States and Japan. In 2012, close to a thousand young people participated in TOMODACHI programs, contributing to our mission of investing in the next generation of Japanese and Americans. We are fortunate that several of our successful programs from 2012 will be repeated in 2013 and beyond.  We are seeing great strides being made in creating a true “TOMODACHI Generation” of young people who care about each other’s countries and cultures.

We have also been committed to supporting the growing non-profit sector in Japan. Many of the organizations we funded through our initial USJC Earthquake Relief Fund have stayed engaged with the Council by attending our events and networking with their American counterparts. By providing platforms for the exchange of information and by building a strong network of non-profit professionals from both countries, we hope to continue bolstering support for civil society in Japan.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our initiatives to support the Tohoku region as well as those who have engaged in activities with our partners and friends across the country.  The outpouring of support from Americans, and especially the Japanese American community, has not ceased and continues to serve as a source of great inspiration across the Pacific.

“Friends helping Friends” Castilleja School’s Arts with a Heart – Friends Helping Friends

Friday Feb. 8
Saturday Feb 9
Sunday Feb 10

Don’t miss this moving performance of dance, song, poetry, and interviews from the heart at Castilleja School for the Arts in Palo Alto. Beautiful, artistic interpretations of the events that happened on March 11, 2011 in the Tohoku area of Japan, the students captured the sense of devastation, fear, and loneliness and how connecting as “friends” instilled a spirit of hope and optimism.

The addition of famed Oh-In Taiko and master drummer Jimi Nakagawa fueled the excitement and stirred the emotions.

And, the moments with the “special guests” touched the hearts of everyone in the audience. Gambate kudasai.

Congratulations to Georgi Shea, producer and all the students and performers of Castilleja School.