August 29 - 31

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. Joys of Japan .

. . . . my LINKS on facebook



. . . . .



from Hiroshima

to Fukushima

still the joys of japan



this ravaged land

still a joy to behold;

rice wine




Johnny Baranski / facebook







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and the new leader of the DPJ is

Noda Yoshihiko  野田佳彦

most probably becoming the next prime minister









Noda profile - NHK

Yoshihiko Noda is 54 years old.

He is a 5th term Lower House member of the governing Democratic Party. He was first elected to the Diet in 1993 as a member of the now defunct Japan New Party.

Noda ran for the Democratic Party President in 2002, but was defeated by Seiji Maehara.

Noda was appointed as senior vice finance minister under the cabinet of Yukio Hatoyama, and has served as finance minister in the Kan administration.

Noda initially intended to become the leader of the DPJ by securing support from the current party executives.

But after Maehara also ran for the race, Noda pledged to overcome differences among party members and establish unity.





. The Political Situation .  INFO .



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August 29, 2011



Monday, August 29, 2011 - NHK

No cesium detected in seawater near No.3 reactor

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says no radioactive cesium was detected in seawater around the No.3 reactor on Saturday. This was the first time the substance was not detected since the monitoring began.

Cesium levels around the No.2 reactor were down slightly from those detected on the previous day.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, monitors the concentration of radioactive substances in seawater near the water intakes of the plant and offshore.

Seawater collected near the water intake of the No.2 reactor on Saturday recorded 0.077 becquerels of cesium-134 per cubic centimeter, which is 1.3 times higher than the government-set safety limit.

It also contained 0.075 becquerels of cesium-137, or 0.83 times the limit. Both figures were slightly down from the levels found on the previous day.

In April, the level of cesium-137 in seawater near the water intake of the No.2 reactor was found to be 1.1 million times the safety limit. Since then, the density has declined, and recently is leveling out.

Seawater sampled near the water intake of the No.3 reactor did not contain any cesium-134 or cesium-137.

No radioactive materials were found in seawater taken from 7 locations along the coast and offshore.



Monday, August 29, 2011 13:06

Rice shipments begin in Fukushima

Rice farmers in Fukushima Prefecture have begun shipping early-harvested rice after it cleared tests for possible radioactive contamination. Rice is Japan's staple food.

The first batch of newly harvested rice was loaded onto trucks at a farm in Koriyama City on Monday.

Earlier this month, Fukushima checked radiation levels of early-harvested varieties of rice at paddies of all rice growers in the prefecture. Test results confirmed the safety of all the checked rice, although a small amount of radioactive cesium was detected in rice grown at one location.

A farmer who shipped his rice on Monday said he feels relieved as he is able to offer safe rice to consumers. But he said the early-harvested variety accounts for only 5 percent of his crop, so he is still worried if he can ship other varieties, including the mainstay Koshihikari brand.

The freshly harvested rice will be available in local super markets from Tuesday.





Monday, August 29, 2011 14:36

New DPJ president elected

The Democratic Party has chosen Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda as its new President. He is set to succeed Naoto Kan as Prime Minister.

Noda won 215 votes of the valid 392 in a runoff on Monday afternoon. Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda obtained 177.

The runoff was held after none of the 5 candidates succeeded in securing a majority in the first round of voting by the party's Diet members.

In the first round, Kaieda won 143 of the valid 395 votes, followed by Noda with 102 votes, former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara with 74 votes, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano with 52 votes and former land and transport minister Sumio Mabuchi with 24 votes.





Monday, August 29, 2011 14:57

Workers enter Fukushima Daini containment vessel

Workers have entered a containment vessel at the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant for the first time since it was hit by the March quake and tsunami.

Tokyo Electric Power Company said it sent workers into the containment vessel housing the No. 4 reactor on Monday. They are checking for possible damage, plus measuring radiation levels and the temperature inside.

TEPCO says it wanted to carry out the inspections as pressure inside the containment vessel had increased at one time after the disaster.

TEPCO says the condition of the No.4 reactor has been stable since a cold shutdown was achieved 4 days after the disaster by using an external power supply.



Monday, August 29, 2011 20:26

Map of radiation levels on farmland released

Japan's agriculture ministry has unveiled a map of radiation levels in agricultural areas. It shows levels of radioactive cesium are higher than the government-regulated standard in some areas.

The ministry drew up the map based on analysis of soil samples taken at 580 locations in 6 prefectures including Fukushima where the tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant is located.

The map released on Monday shows radioactive cesium exceeding the regulated level of 5,000 bequerels per kilogram in 9 locations. Vegetables and fruit are grownin the farmland.

The government has banned rice planting on farmland contaminated with radioactive cesium higher than 5,000 bequerels per kilogram, following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The map shows contamination of 8,571 bequerels on a field in Date City and 6,882 bequerels in Iwaki City, both in Fukushima Prefecture.

In areas where rice planting has been prohibited, including Namie Town and Iitate Village in Fukushima, the map shows radioactive cesium of over 20,000 bequerels per kilogram.

The agriculture ministry plans to increase monitoring around the highly contaminated farmland.



Monday, August 29, 2011 21:43

High radiation levels on land near Fukushima plant

The education and science ministry has identified land near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant where radiation levels are higher than IAEA-designated emergency levels.

The ministry released a map on Monday showing the contaminated land. It conducted a survey for radioactive cesium at some 2,200 locations mainly in Fukushima Prefecture in June and July.

The map shows 29.46 million bequerels of cesium on one-square-meter land in a location in Okuma Town, several hundreds meters from the nuclear plant.

The figure exceeds the IAEA standard of 10 million bequerels per square meter under which people are required to temporarily evacuate.

Two other monitoring spots northwest of the nuclear plant were also found contaminated with radioactive cesium exceeding the IAEA level.

In the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, people in areas contaminated with 555,000 bequerels of cesium per one square meter were required to temporarily relocate.

The latest survey has identified contaminated land outside the government's no-entry zones in Fukushima Prefecture that is similar to Chernobyl.





. . . . . Japan Times . . . . .



Tepco eyes 10% rate hike for spring

Power bills in Tokyo may climb by over 10 percent next year as Tepco attempts to cover its Fukushima-triggered return to thermal power by raising rates.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110829a2.html



Town in Iwate elects new mayor

The town of Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, elects a former official to fill the void left by the death of its mayor in the March 11 quake and tsunami.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110829a3.html



Cesium in incinerator dust across east Japan

High levels of cesium isotopes are cropping up in dust at 42 incineration plants in seven prefectures, including Chiba and Iwate, an Environment Ministry survey of the Kanto and Tohoku regions shows.

... Local governments have been instructed to temporarily store their ash and dust at disposal sites until the panel reaches a conclusion.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110829a5.html



METI faces reform in energy policy revamp

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20110829a1.html



The feudal lords of power

The inherently arrogant nature of the electric power industry in Japan came to light recently when Kyushu Electric Power Co. tried to influence a public hearing on whether to allow the company to resume operation of its Genkai nuclear power stations in Saga Prefecture. Kyushu Electric urged its employees and subcontractors to submit a large number of emails in support of resumption.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/eo20110829a1.html



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August 30, 2011



Tuesday, August 30, 2011 07:11 - NHK

Power-cutting requirement to end early

The Japanese government plans to end early the power-cutting requirement imposed on large-scale electricity users in the east and northeastern part of the country affected by the March 11th disaster. Power shortages were expected this summer as many power stations had been damaged.

Big electricity users have had to reduce their energy consumption by 15 percent.

For users in the Tokyo Electric Power Company service area, the government plans to end the measure on September 9, two weeks ahead of schedule. It said the peak summer heat is over and the possibility of a power crisis is low.

It will also end the power-reducing requirement for those in the areas damaged by the disaster, one to two weeks earlier than scheduled.

However, it is still calling on companies and households to continue to save power. It is concerned that a lingering late summer heat may be more intense than expected.

The government will announce the plan on Tuesday.





Tuesday, August 30, 2011 13:52

Radiation limit to be lowered for Fukushima staff

Japan's health ministry will restore the cumulative radiation exposure limit for emergency workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to the original 100 millisieverts this autumn. The current limit is 250 milisieverts.

