An interactive and taboo-free journalism based in Japan

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3/11 was the Final Wake-up Call for Stakeholders of Japan

On April 15, TEPCO's president Masataka Shimizu
(center) offered a sincere apology. No one could
tell to whom he offered it, and what about because
it was just part of a ritual.
As of April 16, 13,551 have been identified as dead and 14,563 as missing. Obviously there are another thousands for whom even missing person reports haven't been filed. Are they all who have suffered from the disaster? Not at all. There are some 500,000 evacuees who have been confined in shelters for more than one month, and the 241 faceless/nameless personnel who have been left inside the premises of TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 Plant to perform an inane suicide mission there.

And don't forget that dozens of people who had survived the quake and tsunami have died in shelters.

And of course these TEPCO employees and subcontractors are not alone in being heavily exposed to radioactive materials. There can be thousands or tens of thousands of people who were, or are going to be killed by radiation. For instance, recent reports from foreign media have it that there are an unknown number of corpses of tsunami victims lying on the ground near the power plant. But who knows the real cause of their death?

Actually the list of those who suffered from 3/11 goes on and on.

As recently as April 15, the Prime Minister told the TEPCO to work on a blueprint to end the crisis. This was yet another telling evidence that from the beginning Kan had not used a systematic approach toward the crisis. TEPCO's response was equally stupid. President Masataka Shimizu, who had holed up in a "hospital" for weeks, appeared before press corps to offer "sincere apologies." As to the blueprint, he said to the effect that his company would develop a specific action plan "as soon as possible." In short, they didn't know what for they ordered these 241 employees to risk their lives inside the facility of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant. This is why I have likened these guys kamikaze pilots.

Now that things are getting real ugly across the nation, let me recapitulate what exactly happened before, on, and after March 11.

Before 3/11: Naoto Kan was already faltering because of his total incompetence. But still he could withstand calls for his resignation because of the strong backing from the major opposition Liberal Democratic Party and the U.S. government which thought the inept Prime Minister was the ideal person to carry through the plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' air station from Futenma to Henoko against the will of the Okinawans. Under the special circumstances, the big quake and tsunami were a real manna. The Japanese traditionally call such a blessing kamikaze, or divine wind.

3/11: As Mr. Takashi Hirose has already pointed out, what happened on that day was not a once-in-a-millennium calamity. The magnitude of the tremor was artificially inflated to 9.0 but it was actually 8.3 or 8.4. Tsunami was not unprecedented, either. Initial reports had it the maximum height reached 33 ft. Later it was unofficially revised to 75 ft. But Hirose has reminded us that in 1896, for instance, a 125 ft tsunami was observed.

After 3/11: It's quite natural that Kan's administration, which had not been able to manage even the pre-quake "normal" situation, was now at a loss over how to handle the post-quake emergency. Defying every rule of crisis management, he acted in a haphazard way and at a snail's pace. Also he failed to prepare his people for the worst case scenario, by constantly disseminating his wishful thinking. On the other hand, members of Kisha Kurabu (the press club) physically attached to the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Company, along with other reporters, editors, and their favorite "experts," kept covering up or fabricating critical information. No wonder that the natural disaster quickly turned into a full-fledged man-made catastrophe.

Obviously, Kan, looters and charity-swindlers are not alone in benefiting a lot from the disaster. As we saw in the vacuum of laws of the postwar era, there are a lot of "legitimate" business opportunities for corrupt construction companies and many others. But on the other hand, hundreds of thousands of survivors are still going through the horrible plight in evacuation centers because of the inaction on the part of the government. Kan and his men have talked a lot about relief measures but they have delivered practically nothing on their promises.

It is true that there are a small number of individuals and organizations in Japan and foreign countries such as Taiwan, Israel and China that have offered genuinely spontaneous and selfless support. It's really heartwarming to see them. Especially I was touched by Mr. Masayoshi Son, founder of SoftBank. When the ethnic Korean announced that he would donate 10 billion yen ($120 million) plus all salaries and bonuses he will receive until his retirement, many cynics said that 10 billion is practically nothing for the richest Japanese. But they were absolutely wrong; it's these second-rate musicians who are giving charity concerts, those who attend them, or those who are complacent about their lip service and token donations that are doing nothing.

Unfortunately, though, real altruists are rare exceptions.