The ministry raised the exposure limit soon after the nuclear accident in March to secure enough time for workers at the plant to bring the situation under control.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Health Minister Ritsuo Hosokawa said he wants to return the legal limit to the previous level by autumn.

The ministry says 103 workers who started at the plant just after the accident have been exposed to cumulative radiation of more than 100 millisieverts.

But it says all staff who began work from April on have been exposed to less than 100 millisieverts.

Based on the reduced exposure, the ministry has concluded that there is no longer a need to maintain the higher provisional radiation limit.





Tuesday, August 30, 2011 14:22

Noda elected PM by both houses of Diet

The new leader of the main governing Democratic Party, Yoshihiko Noda, has been elected Japan's 95th Prime Minister in both houses of the Diet.

The Lower and Upper Houses of the Diet voted to elect Noda on Tuesday afternoon. Noda was chosen as the new DPJ leader on Monday.

He succeeds Naoto Kan, who resigned earlier in the day.





Tuesday, August 30, 2011 14:44

Govt signals early end to power saving

Japan's mandatory power saving for heavy users will come to an end in September earlier than scheduled.

The government announced on Tuesday that it will lift the mandatory power cuts as the peak summer heat is over.

A legally mandated 15 percent cut was put in place July 1st due to expected power shortages after the March 11th disaster in eastern Japan. The curb covers factories and other heavy power users in the regions of Tohoku and Kanto including Tokyo. Electricity for these areas is supplied by Tokyo Power Electric Company and Tohoku Electric Power Company.

The cuts were originally due to last until September 22nd for areas covered by Tokyo Electric and September 9th for areas covered by Tohoku Electric.

The government now says power saving will come to an end on September 2nd in Tohoku and September 9th in Kanto.

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda told reporters that demand-supply situation has been improving and that users particularly in the disaster-stricken Tohoku region want the mandatory cut lifted earlier.





Tuesday, August 30, 2011 18:22

Paddy decontamination method tested

Japanese researchers have begun testing a method for removing radioactive substances from paddies in an evacuation zone near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The National Agriculture and Food Research organization is conducting the test in Iitate Village, more than 30 kilometers northwest of the troubled plant, at the request of the government.

On Tuesday, the researchers used a power shovel at a paddy to break up about 3 centimeters of surface soil that had been hardened with a solidifier. The soil was then collected using a vacuum hose.

The researchers are to check the remaining soil for radiation to determine the effectiveness of the method.

Before the test, the level of radioactivity at the paddy was 12,000 becquerels per kilogram of soil, or more than double the limit at which planting is prohibited.

The head of the researchers said they will analyze data from the test to determine whether the method can be used to help resume farming in the area.



Tuesday, August 30, 2011 20:06

TEPCO announces standards for compensation

The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, has announced new standards for compensating those affected by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

TEPCO on Tuesday announced the standards based on midterm guidelines compiled by a government panel on August 5th.

The standards cover damage inflicted from March 11th to August 31st.

The compensation includes that for travel expenses up to about 65 dollars per trip per person for government-ordered evacuations within Fukushima Prefecture. Lodging fees up to about 104 dollars a night for such evacuations are also covered.

The utility says it could compensate beyond the standards in some cases.

The company is also to provide to evacuees compensation of about 1,300 dollars a month for mental suffering, as well as that for medical fees for injuries and illnesses caused by evacuations. Income lost due to evacuations is also to be covered.

The utility is to finish procedures for current tentative payments on September 11th and start sending out new application forms on September 12th, with the aim of starting payments as soon as early October.

TEPCO is also to fully compensate farmers, fishermen and small and medium-sized businesses for damage, including harm due to rumors. The firm is to send necessary forms in September. TEPCO has already paid about half of what farmers have claimed in provisional compensation.

The utility did not disclose an estimate of the total compensation that the new standards entail.

TEPCO is expected to carry out full-fledged compensation procedures with the help of a government-backed entity.

The number of personnel dealing with compensation matters is to be increased 5-fold to 6,500, to ensure a quick and fair response.





. . . . . Japan Times . . . . .



Noda victorious in race for prime minister

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda wins the Democratic Party of Japan presidency and will replace Naoto Kan as prime minister, becoming the ruling party's third leader since taking power in 2009.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110830a1.html



New leader pledges to cooperate with rivals

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110830a3.html



Markets relieved by Noda but obstacles remain

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20110830a2.html



First Fukushima rice batch shipped after passing tests !!!

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110830a4.html



Japan's 'silent tsunami' severs parental ties, wrecks children's lives

Since March 11, more than 82,000 children have lost contact with one parent due to divorce.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/fl20110830hn.html





quote

Cesium Mapping in Fukushima

セシウム汚染土壌マップ発表 文科省、原発百キロ圏内



source : www.asahi.com



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August 31, 2011



. The Political Situation .  INFO .



Wednesday, August 31, 2011 06:16 - NHK

TEPCO finds possibly active faults near Fukushima

Tokyo Electric Power Company suspects there are 5 active faults near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that could affect the crippled plant if they cause a tremor.

TEPCO made the discovery after the Japanese government requested utilities and nuclear agencies to reexamine faults around nuclear plants.

The directive followed a strong earthquake on April 11th from a fault thought to be inactive, 50 kilometers from the Fukushima plant.

TEPCO said on Tuesday that geological deformations were observed for the first time at 5 faults, suggesting they are active.

The utility will continue drilling to investigate the conditions, though the firm believes any tremors would be within the quake-resistance standard.

Besides TEPCO, two nuclear agencies reported 9 faults near their nuclear facilities in Ibaraki Prefecture that could be active.





Wednesday, August 31, 2011 10:34

Higher floors sustained greater quake damage

Firefighting authorities say higher floors of houses and office buildings in Tokyo sustained more damage than lower levels when the March 11th earthquake shook the metropolis.

The Tokyo Fire Department surveyed about 1,200 households and 1,220 businesses to see how much damage was done to the interiors of buildings.

The Tokyo area registered up to 5-plus on the Japanese seismic scale of zero to 7 during the magnitude 9.0 quake. Tokyo was about 370 kilometers from the epicenter.

22 percent of households and 20 percent of business operators said they saw furniture tumble or shift by more than 60 centimeters.

By level, damage occurred in around 17 percent of residences on the first and second floors, while the ratio reached about 47 percent for those on the 11th floor or higher.

As for businesses, around 36 percent of those on the 6th to 10th floors sustained damage in comparison to about 15 percent for those on the first and second floors.

The Tokyo Fire Department will set up an expert committee to work out measures to ensure safety on higher floors. The panel is expected to release its findings next March.





Wednesday, August 31, 2011 11:17

80% of Japan's reactors out of service

Another nuclear reactor in Japan will soon be shut down for regular inspections, leaving nearly 80 percent of the country's reactors out of service.

Kyushu Electric Power Company says it will begin work on Wednesday to halt operations at the No.2 reactor at the Sendai nuclear power plant. The reactor will be shut down by Thursday morning.

The utility wants to restart the reactor in 4 months, after exchanging fuel rods and making detailed checkups on turbines.

But it is unclear when the company can restart the reactor, as well as another one at the plant which remains out of service although regular checkups have been completed.

After the Fukushima accident, underhanded practices of power companies and the government have come to light.

Kyushu Electric and other utilities reportedly tried to influence government-sponsored town meetings in favor of nuclear energy, and mobilized people behind the scenes to win local approval for nuclear power generation.

Such practices have spurred public distrust in utilities and government oversight of the nuclear industry.

After the Sendai No.2 reactor is shut down, 42 nuclear reactors among 54 in Japan will be out of service.



Wednesday, August 31, 2011 20:38

TEPCO presents plan to extract melted rods

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, has announced a plan to extract melted nuclear fuel rods at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

TEPCO presented the 9-stage plan on Wednesday to an expert panel of the Atomic Energy Commission, which is discussing a process to decommission the plant's reactors.

The first 3 stages of TEPCO's plan are devoted to removing radioactive materials from the reactors' buildings to repair containment vessels and stop water leaks.

The utility plans to then put water in the vessels and take pictures to determine the amount of nuclear fuel that has leaked from the reactors.