The climate where a false sense of unity and solidarity prevails has made me feel like playing devil's advocate. That is why I wrote on this website: "30,000 estimated dead? That's too bad, but it's not a big deal." This really brings me to the issue with suicide, although I know you think it's totally irrelevant here.

Actually most of you think those who have a tendency toward killing self are mentally ill, and in that sense, they deserve to be dead this way. But how can you be so sure that you are mentally sound? That's nothing more than an opportunistic self-diagnosis. If you are one of those people who have never pondered about the life-and-death issue in your lifetime, you better shut your mouth not only over those who committed suicide, but also those who got killed by quakes and tsunami in order to save your crocodile tears. And if you think those thousands of kamikaze pilots, who sacrificed their lives for the bastard in the Imperial Palace, were just mentally ill, you should stop talking about history, too.

In 2010 alone, 31,690 Japanese committed suicide. Japan's suicide rate was more than twice as high as in the U.S. and almost double that of China. Moreover, as John Nathan quoted Yoshi Yamamoto, Director of the Mental Health Center of Yokohama Hospital, as saying in his 2004 book titled Japan Unbound, "some 5 million Japanese are contemplating suicide at any given moment."

I hope you can do simple arithmetic here. Aside from these potential suicides, which number is larger, more than 30,000 who kill themselves every year, or another 30,000 who were victimized by the "once-in-a-millennium" disaster? According to my calculation, the former is 1,000-times larger.

Let's face it; this is exactly where lies the real problem with Japan. In this failed nation, the poorer the leader performs, the longer he can stay in power. Had it not been for his incompetence amplified by the disaster, Kan's administration would have fallen apart months ago. The administrations of Abe, Fukuda, Aso and Hatoyama were so short-lived simply because no major earthquake hit this nation during their aborted tenures.

The same applies to the entire nation.
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The Constitution and the Internet

Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed.
- Article 21, Section 1
All people shall have the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living.
- Article 25, Section 1

Hear no evil, say no evil, see no evil
These crooks at the City Hall said they
couldn't care less if I kill myself
To me, Chapter I (The Emperor) and Chapter II (Renunciation of War) of the Japanese Constitution are nothing but a joke. But I think Chapter III which includes the provisions quoted above still has some relevance.

On this website I have said hundreds of times that there is no freedom of speech in Japan if "speech" should mean an act of sending one's message in a way it is audible to its intended receivers. The mainstream media have always blocked freedom of speech since 1890 when the first precursor of today's Kisha Kurabu (the press club system) was founded.
As Laurie Anne Freeman pointed out in her Closing the Shop (Princeton University Press, 2000) Kisha Kurabu is everywhere; not only in public offices but also some big businesses which need to cover up or falsify information all the time.

It is the real culprit of the unwinnable war (1941-45), and believe it or not, the nuclear catastrophe of 2011.

We are surrounded by glass firewalls. The worst thing about them is that unlike China's Great Firewall, they are invisible; they only can be felt when you actually hit them. That they are invisible also means they are invincible. Despite my persistent effort in the last 6 years, very few Westerners have believed in the existence of the walls, let alone the far-reaching influence they have on our everyday life. Most of the time, it looks as though they want to say I'm just seeing pink spiders. But I have never abused cocaine or any other addictive substance, except tobacco, throughout my 75-year life. The best response I can expect from them is: "We have a similar system in the States."

Now I know that they are also on the other side of the walls.

It can't really be helped. Even Freeman, who is an exceptionally insightful researcher, had to come over to Japan and stay there for years to learn exactly how information is "cartelized," "sanitized," "homogenized" and "standardized" in this country.

In her book, she wrote: "In general, private companies do not have their own press clubs. Exceptions include the clubs attached to Japan Railways and NTT, 'semiprivate' organizations--private companies providing public services--such as the Japan Atomic Energy Headquarters and the Tokyo Electric [Power] Company--also have clubs attached to them." Can you imagine a private transportation or power company in the U.S. providing a rent-free and well-furnished office space to newspaper reporters?

It is important to note that in the wake of the ongoing crisis, the press club physically and collusively attached to TEPCO has played a pivotal role in helping its patron stall for time, while, in fact, time is the single most important factor in fighting a nuclear accident.

Up until yesterday, the media had remained tight-lipped over what was going on within the facility of the crippled Fukushima power plant. So those who don't understand English hadn't even known a certain number of human beings still remained inside the premises.