In the final stage, the company plans to fill the vessels with water and use robots to extract the rods. Extraction of fuel rods that have leaked outside of reactors has never been performed at any nuclear plant.

TEPCO faces the tough challenges of coping with high levels of radiation and developing highly efficient robots.





Wednesday, August 31, 2011 18:38

Farmers in 11 prefectures seek damage from TEPCO

Farmers' groups from 11 prefectures in eastern Japan have sought fresh damages totaling nearly 140 million dollars from the operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Groups of farmers have filed for damages from Tokyo Electric Power Company every month since April.

On Wednesday, representatives from 11 prefectures --the largest number ever, including first-time participants Miyagi, Yamagata, Niigata, Saitama and Shizuoka prefectures -- met Tokyo Electric President Toshio Nishizawa at the company's main office.

They demanded compensation for beef, tea leaves and other products that have been banned from shipment or whose prices have plunged due to radiation contamination.

The farmers' demands for payments since April have added up to 750 million dollars.

Tokyo Electric has said it would make payouts every 3 months, but farmers who are strapped for cash demanded the payments be made more regularly.

The head of the farmers' group in Miyagi, Akio Sugawara, said they want the utility to respond with sincerity to their request for monthly payouts, because they cannot wait for 3 or 4 months.

Tokyo Electric's managing director Naomi Hirose said monthly payouts are almost impossible, considering that the company has so many groups and individuals to compensate. But he said the company would study the farmers' request.





Wednesday, August 31, 2011 19:09

SDF's major disaster relief activities end

Self-Defense Force units ended most of the aid missions they had undertaken in northeastern Japan following the March 11th earthquake and tsunami on Wednesday.

The SDF had deployed as many as 107,000 personnel to 7 disaster-hit prefectures, including Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.

They have been engaged in search and rescue operations and have helped prepare meals for survivors at evacuation centers.

The SDF has also been instrumental in attempts to cool the crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant by spraying water from the air and ground.

The size of SDF deployment had been gradually reduced in line with the needs of local residents and evacuees.

The SDF will continue to keep about 200 personnel in Fukushima Prefecture to help decontaminate residents who temporarily return to their homes in exclusion zones near the nuclear plant.



Wednesday, August 31, 2011 19:57

Evacuation centers close in northeastern Japan

More and more evacuation centers have closed in northeastern Japan, nearly 6 months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the region.

Fukushima Prefecture's largest evacuation center, which housed about 2,500 people at one time, closed on Wednesday.

The March 11th disaster and subsequent nuclear crisis forced some 73,600 residents in the prefecture to evacuate to 410 shelters.

The prefecture has decided to close all of them by October, saying it is securing temporary housing for the evacuees.

Nine evacuation centers in the prefecture were closed on Wednesday alone, leaving 9 housing several hundreds of evacuees still operating.

In Iwate Prefecture to the north, the last major evacuation center also closed on Wednesday, when evacuees left a school gymnasium in Yamada Town for temporary housing.

After the disaster, the prefecture set up about 400 shelters that housed more than 45,000 residents.

The government of Miyagi Prefecture says that as of Wednesday evening, 3,711 residents had stayed in shelters at 138 locations in the prefecture.





Wednesday, August 31, 2011 22:23

2 workers showered with highly radioactive water


Tokyo Electric Power Company says 2 male workers at its troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were showered with highly radioactive water by mistake.

The accident occurred on Wednesday morning.

The two subcontracting workers were suddenly splashed with water leaking from a container whose valve was not shut. The container was part of the contaminated water processing system.

TEPCO says one of the 2 workers was found to be exposed to 0.16 millisievelts of radiation, which is higher than the safety limit, and was decontaminated.

The other, who was wearing a raincoat, was exposed to 0.14 millisievelts of radiation, a slightly smaller dose than the other man.

The utility says that the 2 workers did not complain of symptoms such as burns and they had no internal radiation exposure.

TEPCO is investigating how the accident occurred.

Last Sunday, 2 TEPCO workers at the plant were exposed to radiation by mistake while they were replacing parts of the contaminated water processing system, which is key to bringing the crippled reactors under control.





. . . . . Japan Times . . . . .



Tepco-area power-saving order to end early on Sept. 9

The mandatory curb on electricity consumption for most of Tepco's service area will be moved forward from Sept. 22 to Sept. 9 after determining the hot weather has passed its peak and that people and companies have done a good job of reducing their usage.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110831a2.html





Leukemia claims Tepco worker

A man in his 40s who worked for a week in August at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s radiation-leaking Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has died of acute leukemia, but it was not caused by exposure to fallout, Tepco said Tuesday.

... his internal exposure was zero ... A doctor who diagnosed the man said the leukemia was not caused by radiation, Okazaki added. ... The ministry's criteria also put the incubation period to develop symptoms of acute leukemia at one year.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110831a6.html





Fukushima day care center hot spots

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110831a8.html



Disaster spurs more firms to embrace telecommuting

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20110831a1.html





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sources



. . Bulletins from NHK WORLD



. . Japan Times





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Energy saving 節電 setsuden







Since the earthquake knocked out a lot of power supply and rolling blackouts haunted Kanto, energy saving has become a hot topic.



Even in Western Japan, where I live, we talk about it and act about it, turning off equipment that is not needed.



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Some vocabulary






AEEC Asia Energy Efficiency and Conservation Collaboration Center

ECCJ Energy Conservation Center Japan

a unit established in ECCJ in April 2007 aiming for promotion of energy efficiency and conservation in Asian countries through international cooperation.

source : ECCJ and AEEC







setsuden 節電 conserving electricity

... setsuden moodo 節電モード switch on appliances





shooene 省エネ energy conservation





taiki denryoku 待機電力 standby-power

... 待機消費電力





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quote

The new setsuden culture



While the kanji for "hot" was chosen as emblematic of 2010, setsuden, or electricity conservation, seems to be the keyword for 2011, or at least for the coming summer.



Offices and factories are turning up thermostats and turning off lights, cutting back on overtime, and shifting work hours. Stations throughout Tokyo have turned off lights and escalators. Beverage vending machines are under attack for eating up too much electricity.



Individuals are being urged to turn off lights, limit the use of air conditioners and turn down the brightness on their TV screens. Arakawa Ward in Tokyo is planning to hold a summer setsuden "mileage" contest in which residents can win setsuden products, such as a strap enabling one to recharge a cell phone with solar power, if they can demonstrate use of 20 percent less electricity than in the same month the year before.



Such appeals seem to be having an effect. In one recent newspaper survey (Asahi, May 7), 86 percent of respondents report taking energy-saving measures at home. They are turning off lights, unplugging appliances when not in use and turning up the setting on air conditioners.



Products expected to get a boost in the setsuden campaign include electric fans, LED light bulbs and capacitors for household use in which electricity stored at night can be used during peak hours of demand.



Toshiba plans to put on sale in July a flat-screen TV, designed for use in Southeast Asian countries having frequent blackouts, which can run for three hours on a rechargeable battery.



Clothing for summer as well is moving beyond Cool Biz to Setsuden Biz. Uniqlo has already started selling special cooling underwear, and lines of polo shirts for the office are also in the works from various makers.



Beyond such products, the energy crisis seems to be leading to a re-examination of the busy, modern-day lifestyle with its emphasis on convenience above all else, and encouraging more time spent with family.



While it remains to be seen how deep or long-lasting such changes might be, perhaps the power shortage will bring some welcome reforms in lifestyle along with all the difficulties it poses for companies and individual citizens alike.

source : Japan Times, May 15, 2011





節電ビズ Setsuden Biz



Saving Energy Business



CLICK for more photos





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Some ideas on how to



dressing for business . this summer, cool biz is IN !



Starting Cool Biz in Japan

. Tuesday, May 05











Government starts the "Super" Cool Biz campaign

. Wednesday, June 01







super cool biz スーパークールビズ

. . . CLICK here for Photos !



smart cool biz スマートクールビズ

. . . CLICK here for Photos !



cool biz style クールビズスタイル

. . . CLICK here for Photos !





The Japanese Ministry of the Environment (MOE)

began advocating the Cool Biz campaign in summer 2005 as a means to help reduce electric consumption by limiting use of air conditioning. This idea was proposed by then-MOE minister Yuriko Koike under the Koizumi cabinet.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !





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hatsuden nabe, the power-generating pot



Imagine you lost everything and are living in a shelter or half-destroyed home, without electricity for days.

Here comes the little helper!

Make a wood fire, hang your special pot above it, change the heat into electricity, plug in a special battery and here you go, load your handy phone, switch on a light or a fan, use a little electricity.

the hatsuden nabe has been invented.

And with the hot water you can brew a coffe, tea or hot soup.





はつでんなべ 発電鍋 


たき火で湯を沸かしながら携帯電話を充電できる!

from 「TESニューエナジー」

venture company TES NewEnergy Corp., Osaka

舟橋良次 Funahashi Ryoji



quote   

A pot enabling users to charge their cellphones by boiling water in disaster situations will go on sale later this month.



The "Hatsuden-nabe (power generating pot)" of venture company TES NewEnergy Corp. has the appearance of an ordinary household utensil but can directly convert heat-waste into electricity using a thermoelectric module.



Since the device can charge cellphones and other devices using open flames from firewood, charcoal, gas and other sources, it would be useful as a backup for emergencies such as natural disasters, said the company based in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture.



The product, which uses a USB connection, can finish charging an iPhone smartphone of Apple Inc. in three to five hours, for example. It can also charge radios and flashlights if they have USB plugs.



''After the earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan, we went into full swing in developing the product,'' said Ryoji Funahashi, a director at the company, referring to the March 11 disaster.



''The product is unaffected by the weather or the time of the day, unlike solar energy, and since the motors don't shake, it's hard to break,'' he said.



The pot, 16 centimeters in diameter, contains an iron-covered conductor at the bottom. The conductor is high in temperature while the pot itself is cooler, causing a difference in temperature that can be converted to electric voltage.



''We hope to make more powerful electricity generators using metallic drums in the future, '' Funahashi said.



The product, which consists of the pot and accessories, will be sold for 24,150 yen.



TES NewEnergy is a venture company specializing in commercialization of products using technologies developed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

source : english.kyodonews.jp





power-generating pot, using a thermoelectric module

. Reference .



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Airconditioning

Set to a bit lower/higher than usual.

(18 centigrade for winter)

(28 centigrade for summer)

Put the outside unit in a shady place, and clean it regularly, especially the backside.



or use a ventilator fan



There is now a new model,

very light, that loads a battery while you use it during the day and can use it without being plugged in for about 6 hours. It also has an LED lamp for emergencym, a small radio and a plug to recharge the handy cell phone. AND

it comes with a special small voltaic panel to be put on the window pane for power-generation during sunshine times !



solar senpuuki ソーラー扇風機, DC充電

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

http://www.alibaba.co.jp/pdetail-gs/511298392.htm



Smaller solar power fans are also awailable.

電池不要!充電式携帯扇風機 

ソーラーパワーファン Solar Power Fan

. . . CLICK here for Photos !



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Kitchen

Cook with gas during peak time.





Refrigerator

Set to a bit warmer than usual.

Hang a plastic sheet inside.

Get things out and back in as fast as possible.





Remote controls

Switch off the main unit if not used.





Room light

A bit lower than usual.

Use a candle once in a while.

Go to bed early.





Desk Lamp Stand スタンド型フレキシブルLEDライト

A new type is now promoted, with 38 small LED lamps producing enough light to read at the desk or in bed. While the lamp is on it recharges a battery and can be used in case of power failure for about 20 hours. It can also be taken off the cords and carried around at home or in the garden in case of power failure.





Television

Watch with all the family in one room.

Turn off and have a chat or play with family.

A TV with rechargeable battery is promoted, which can run for 10 hours during a power failure.







Toilet

Switch off the heated toilet seat.





Washing maschine

Use less than usual, wear your socks one more day.



. . . . .



Bedroom

Use a mosquito net and keep the windows open. Cheap nets like tents to open with one-touch are sold now. They come in three sizes, for children, one grown-up and two people.



Matresses made of reed (igusa) or

a bamboo bed sheet made of small bamboo plates that can be folded, to keep the body cool. Including a pillow cover of bamboo plates.

This is an item long used in China during the hot summer.

bamboo beddo shiitsu バンブーベッドシーツ





Windows

But a reed blind (sudare) in front of the window.





Cover a balcony with a "sunshade" サンシェイド to make shadow and let in cool air.



. . . CLICK here for Photos !





Get a netted protection for the door to keep it open for airing the house.





Showa era retro goods 昭和レトロ商品 are in this year, to make you feel cool



wind chimes

goldfish bowls



. . . . .



A new system using natural light and sunlight during the day reflected by special mirrors



hikari dakuto shisutemu 光ダクトシステム mirror duct system







Reference



. . . . .





Energy-saving cooking device show

Japan Food Machinery Manufacturers' Association

. Tuesday, June 7 in Japan .



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quote

Super Cool Biz

June 1 marked the start of the Environment Ministry's Super Cool Biz campaign, with full-page newspaper ads and photos of ministry workers smiling rather self-consciously at their desks wearing polo shirts and colorful Okinawa kariyushi shirts.



Cool Biz campaigns of previous years, since 2005, had promoted short-sleeved shirts with no necktie or suit jacket for the office, but now, faced with the need to conserve electricity, the new official Super Cool Biz encourages polo shirts, Hawaiian shirts, running shoes and even nice-looking T-shirts, jeans and sandals.

... Already though, the new national mood can be seen in women buying more subdued colors than usual for the summer and more practical low- or flat-heeled shoes; cute trinkets to hang from bags incorporating LED flashlights or emergency whistles are also popular.

There is also a comeback for retro summer items like uchiwa hand fans and old-fashioned suteteko underwear (lightweight knee-length drawers for men).

. . . CLICK here for suteteko Photos !

ステテコ(すててこ)

... It will be interesting to see if these lifestyle changes will last beyond the current crisis for a looser and more flexible office environment and an improved work-life balance.

source : Japan Times, June 12, 2011





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Wednesday, June 15, 2011



Nippon Yusen unveils eco-friendly cargo vessel


Major Japanese shipping firm Nippon Yusen 日本郵船会社 has unveiled a cargo vessel that is designed to minimize carbon dioxide emissions.

The 60,000-ton freighter is used for shipping autos.

The company says the vessel was originally fitted with solar panels, but power supplied by the panels had been unstable due to weather changes.

To address the problem, the freighter is now loaded with nickel-hydrogen batteries to store surplus solar power. When power generated from the solar panels is insufficient, the batteries will be used instead.

Per year, Nippon Yusen expects the new system will save 20 tons of heavy oil, which is used as fuel for the diesel power generator.

The company says the new solar power system's current goal is to cut CO2 by about 180 tons per vessel a year.

source : NHK WORLD NEWS





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Friday, June 17, 2011



The government of Gifu Prefecture has asked its employees to go home during 1 and 3 p.m. to take a nap, in order to cut down on power usage in the offices.

The measure is expected to cut electricity consumption by 20 percent during the 1-3 p.m. time slot, and by 11 percent for the entire year.

Officials have announced other similar measures across the country, like early working schedules or changes in the dress code.

. Reference .



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Friday, June 24, 2011

Microsoft Japan calls on PC users to save power

Microsoft Japan is urging individuals and businesses to do more to save power when using computers, ahead of this summer's expected power shortage.

The software company said at a news conference on Thursday that only 24 percent of consumers and 19 percent of companies have taken measures to cut such electricity use.

Microsoft said the biggest power cuts can be made by adjusting monitor settings.

It said reducing monitor brightness cuts power consumption by 23 percent, and that also shortening the period before the monitor automatically goes into sleep mode increases the reduction to 30 percent.

The firm said that carrying out such measures on the more than 22-million computers in the area served by Tokyo Electric Power Company could save 350,000 kilowatts.

Microsoft executive Satoshi Nakagawa said many people are reducing the amount of energy they use for lights and air conditioners but not computers, and urged that everyone effectively save power.