Now that the alarm level has been raised to 7 on IAEA's International Nuclear Event Scale, the TEPCO Press Club decided that the time is ripe to gradually unseal the truth about those people. Only this morning, audiences of the Japanese media learned for the first time that there are 241 TEPCO personnel left in a building and most of them have developed physical and mental disorders.

Anyone who is familiar with the wartime and postwar behavior of the media can tell that in a matter of weeks, the 241 will be enshrined exactly in the same way kamikaze pilots were more than 65 years ago for sacrificing their lives for the cause of the unwinnable war.

Earlier this year, I still thought there might be a way to circumvent the glass firewalls, or I might find a loophole in them. That is why I called the managing editor of the Yomiuri Shimbun daily an ape in my Jan. 15 post. The name of the ape is Kan Tsutagawa. I had no intention to humiliate him because I knew he had no reason to feel insulted by my monkey analogy. It wasn't this social outcast, but the mythomaniac of Japan's leading newspaper, who was in a position to humiliate the other. I thought he would make believe, as he actually did, he didn't hear my curse words.

The reason I deliberately provoked him in a very personal way, nonetheless, was because I thought that was the only way to make my message get through the walls. In my mail, in which my post was embedded in its printable format, I wrote: "Why don't you take me to court?" Once again, my tactic didn't work. The ape, or one of his men, chose not to file a libel suit. Maybe he thought it would be the best way to show me I'm just a nobody. But it's more likely that he thought deep inside he might lose the case despite the help from the Kisha Kurabu attached to the courthouse.

This way I have learned first-hand that it's practically impossible to provoke a brainless, spineless and prideless creature like Tsutagawa. Now I'm afraid a real monkey may file a defamation suit against me for likening the worm to him.

Another lesson I've learned here was that despite the empty promise of Article 21, nothing is mightier than the ignorance and arrogance of the Japanese press even in the era of the Internet.

As to Article 25, I'm currently in the middle of a legal battle against the City Hall of Yokohama over its decision to seize my pension annuities starting June. They decided to do so because I have refused to pay part of Residential Taxes since I retired 6 years ago. I must win the battle at any cost because otherwise I cannot but kill myself as 31,690 Japanese did in 2010, alone. I'm serious.

The Japanese media are untiringly talking about the "once-in-a-millennium" disaster. But why, then, do I have sympathize with its victims and their bereaved families? Official statistics tell you the same thing has been happening every year in the last 10 years. And now I am on the brink of becoming a victim of this annual disaster.

There are two reasons I have defaulted 987,100 yen, including interest, in the last 6 years.

■ Reason 1: I have no reason to pay. I have already had Income Taxes and part of Residential Taxes withheld from my annuities. On top of that I've had to pay a handsome amount of Consumption Taxes (Japan's VAT) and Tobacco Taxes. In return, I have received practically nothing simply because my hard-earned money was all used to sustain the worthless life of these highly-paid chimps in the central and local government.
■ Reason 2: Equally important, I have no money to pay.

For the same reason, I can't afford to retain a shyster, but I believe I can deal with these bastards at the City Hall all by myself.

In connection with Reason 2, I showed a thick, dog-eared book to one of these bastards. The book titled Ashes of Legacy (by Tim Weiner) cost me 1.5K yen (about 20 bucks) when I bought it from Amazon 2 years ago. Because of the pricey book, I had to live with even "junkier" food for a couple of days. Now I asked the guy, "Do you think this falls within the 'minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living' guaranteed by Article 25 of our Constitution?" Obviously, he hadn't expected such a tricky question from this hobo. The punk looked at a loss for a moment. Then, he asked his boss to help him out.

The boss came over to us, but he also knew nothing about the Constitution. He said, "Here, we don't care whatever the Constitution says. And I'm not interested in reading an English book myself?" He needn't have introduced himself that way because from the beginning, I could tell for sure he is one of those middle-aged zombies you come across on every corner of this country. Of course, he loves to read manga comic books more than anything else. Without even looking at the front cover of my book, he declared:

"Of course not."

In the past, the words, "wholesome and cultured living" just meant a life where you slept under the roof, respired, ate junk food, sometimes had a cheap booze for a nightcap and died at 50. But in the era of the Internet, the interpretation of the tricky phrase must be quite different.