Japan is expected to face a tight power supply in the coming months because many of the country's nuclear reactors, including the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, remain offline after the March 11th disaster.

source : NHK world news



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Thursday, June 30, 2011



Carmakers begin summer power-saving

Some Japanese carmakers have started a summer-time power-saving schedule, to help deal with a possible shortage of electricity due to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Honda Motor is closing its factory in Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture on Thursday and Friday. And Nissan Motor is doing the same with two of its factories in southern Japan.

Streets near the Honda factory were quiet on Thursday, with its gates remaining shut. Some workers volunteered to clean up the streets to use their time off.

One of the volunteers says he's worried about the new schedule, but that it would be a good chance to visit resorts.

Some children in Suzuka City were being taken to a daycare center by their fathers, instead of their mothers. One of the fathers says he will take his child to the center on the days he's not working. He says that he wants to make the most of his free time.

Other carmakers and their affiliated companies will close their production lines from Friday and then every Thursday and Friday after that during the summer. They will open them on weekends when power consumption is lower.

source : NHK World News





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Friday, July 1, 2011

15% power cut required for large users on Friday

Starting Friday, large-scale electricity users in eastern Japan are required by law to reduce their consumption by 15 percent compared with last summer's peak.

Power shortages are expected this summer in regions served by Tokyo Electric Power Company and Tohoku Electric Power Company as the March 11th disaster damaged many power stations in the areas.

Factories and others using 500 kilowatts or more are required to cut their power use by 15 percent. The mandatory cuts will affect about 14,800 companies using Tokyo Electric and 3,700 using Tohoku Electric. Violators may face fines of up to 12,500 dollars.

The obligatory cuts are in place from 9 AM to 8 PM on weekdays through September 22nd in the region served by Tokyo Electric.

For the Tohoku Electric service region cuts will be through September 9th.

The government is also asking smaller-scale electricity users and households in the 2 service areas to slash their peak consumption by 15 percent compared with last year.

The mandatory cuts are not applied to shelters in the disaster-hit areas or hospitals.

Other medical institutions and facilities for the elderly are allowed to use the same level of electricity as last year.

Most railway operators are also permitted to use power amounts as large as last year's, except between noon and 3 PM. Smaller cuts are applied to financial and IT-related facilities as well as chip factories with 'clean rooms.'

The mandatory cuts are not in effect in regions outside the 2 utilities' service areas. But Kansai Electric Power Company is asking its customers in mid-western Japan to reduce consumption by 15 percent.

Other utilities are also appealing for cuts in power use.

The expected power shortages are prompting factories to shift their operations from weekdays to weekends. Some local governments are introducing daylight saving time.

These changes in working hours could widely affect the lifestyles of many throughout Japan.

source : NHK World News



Vending maschines will be turned off for many hours during the day. Others are now equiped with solar panels that will keep them going for many hours. And others are putting special insulating sheets on the top of the maschines to keep them cooler.





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Sunday, July 3, 2011



NTT DoCoMo starts energy-saving shifts

Major Japanese mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo has started energy-saving shifts to cope with power shortages on weekdays.

The company plans to cut energy consumption at its offices, as it is difficult to significantly save power at base stations.

Employees started to arrive at the company's headquarters in central Tokyo from around 9 AM on Saturday. About 10,000 employees in regions served by Tokyo Electric Power Company as well as in Nagano and Niigata Prefectures will work on weekends and take Mondays and Tuesdays off until the end of September.

The company plans to cut power consumption on weekdays by about 30 percent from last year.

An employee says he normally commutes on a very crowded train, but that he was able to sit and read a book. Restaurants in the building have also started to open on weekends.

One manager says his restaurant offers slightly fewer menu items on weekends, but that he will work hard to run the restaurant for his customers.

source : NHK world news



. . . . .



Major firms start weekend shifts

New week begins in bid to cut power use at peak working hours


Major companies on Saturday began operating on weekends to reduce demand for electricity use on weekdays in the face of possible power shortfalls this summer.

The start came a day after the government imposed restrictions on electricity consumption by large-lot users in eastern and northeastern Japan.

Eight automakers, including Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co., operated factories, while firms such as NTT DoCoMo Inc. opened some of their offices.

Employees arrived at Honda's factory in Sayama, Saitama Prefecture, by 6:30 a.m. to begin the day's work. A male employee said he came to work "as if today was Monday," adding that he didn't have any special feelings about working on the weekend.

... The industry has designated Thursdays and Fridays as substitute days off for working on weekends. DoCoMo offices that open Saturdays and Sundays will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

source : Japan Times



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Friday, August 12, 2011





Mercury tops 35; heatstroke takes toll


Three people die due to heatstroke and 14 others are in serious condition as temperatures exceed 35 degrees in many regions, prompting the Meteorological Agency to issue a severe heat alert to 29 prefectures.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110812a2.html





saving energy -

the gentle humming

of a pink fan




saving energy is the game of the day in japan ... out of sheer need, trying to make it without atomic power plants.

People use fans instead of air conditioning, but the number of heat strokes is also on the rise here.



The pink fan in my room seems to make such a gentle noise, getting me back to sleep in the early morning.





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Monday, August 15, 2011



The Largest Mega-Solar Generation Starts Operation in Kawasaki

川崎市に国内最大級「メガソーラー」

The total generation of the electricity supplies in Kawasaki would amount as much as 20,000 KWH. This is an equivalent amount of electricity to match the demands of some 5,900 households.



source : Mega-Solar Information .







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Saturday, August 20, 2011



Scooping Goldfish

This summer, because of saving electricity and the general mood, there are less summer festivals with fireworks and most festivals close down at 6 in the evening, before it gets dark.

. Saturday, August 20, 2011 .



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Wednesday, August 24, 2011



Tokyo Tower lit up with human-generated power - NHK

Thousands of people have pedaled bicycles to generate electricity to light up Tokyo Tower in an energy-saving campaign.

An event was held at the Japanese capital's landmark on Tuesday night.

Participants, including professional cyclists, took turns pedaling 10 power-generating bicycles in front of the tower.

Shortly after 8 PM, 9 lights illuminated the tower against the night sky, drawing cheers from the participants.

The night-time illumination of the tower has been shortened following the March nuclear accident in Fukushima, which caused power shortages.





Tuesday, August 30, 2011

.Govt signals early end to power saving





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. Reference .





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. BACK TO Diary .  





[ . BACK to WORLDKIGO . TOP . ]

[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]



[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]

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August 25, 26, 27, 28

Posted by Chika On 5:32 PM 0 comments
[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]

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koshidaka tora 腰高虎 tiger holding his hip up



This is a papermachee doll in the tradition of Miharu Dolls, Fukushima.

Many were made after WW II. The tiger holding up his bottom is an old tradition from the Edo period. The male tiger has his head is slightly bent to the left and the mouth is wide open. There is also a female with the mouth closed, looking to the right.

Thus they represent the "A-Un" spirit of Buddhism, represented in the Deva Kings.



. Tiger Toys from Japan .





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August 25, 2011



Thursday, August 25, 2011 04:31

Cattle shipment ban lifted in Fukushima

The Japanese government is going to allow Fukushima and 2 other prefectures to resume shipments of beef cattle once they clear radiation tests.

The government says it will lift the shipment ban for Fukushima, Iwate and Tochigi Prefectures on Thursday as safety arrangements have been put in place.

The government imposed the ban on the 3 prefectures as well as Miyagi Prefecture on July 19th after higher levels of radioactive cesium than the government limit were detected in beef samples from cattle that were fed contaminated rice straw at farms in those regions.

The ban in Miyagi Prefecture was lifted last Friday.

Cattle from all regions around the country will now be allowed to be sold if they clear radioactive screening.

Under the new safety arrangements, the local governments will test all cattle from farms where radioactive cesium over the legal limit was detected, as well as from farms in the evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Other farms will have to put only the first head of cattle they intend to ship out to screenings.



Thursday, August 25, 2011 18:54

Cattle farmer comments on lifting of bans

A cattle farmer in Iwate Prefecture has expressed mixed feelings concerning Thursday's announcement by the government on the lifting of its ban on beef cattle shipments in the region.

Ryoichi Hatsugai has about 50 head of brand cattle from which Maezawa beef is made. His source of income has been cut off since the government placed a shipment ban on cows in the region on August 1st. He had to dip into his savings to cover feed and other expenses.

Hatsugai said the bans have been lifted at long last. But he said he is worried about whether prices of beef will return to the levels they were before the March 11th disaster, as beef prices have slumped since the disaster and the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

He said he wants the government to assure the public that beef in the region is safe, and to consider compensation for the damage farmers in the region have suffered.





Thursday, August 25, 2011 - NHK

Another reactor to be shut down for inspection

A nuclear reactor in Hokkaido, northern Japan, will shut down shortly for regular inspections, leaving over 75 percent of the country's reactors out of service.

Hokkaido Electric Power Company says it will begin reducing the influx of steam into the turbine of the number 2 reactor at the Tomari nuclear power plant on Thursday. The reactor will shut down in the early hours of Friday for 3 months of checkups.

That will bring the number of inactive reactors around the country to 41, or 76 percent of the total number of 54.

Eleven of the inactive reactors were initially scheduled to resume operations after regular checkups have been completed later this month.

But the utilities are now obliged to conduct stress tests as a new government-ordered safety measure. They must also get approvals to restart from local communities.

Three active reactors will also be shut down for regular checkups by September, another 8 by later this year, and the remaining 2 by early next year.

This means that all the reactors in the country could be out of service next spring.





Radiation limits to be tightened at schools

Radiation limits to be tightened at schools

The Japanese government will tighten radiation exposure limits for children at schools in Fukushima Prefecture.

The education ministry says it will lower the threshold for cumulative external radiation permitted at schools and kindergartens to a maximum annual exposure of one millisievert. The figure translates to less than one microsievert per hour.

The previous standards of a maximum 20 millisieverts per year and 3.8 microsieverts per hour were set in April following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The ministry says the subsequent removal of topsoil from playgrounds has pushed radiation readings at all schools below the 3.8 benchmark.

It says it will not require schools to keep children indoors even if radiation levels exceed the new limits, but recommends that they be promptly decontaminated if they go outside.

The ministry is to inform Fukushima Prefecture of its decision to change standards on Friday.



Thursday, August 25, 2011 17:34

TEPCO executive knew about tsunami predictions

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says a top executive knew about a simulation 3 years ago suggesting that a tsunami over 10 meters high could hit the plant in the event of a major earthquake.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company said at a news conference on Thursday that then-senior vice president Ichiro Takekuro was briefed about the simulation results conducted in the spring of 2008. The plant was designed to withstand a tsunami only up to 5.7 meters high.

A spokesperson of the utility said it did not publicize the results because they were based on a hypothetical situation.

Japan's nuclear regulatory agency disclosed on Wednesday that Tokyo Electric did not report the prediction to the agency until March 7th -- 4 days before the more-than-10-meter-high tsunami hit the plant.

An agency official criticized the firm for withholding the information for so long, saying it would have helped in risk assessment.

On Thursday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said he'd been told that Tokyo Electric knew in 2008 about the possibility of a major tsunami.

Edano said it's extremely regrettable that the utility did not act on the simulation results and beef up the plant when it had plenty of time to do so.

He also said it's regrettable that the firm did not provide the information until it was forced to do so because of a government probe.





Thursday, August 25, 2011 20:57

150 Buddhist priests remember March 11th victims

About 150 Buddhist priests from various sects have joined in a memorial service in Tokyo for people killed in the March earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan.

A column of priests walked along a 200-meter path from the gate of Sensoji Temple to its main hall in the service on Thursday. The temple in the downtown Asakusa area is a popular tourist destination.

The priests were accompanied by the sound of Japanese flutes, and followed by relatives of victims. In the hall, the priests chanted sutras for those killed in the disaster, and for the speedy recovery of affected areas.

A woman whose mother in Miyagi Prefecture was killed in the tsunami expressed gratitude that so many priests attended the memorial.

A representative of the group that organized the service said he came up with the idea for the event because the temple is close to Ueno Station, the start of major railways to northern Japan.





. . . . . Japan Times . . . . .



3/7: Tepco gave NISA high-wave scenarios

Tokyo Electric Power Co. was aware 10-meter-plus tsunami could hit the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station as early as in 2008, reporting the results of simulations for the first time to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on March 7 -- four days before 13-meter waves knocked out the plant, leading to three meltdowns.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110825a1.html



Officials to inspect agricultural products without advance notice

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110825a3.html



No livestock farmers apply for government help

... Under the support program, the government offers subsidies to livestock farmers to remove tsunami debris and repair facilities. To apply, they are required first to form a union with at least five households as members, and the group is then required to begin operating as a collective, with jointly owned and run cattle, pig and poultry barns.

But many livestock farmers in the four prefectures — Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima — operate as independently run farms, and it is hard for them to operate jointly as their farms are located some distance from each other, according to the authorities.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110825a8.html



Nuclear refugees struggle to cope with uncertain future

... For the past five months, Kamoshita and her two children have lived a life in exile, moving five times — from a relative's house in Yokohama to an apartment in a western suburb of Tokyo, from the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka to another hotel in Shibuya Ward, and finally to an apartment in Chiyoda Ward in late July that the metropolitan government has made available until the end of next July. ...

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110825f1.html





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August 26, 2011



Another clouded morning.

Two typhoons and one tropical depression loom south of Japan.



Friday, August 26, 2011 14:32 - NHK

Auction of Miyagi beef resumes

Auctions of beef from Miyagi Prefecture resumed on Friday, one week after the Japanese government lifted a ban on shipment of beef cattle from the prefecture. The ban was imposed because of fears of radioactive contamination from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The government lifted the ban on Miyagi beef cattle on August 19th, saying that sufficient measures had been put in place to ensure its safety. A similar ban on beef cattle from Fukushima, Iwate and Tochigi prefectures was lifted on Thursday.

The ban on beef cattle from Miyagi had been imposed on July 28th after radioactive cesium exceeding the government's safety limit was detected in meat from cattle fed with contaminated rice straw.

The beef auctions resumed at a wholesale market in Sendai City, the capital of Miyagi prefecture.

Before the start of the bidding, Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai handed Sendai's vice mayor a document attesting to the safety of the beef from all 90 heads of cattle.

Sendai City decided to independently test all beef sold at its wholesale market. But due to limits of its testing capacity, the city says it can only handle around 90 heads of cattle a day, roughly 60 percent of the amount that was being traded before the ban.



Friday, August 26, 2011 14:06

Residents near nuke plant make temporarily return

Local residents whose homes are within 3 kilometers of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been allowed to return home for the first time since the accident in March.

The government permitted residents of Futaba Town and Okuma Town in Fukushima Prefecture to temporarily return home on Friday because radiation levels in these areas have stabilized.

Since May, residents living between 3 and 20 kilometers from the plant have been allowed to make home visits, but those living within 3 kilometers of the plant have not.

A 20-kilometer area around the plant has been designated a no-go zone.

On Friday morning, 117 people from 64 households in Futaba Town gathered outside the no-go zone and put on protective suits before riding buses to their destinations. Also making the trip were 35 family members and officials from a home for the elderly requiring special care in Okuma Town.

The group is being given 2 hours to collect necessary belongings before returning in the afternoon.





. . . . . Japan Times . . . . .



Ban on beef shipments lifted


The government lifts the last bans on shipments of beef cattle ? from Iwate, Fukushima and Tochigi prefectures ? that were suspended due to leaks of radioactive material from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110826a1.html



Fukushima cleanup sets two-year goals

Japan will seek to halve the amount of radiation in residential areas around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and cut children's daily radiation dose by 60 percent over the next two years, according to an emergency decontamination policy document.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110826a3.html



Fukushima to state: Buy the leftovers

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110826a4.html



Fukushima rice tests show no contamination

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110826a5.html



Kepco tests reactors for restart plan

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110826a6.html



Canadian firms keen to engage with postdisaster Japan

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110826f3.html



Tepco's personnel costs higher than firms in other fields, state panel says

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20110826a2.html



Accelerate decontamination

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/ed20110826a1.html



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August 27, 2011



Saturday, August 27, 2011 02:16 - NHK

Hokkaido Elec. Power Co. to probe e-mail deception

Hokkaido Electric Power Company admits that it urged employees to attend a symposium and express views in support of one of its nuclear energy projects.

Officials from the utility, which covers Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, held a news conference on Friday about the 2008 symposium.