Unlike with my case against the Yomiuri, I see a lot of loopholes here. I hope my battle against Yokohama is winnable. Cracks are everywhere in this society, no matter how hard Tsutagawa and his fellow apes try to conceal them.

For these problems facing me, and some other reasons, I decided it would be a waste of time and energy, which are quickly running out of me now, to continue with my attempt to translate the 2-hour-long presentations by Messrs. Ryuichi Hirokawa and Takashi Hirose.
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An Abridged Translation of Presentations by Messrs. Hirokawa and Hirose - PART 2


Yet another Harvard-educated idiot Hidehiko Nishiyama is
the spokesman of the Nuclear and industrial Safety Agency.
The bastard is a household name now.
In my March 15 post, I wrote the Japanese government, media and general public should strictly avoid wishful thinking and always be prepared for the worst case scenario. It seemed to me that they didn't have the slightest idea of what crisis management is all about. Now, four weeks into the crisis, they remain unchanged.
These learning-disabled, brain-dead people still believe the most important thing in fighting the disaster is just coming together to form a monolithic social milieu and political climate where no criticism is allowed. To them, the last thing they should do in an emergency like this one is pointing a finger at Prime Minister Naoto Kan, his right-hand man Yukio Edano, Tokyo Electric Power Company, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the mainstream media.

Because of, rather than despite their misplaced optimism and the false sense of unity, the NISA had to raise its severity rating yesterday to Level 7, the highest on IAEA's International Nuclear Event Scale (INES.) The agency virtually admitted that the government and media have turned the not-too-colossal natural calamity into a largest-ever man-made catastrophe. Things are beyond control now.

Mr. Ryuichi Hirokawa's Geiger counter was pegged when he stepped into a village close to the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Now that the INES instrument was pinned at 7, you never know how hopeless the situation actually is; maybe it has already reached Level 10.

It's really stunning that Edano still keeps repeating his signature line that people should keep calm because there are no "immediate" threats, while Kan is reiterating that now is the time for the 128 million hearts to beat as one and look to the "bright future."

The media also stress that Fukushima is no Chernobyl, quoting Nishiyama (photo) as saying: "The total amount of radioactive materials emitted thus far roughly equals 10% of that released in the Chernobyl accident." Why, then, did the NISA belatedly raise the alarm level?

From the beginning, the Kan administration has been constantly politicizing the disaster as if it were a blow of kamikaze. That is why the media don't give a damn about the inconsistency.

This past weekend the ruling Democratic Party of Japan suffered another stunning setback in local polls. Now it looks obvious that Kan won't last many more months. But it is also obvious that Kan's resignation won't bring about change simply because the Japanese will most probably remain unchanged forever.

My take on these things is that the Japanese are going through their final test now. I don't know; perhaps it's already a makeup exam. But I am reasonably sure they are flunking out.

Under the circumstances, it's really astounding that the Westerners, especially Americans, have been giving prodigal praise to the Japanese for their perseverance in the face of the crisis. In the postwar era, the Japanese people were fantasizing about America where they thought freedom, prosperity and justice prevailed. In 1970, Herman Kahn wrote: "It would not be surprising if the 21st century turned out to be the Japanese century."

If Kahn was just a stupid "futurologist", today's Americans are all idiots because 20 years after the burst of the bubble economy, they still cling to the ridiculous myth that the Japanese are innovative, well-disciplined, hard-working, persevere, polite, hospitable and clean people. For a very obvious reason, they don't want to look at reality. Although the mainstream media here have hushed it all up, the matter of the fact remains that looting, rape, charity-swindling, and all other types of crime are rampant not only in the afflicted area, but also other areas across the country.

Maybe it's a total waste of time to introduce the thoughts of Messrs. Ryuichi Hirokawa and Takashi Hirose to American morons, but I thought there can be a handful of people out there who still remain awake even in these twilight years of the American century. That is why I have pulled myself together to resume the abridged translation of their presentations.

Slide 17: As shown here, reactors No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 of the Fukushima No. 1 Plant and reactors No. 1 to No. 4 of the adjacent No. 2 Plant, which had been in operation, were all "scrammed" the moment the quake hit. But ....

Slides 18/19: Take a look at this logarithmic chart for a reactor whose electrical output is 1,000,000kW and thermal output is 3,300,000kW. This shows how its thermal output declines exponentially after the reactor gets scrammed. As you can see here, thermal output, called "decay heat" in this case, comes down to the vicinity of 10,000kW in a matter of 24 hours from the scram, which is almost equivalent to the total output from a thermal power station. The problem lies with the fact that it levels off there forever unless some extraordinary steps are taken.