The move comes after 2 other utilities in Japan admitted using similar forums to manipulate public opinion in favor of their nuclear projects.

The symposium in Hokkaido was about a project involving plutonium-uranium oxide, or MOX, fuel at the Tomari nuclear power plant. The meeting was sponsored by the Hokkaido prefectural government and local governments of municipalities hosting the power plant.

The utility said its public relations department sent out e-mails to nuclear power-related offices asking them to have as many people as possible attend the symposium and speak in favor of the MOX project.

The company said it takes the case seriously, and that it will investigate how the public relations department came to take such action. It will also look into how many employees actually attended the symposium and the possible impact of any statements they made.



5 candidates run for Democratic Party presidency

. The Political Situation .  INFO .



. . . . . Japan Times . . . . .



Futaba evacuees get first home visits


http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110827a4.html



Stray Sendai kittens seek Tokyo homes

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110827a5.html



Low levels of cesium found in rice

The Fukushima Prefectural Government said Friday a small amount of radioactive cesium, below the allowable limit, was detected in raw rice in Nihonmatsu, some 60 km from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

... The prefectural government also said no cesium was detected in rice harvested in Koriyama and Motomiya, which are also about 60 km from the Fukushima plant.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110827a8.html





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August 28, 2011



The two typhoons are still hovering South of Japan, not moving very much ... scary, with the Hurricane Irene in America now . . .





Sunday, August 28, 2011 02:15 - NHK

Kan: Central storage plant planned in Fukushima

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has informed the governor of Fukushima Prefecture of a plan to build a central storage plant to temporarily manage nuclear waste, including contaminated soil.

At a meeting in Fukushima City on Saturday, Governor Yuhei Sato responded that he was troubled to hear about such a plan so suddenly.

He asked the government to take responsible action, as the plan would be extremely serious for the prefecture and relevant municipalities that have suffered greatly from the nuclear accident.

After the meeting, Kan told reporters that the government has no intention of making the plant a final facility. He said he needed to make the request in order to pave the way to begin carrying out decontamination.



. . . . . Japan Times . . . . .



Kan wants Fukushima nuke waste storage site

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110828a2.html



Cesium release equal to 168 Hiroshima A-bombs

The amount of radioactive cesium ejected by the Fukushima reactor meltdowns is about 168 times higher than that emitted in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the government's nuclear watchdog said Friday.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency provided the estimate at the request of a Diet panel but noted that making a simple comparison between an instantaneous bomb blast and a long-term accidental leak is problematic and could lead to "irrelevant" results.

MORE ...

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110828a4.html



..................and



‎. . . Government nuclear experts, however, said the World War II bomb blast and the accidental reactor meltdowns at

Fukushima, which has seen ongoing radiation leaks

. . . . . but no deaths so far,

were beyond comparison.

.

While the Hiroshima bomb claimed most of its victims in the intense heatwave of a mid-air nuclear explosion and the highly radioactive fallout from its mushroom cloud, no such nuclear explosions hit Fukushima.



source : www.japantoday.com



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sources



. . Bulletins from NHK WORLD



. . Japan Times





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[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]



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August 25, 26, 27, 28

Posted by Chika On 5:32 PM 0 comments
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koshidaka tora 腰高虎 tiger holding his hip up



This is a papermachee doll in the tradition of Miharu Dolls, Fukushima.

Many were made after WW II. The tiger holding up his bottom is an old tradition from the Edo period. The male tiger has his head is slightly bent to the left and the mouth is wide open. There is also a female with the mouth closed, looking to the right.

Thus they represent the "A-Un" spirit of Buddhism, represented in the Deva Kings.



. Tiger Toys from Japan .





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August 25, 2011



Thursday, August 25, 2011 04:31

Cattle shipment ban lifted in Fukushima

The Japanese government is going to allow Fukushima and 2 other prefectures to resume shipments of beef cattle once they clear radiation tests.

The government says it will lift the shipment ban for Fukushima, Iwate and Tochigi Prefectures on Thursday as safety arrangements have been put in place.

The government imposed the ban on the 3 prefectures as well as Miyagi Prefecture on July 19th after higher levels of radioactive cesium than the government limit were detected in beef samples from cattle that were fed contaminated rice straw at farms in those regions.

The ban in Miyagi Prefecture was lifted last Friday.

Cattle from all regions around the country will now be allowed to be sold if they clear radioactive screening.

Under the new safety arrangements, the local governments will test all cattle from farms where radioactive cesium over the legal limit was detected, as well as from farms in the evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Other farms will have to put only the first head of cattle they intend to ship out to screenings.



Thursday, August 25, 2011 18:54

Cattle farmer comments on lifting of bans

A cattle farmer in Iwate Prefecture has expressed mixed feelings concerning Thursday's announcement by the government on the lifting of its ban on beef cattle shipments in the region.

Ryoichi Hatsugai has about 50 head of brand cattle from which Maezawa beef is made. His source of income has been cut off since the government placed a shipment ban on cows in the region on August 1st. He had to dip into his savings to cover feed and other expenses.

Hatsugai said the bans have been lifted at long last. But he said he is worried about whether prices of beef will return to the levels they were before the March 11th disaster, as beef prices have slumped since the disaster and the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

He said he wants the government to assure the public that beef in the region is safe, and to consider compensation for the damage farmers in the region have suffered.





Thursday, August 25, 2011 - NHK

Another reactor to be shut down for inspection

A nuclear reactor in Hokkaido, northern Japan, will shut down shortly for regular inspections, leaving over 75 percent of the country's reactors out of service.

Hokkaido Electric Power Company says it will begin reducing the influx of steam into the turbine of the number 2 reactor at the Tomari nuclear power plant on Thursday. The reactor will shut down in the early hours of Friday for 3 months of checkups.

That will bring the number of inactive reactors around the country to 41, or 76 percent of the total number of 54.

Eleven of the inactive reactors were initially scheduled to resume operations after regular checkups have been completed later this month.

But the utilities are now obliged to conduct stress tests as a new government-ordered safety measure. They must also get approvals to restart from local communities.

Three active reactors will also be shut down for regular checkups by September, another 8 by later this year, and the remaining 2 by early next year.

This means that all the reactors in the country could be out of service next spring.





Radiation limits to be tightened at schools

Radiation limits to be tightened at schools

The Japanese government will tighten radiation exposure limits for children at schools in Fukushima Prefecture.

The education ministry says it will lower the threshold for cumulative external radiation permitted at schools and kindergartens to a maximum annual exposure of one millisievert. The figure translates to less than one microsievert per hour.

The previous standards of a maximum 20 millisieverts per year and 3.8 microsieverts per hour were set in April following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The ministry says the subsequent removal of topsoil from playgrounds has pushed radiation readings at all schools below the 3.8 benchmark.

It says it will not require schools to keep children indoors even if radiation levels exceed the new limits, but recommends that they be promptly decontaminated if they go outside.

The ministry is to inform Fukushima Prefecture of its decision to change standards on Friday.



Thursday, August 25, 2011 17:34

TEPCO executive knew about tsunami predictions

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says a top executive knew about a simulation 3 years ago suggesting that a tsunami over 10 meters high could hit the plant in the event of a major earthquake.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company said at a news conference on Thursday that then-senior vice president Ichiro Takekuro was briefed about the simulation results conducted in the spring of 2008. The plant was designed to withstand a tsunami only up to 5.7 meters high.

A spokesperson of the utility said it did not publicize the results because they were based on a hypothetical situation.

Japan's nuclear regulatory agency disclosed on Wednesday that Tokyo Electric did not report the prediction to the agency until March 7th -- 4 days before the more-than-10-meter-high tsunami hit the plant.

An agency official criticized the firm for withholding the information for so long, saying it would have helped in risk assessment.

On Thursday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said he'd been told that Tokyo Electric knew in 2008 about the possibility of a major tsunami.

Edano said it's extremely regrettable that the utility did not act on the simulation results and beef up the plant when it had plenty of time to do so.

He also said it's regrettable that the firm did not provide the information until it was forced to do so because of a government probe.





Thursday, August 25, 2011 20:57

150 Buddhist priests remember March 11th victims

About 150 Buddhist priests from various sects have joined in a memorial service in Tokyo for people killed in the March earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan.

A column of priests walked along a 200-meter path from the gate of Sensoji Temple to its main hall in the service on Thursday. The temple in the downtown Asakusa area is a popular tourist destination.

The priests were accompanied by the sound of Japanese flutes, and followed by relatives of victims. In the hall, the priests chanted sutras for those killed in the disaster, and for the speedy recovery of affected areas.

A woman whose mother in Miyagi Prefecture was killed in the tsunami expressed gratitude that so many priests attended the memorial.

A representative of the group that organized the service said he came up with the idea for the event because the temple is close to Ueno Station, the start of major railways to northern Japan.





. . . . . Japan Times . . . . .



3/7: Tepco gave NISA high-wave scenarios

Tokyo Electric Power Co. was aware 10-meter-plus tsunami could hit the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station as early as in 2008, reporting the results of simulations for the first time to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on March 7 -- four days before 13-meter waves knocked out the plant, leading to three meltdowns.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110825a1.html



Officials to inspect agricultural products without advance notice

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110825a3.html



No livestock farmers apply for government help

... Under the support program, the government offers subsidies to livestock farmers to remove tsunami debris and repair facilities. To apply, they are required first to form a union with at least five households as members, and the group is then required to begin operating as a collective, with jointly owned and run cattle, pig and poultry barns.

But many livestock farmers in the four prefectures — Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima — operate as independently run farms, and it is hard for them to operate jointly as their farms are located some distance from each other, according to the authorities.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110825a8.html



Nuclear refugees struggle to cope with uncertain future

... For the past five months, Kamoshita and her two children have lived a life in exile, moving five times — from a relative's house in Yokohama to an apartment in a western suburb of Tokyo, from the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka to another hotel in Shibuya Ward, and finally to an apartment in Chiyoda Ward in late July that the metropolitan government has made available until the end of next July. ...

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110825f1.html





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August 26, 2011



Another clouded morning.

Two typhoons and one tropical depression loom south of Japan.



Friday, August 26, 2011 14:32 - NHK

Auction of Miyagi beef resumes

Auctions of beef from Miyagi Prefecture resumed on Friday, one week after the Japanese government lifted a ban on shipment of beef cattle from the prefecture. The ban was imposed because of fears of radioactive contamination from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The government lifted the ban on Miyagi beef cattle on August 19th, saying that sufficient measures had been put in place to ensure its safety. A similar ban on beef cattle from Fukushima, Iwate and Tochigi prefectures was lifted on Thursday.

The ban on beef cattle from Miyagi had been imposed on July 28th after radioactive cesium exceeding the government's safety limit was detected in meat from cattle fed with contaminated rice straw.

The beef auctions resumed at a wholesale market in Sendai City, the capital of Miyagi prefecture.

Before the start of the bidding, Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai handed Sendai's vice mayor a document attesting to the safety of the beef from all 90 heads of cattle.

Sendai City decided to independently test all beef sold at its wholesale market. But due to limits of its testing capacity, the city says it can only handle around 90 heads of cattle a day, roughly 60 percent of the amount that was being traded before the ban.



Friday, August 26, 2011 14:06

Residents near nuke plant make temporarily return

Local residents whose homes are within 3 kilometers of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been allowed to return home for the first time since the accident in March.

The government permitted residents of Futaba Town and Okuma Town in Fukushima Prefecture to temporarily return home on Friday because radiation levels in these areas have stabilized.

Since May, residents living between 3 and 20 kilometers from the plant have been allowed to make home visits, but those living within 3 kilometers of the plant have not.

A 20-kilometer area around the plant has been designated a no-go zone.

On Friday morning, 117 people from 64 households in Futaba Town gathered outside the no-go zone and put on protective suits before riding buses to their destinations. Also making the trip were 35 family members and officials from a home for the elderly requiring special care in Okuma Town.

The group is being given 2 hours to collect necessary belongings before returning in the afternoon.





. . . . . Japan Times . . . . .



Ban on beef shipments lifted


The government lifts the last bans on shipments of beef cattle ? from Iwate, Fukushima and Tochigi prefectures ? that were suspended due to leaks of radioactive material from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110826a1.html



Fukushima cleanup sets two-year goals

Japan will seek to halve the amount of radiation in residential areas around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and cut children's daily radiation dose by 60 percent over the next two years, according to an emergency decontamination policy document.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110826a3.html



Fukushima to state: Buy the leftovers

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110826a4.html



Fukushima rice tests show no contamination

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110826a5.html



Kepco tests reactors for restart plan

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110826a6.html



Canadian firms keen to engage with postdisaster Japan

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110826f3.html



Tepco's personnel costs higher than firms in other fields, state panel says

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20110826a2.html



Accelerate decontamination

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/ed20110826a1.html



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August 27, 2011



Saturday, August 27, 2011 02:16 - NHK

Hokkaido Elec. Power Co. to probe e-mail deception

Hokkaido Electric Power Company admits that it urged employees to attend a symposium and express views in support of one of its nuclear energy projects.

Officials from the utility, which covers Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, held a news conference on Friday about the 2008 symposium.

The move comes after 2 other utilities in Japan admitted using similar forums to manipulate public opinion in favor of their nuclear projects.

The symposium in Hokkaido was about a project involving plutonium-uranium oxide, or MOX, fuel at the Tomari nuclear power plant. The meeting was sponsored by the Hokkaido prefectural government and local governments of municipalities hosting the power plant.

The utility said its public relations department sent out e-mails to nuclear power-related offices asking them to have as many people as possible attend the symposium and speak in favor of the MOX project.

The company said it takes the case seriously, and that it will investigate how the public relations department came to take such action. It will also look into how many employees actually attended the symposium and the possible impact of any statements they made.



5 candidates run for Democratic Party presidency

. The Political Situation .  INFO .



. . . . . Japan Times . . . . .



Futaba evacuees get first home visits


http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110827a4.html



Stray Sendai kittens seek Tokyo homes

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110827a5.html



Low levels of cesium found in rice

The Fukushima Prefectural Government said Friday a small amount of radioactive cesium, below the allowable limit, was detected in raw rice in Nihonmatsu, some 60 km from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

... The prefectural government also said no cesium was detected in rice harvested in Koriyama and Motomiya, which are also about 60 km from the Fukushima plant.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110827a8.html





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August 28, 2011



The two typhoons are still hovering South of Japan, not moving very much ... scary, with the Hurricane Irene in America now . . .





Sunday, August 28, 2011 02:15 - NHK

Kan: Central storage plant planned in Fukushima

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has informed the governor of Fukushima Prefecture of a plan to build a central storage plant to temporarily manage nuclear waste, including contaminated soil.

At a meeting in Fukushima City on Saturday, Governor Yuhei Sato responded that he was troubled to hear about such a plan so suddenly.

He asked the government to take responsible action, as the plan would be extremely serious for the prefecture and relevant municipalities that have suffered greatly from the nuclear accident.

After the meeting, Kan told reporters that the government has no intention of making the plant a final facility. He said he needed to make the request in order to pave the way to begin carrying out decontamination.



. . . . . Japan Times . . . . .



Kan wants Fukushima nuke waste storage site

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110828a2.html



Cesium release equal to 168 Hiroshima A-bombs

The amount of radioactive cesium ejected by the Fukushima reactor meltdowns is about 168 times higher than that emitted in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the government's nuclear watchdog said Friday.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency provided the estimate at the request of a Diet panel but noted that making a simple comparison between an instantaneous bomb blast and a long-term accidental leak is problematic and could lead to "irrelevant" results.

MORE ...

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110828a4.html



..................and



‎. . . Government nuclear experts, however, said the World War II bomb blast and the accidental reactor meltdowns at

Fukushima, which has seen ongoing radiation leaks

. . . . . but no deaths so far,

were beyond comparison.

.

While the Hiroshima bomb claimed most of its victims in the intense heatwave of a mid-air nuclear explosion and the highly radioactive fallout from its mushroom cloud, no such nuclear explosions hit Fukushima.



source : www.japantoday.com



:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::



sources



. . Bulletins from NHK WORLD



. . Japan Times





:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::



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[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]



[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]

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