Slides 20/21: I think you are familiar with this illustration because you have already seen it dozens of times on TV. But beware; these self-styled experts always oversimplify the mechanism to release the decay heat into the ocean. It's much more complex.

Slide 22: Inside the reactor, there are innumerable valves, pipes, cables and many other things. Even TEPCO operators know practically nothing about these things. Now I'm operating this PC. I'm sure you guys also operate your PC at home. Most of you drive your cars, too. But what if your computer or car gets broken? Can you fix it all by yourself? Of course not. By the same token, the reactor is a real black box to TEPCO operators. They made a serious mistake when they thought they didn't need an onsite help from Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. This is the very reason the situation has been quickly exacerbated.

Slide 23: Look at this picture of the guts of the reactor. You can't tell what is what.

Slide 24: The same thing can be said of this diagram. This is where these guys are pouring seawater in a haphazard way.

Slide 25: It used to be said a core meltdown occurs when the temperature of the fuel rod reaches 2,800 degrees Celsius. But two years ago I learned that was not true when I was watching a French documentary broadcast by NHK. In that film, a French nuclear engineer was saying that the reactor core starts at 600 degrees Celsius.

Slide 26: This slide illustrates how what we call the suppression chamber works to cool water vapor, liquefy it and reduce pressure. The chamber is also equipped with the Emergency Core Cooling System.

Slide 27: Let's take a look at the abbreviated chronology of the damages inflicted on the reactors in the No. 1 Plant. It says that at 15:42, all the AC sources went dead, 3 minutes later, all the oil tanks were swept away, 1 hour later, the ECCSs for reactors No. 1 and No. 2 became disabled, and so on. From the series of event, you can tell exactly when, where and how it all started. As to "why," I've already told you tsunami caused all this. The "unprecedented" jolt had nothing to do with these damages.

Slide 28: I have drawn this graph based on fragmentary information given by the Asahi Shimbun daily. It says the maximum height of tsunami assumed for the Fukushima reactors at the design phase was only 5m. Now we know the tidal waves that washed the Fukushima power plant were as tall as 15m. To put it bluntly, the designers are at fault for the disaster. Moreover, Fukushima is not alone; the same is true with practically all nuclear power plants located in coastal areas of this country.

Slide 29: On the night of March 13, Masataka Shimizu, president of TEPCO, said at a press conference: "The tsunami of March 11 was way beyond our prediction. And yet I believe our assumptions were as valid as they could have been because they were based on our careful examination of historical data." Give me a break! Did he just overlook the 38.2m tsunami that hit this country as recently as 115 years ago? It's incredible that such a bastard is the head of the leading power company of Japan.
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An Abridged Translation of Presentations by Messrs. Hirokawa and Hirose - PART 1

Reactor No. 1 of
TEPCO's Fukushima
No. 1 Plant was
washed by tsunami
on March 11
Up until 2 weeks ago, I was translating a paper my close friend Lara Chen Tien-shi had written in Japanese for a British publisher. To finish the gig by the deadline, I had to try hard to overcome all these difficulties caused by Parkinson's disease and many other ailments. Yet it was rewarding in part because Lara arranged that the quasi-governmental organization she is working for will pay me a reasonable remuneration. More importantly, I always find the subject of her research quite relevant and intriguing.
Most of the time, I do English translation of Japanese text practically for nothing.

Actually I'm currently in the middle of a legal battle against this rotten country represented by the municipality of Yokohama over its decision to seize my annuities on the grounds that I have refused to pay Residential Tax of 971,400 yen since my retirement. I am insisting that I have already paid them much more than enough. Income Taxes are automatically withheld from the peanuts which they call pension annuities. On top of that I have paid value added taxes, tobacco taxes, and some other dues. And what did I get in return? Practically nothing.

Also, I am arguing that I have already sunk below "the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living" which Article 25 of the Japanese Constitution guarantees.

So it's all the more frustrating to have to work on yet another English translation entirely for free. But it can't be helped because for this blogger, introducing a little more established Japanese figures than I is the only way to make you Westerners understand I am not alone here. As long as I remain a heretic who tells the truth that other Japanese seldom do, you never take me seriously. That is why I have decided to roughly translate this video.

I, myself, hadn't known these names, Takashi Hirose and Ryuichi Hirokawa, until I came across them on YouTube. I have asked 6 local friends if they know these gentlemen whose way of thinking is very un-Japanese. Only one woman, who is a reporter at a local newspaper publisher, answered in the affirmative. It's small wonder that you Westerners have no knowledge of them. The Japanese media, let alone their Western counterparts, never mention these invisible names and inaudible voices.

I think there are two reasons why the Westerners, especially Americans, have totally disregarded these respectable Japanese.

Reason 1: They don't want to listen to whoever they don't want to. Neither do they want to see whatever they don't want to.
Reason 2: These gentlemen are neither ideologues, nor busybodies. They dedicate themselves solely, or at least primarily, to the cause of the well-being of their fellow countrymen. They have no reason to talk to Americans or Europeans.

So I'll try here to provide you with an abridged translation of the presentations given on March 23 by Messrs. Hirokawa and Hirose.

Ryuichi Hirokawa, the organizer and emcee of the session:

Ryuichi Hirokawa,
63, is an independent
One day after the quake, Mr. Hirokawa went to Fukushima Prefecture where the troubled nuclear power plant is located. Although either Naoto Kan's central government or the prefectural/municipal governments hadn't officially declared an emergency in the area surrounding the power plant for an obvious reason, Hirokawa learned that the area within a 20-30km radius from the plant had been virtually evacuated. At least he saw no reporters dispatched from the mainstream media.

Braving the invisible radioactive materials wafting in the air, Hirokawa got into the area carrying a radiation detector which he had bought when he was covering the apocalypse of Chernobyl in the late-1980s through early-1990s. It can only detect radioactive particles up to 100 μSv. In Chernobyl, he never saw the needle pegged to the extreme right. But in Fukushima, the moment he stepped into the area, he saw the needle pinned at 100 μSv. He asked a passerby, who happened to have a detector on which radiation levels can be measured up to 1,000 μSv, what the reading was on his instrument. The answer was that he couldn't tell either because the needle had already hit 1,000 μSv.

Hirokawa concludes his introductory remarks by saying what is happening there is even worse than the situation the Ukrainians experienced 25 years ago, and the way the Japanese government is handling the situation is no different from that of the communist government. He warns that the Japanese people should wake up to the severity of the disaster their government and media are trying very hard to cover up.

Takashi Hirose, the main speaker:

Takashi Hirose is
a 68-year-old
nonfiction writer
Slide 1/Slide 2: Shown here are three monkeys who refused to hear the truth, speak the truth and see the truth. I just wanted to say the Japanese, especially media people, are acting like these monkeys while the natural disaster of March 11 is quickly turning into a man-made catastrophe.

Slide 3: In this country tsunami and earthquakes are something people should always be prepared for. I was sure a huge tsunami was coming very soon, and now I am sure that I will get killed sooner or later by a real devastating quake. But the series of deadly accidents at the Fukushima nuclear power plant is a different story. As Mr. Hirokawa said minutes ago, it's 100% man-made. Frankly, I don't believe the situation there can be put under control anymore. But just for argument's sake, let's assume we will somehow get over this difficulty.

Slide 4: The nuclear catastrophe should be attributed mainly to these shameless scholars who have never learned their lessons from the truth and the mainstream media who have been unenlightening their audiences with their "wide shows" everyday. Let me give you an example: Several days ago, I got a call from a reporter of the Tokyo Shimbun daily. I told him that the 54 nuclear reactors we have here should all be shut down immediately because otherwise Japan would be finished. The next morning I knew the newspaper didn't like my comment. The article was headlined something like stricter check on these reactors is needed. This is a total distortion of what I said.

Slide 5: Let's take a fresh look at what really happened at 14:46, March 11. At the beginning the Meteorological Agency put its Magnitude at 8.3. In a matter of hours the agency revised the intensity to 8.4, then to 8.8, and finally to 9.0. This is exactly what the Chinese government did in the wake of the Sichuan Great Earthquake of 2008. I suspected that the Japanese government had to make it the largest-ever earthquake in the face of the outbreak of the nuclear nightmare in Fukushima.

Slide 6: My suspicion proved right when a geologist by the name of Hidenori Shimamura confided to me that in order to inflate the magnitude reading, the Meteorological Agency abruptly changed the scale from just the Magnitude Japan has been using traditionally to the Moment Magnitude which is generally accepted among seismologists in other countries. As a result, the March 11 tremor now looks to eclipse the Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake of 1995 that claimed 6,434 lives. One of the reasons the government wanted the agency to falsify the Magnitude reading is because it wanted to prevent Tokyo Electric Power Company in which it has a lot of vested interests from going under because of a huge compensation. This is where the manipulation of information has all started to instill in people a false idea that the quake was way beyond any prediction whereas its Magnitude was at most 8.3 or 8.4.

Slide 7: From Day 1 of the crisis, NHK and other media organizations kept saying it was a "once-in-a-millennium" quake. Give me a break! The earthquake of Magnitude 8.3 or 8.4 was not unprecedented at all. Moreover, the destruction by the quake was dwarfed by damages caused by tsunami that followed it. And was the tsunami really unpredictable? Once again, it wasn't. Just for instance, Iwate Prefecture was washed by a 38.2-meter-high tsunami as recently as 1896.

Slide 8: As of now, we know from observations conducted by many experts that the maximum height of the tidal waves was somewhere between 15m to 20m. All in all, you should bear in mind that TV commentators are telling a lie when they say the natural calamity of March 11 was beyond any prediction.

Slide 9: When measured in terms of Gal, the same thing can be said of the "once-in-a-millennium" tremor which recorded 2,933 Gal, or 3 times the Gravitational Acceleration. For instance, the earthquake which hit the same area as recently as 3 years ago marked 3,866 Gal. Let me reiterate this here: The notion about the once-in-a-millennium thing is a transparent trick to cover up unpreparedness for and mishandling of the ongoing crisis on the part of the government.

Slide 10: Last year I published this book titled The Time Bombs of Nuclear Reactors. In this book I warned the Japanese to get prepared for a real devastating quake and tsunami which I think are imminent. The tsunami part of my prediction may have materialized this time. But I am sure the massive quake has yet to come. When I finished writing the book, I swore myself that if and when my prediction comes true, I should stop talking about this issue and devote myself to protecting my grandchildren because unlike Mr. Hirokawa, I am a chicken-hearted person who would never risk his life in the face of a disaster. But now I have changed my mind. Getting infuriated at all the gimmicks by the government and the media, I started to think I have to make every possible effort to reveal the truth. To concentrate on this task, I have already sent all my grandchildren overseas. When doing so, I felt extremely sad because chances are I will never see them again. I want to stress this: You should never play down the implication of what has already happened and what is going to happen in the near future.

Slide 11: Among other things, I find it really outrageous to hear the president of Tokyo Electric Power Company repeatedly saying the disaster was really unavoidable. Every time TEPCO people explain why this had to happen, they say they had never assumed such a big quake and tsunami. They should feel ashamed of the innumerable missteps caused by the complete lack of professionalism. Even a layman such as I could predict what was coming in his book. Let us not forget that TEPCO should be held responsible for its negligence of duty to prevent such a nuclear disaster.

Slide 12: I really hate to say this, but I had predicted exactly how the tragedy has unfolded. Now let me touch on the history of the now-crippled reactors. Reactor No. 1, the oldest one, became operational on March 26, 1971. So it will mark the 40th anniversary in three days from now.

Slide 13: This slide is a little too busy, but the most important thing to note is that all the reactors in Fukushima No. 1 Plant were designed by General Electric. One of my close friends Mr. Mitsuhiko Tanaka of Hitachi took part in the construction of the No. 4 reactor. But according to him, Japan's nuclear industry was at its fledgling stage in those days and all the blueprints were provided to Hitachi by GE. So please keep in mind that these reactors now on the verge of a total meltdown were all designed by GE.

Slide 14: On March 25 last year, TEPCO filed an application with the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency for its permission to extend the use of the then-39-year-old reactor No. 1 for many more years. At that time TEPCO and the agency agreed that its service life was estimated at 60 years.

Slide 15: Another thing I want you to remember is that on October 26, 2010, the electricity company put its reactor No. 3, one of the obsolete reactors in Fukushima, into commercial service for power generation using plutonium fuel, when it was already 34-years-old. As we have already seen, people in Fukushima Prefecture are now exposed to most hazardous radioactive particles from the No. 3 reactor. I'll come back to this later in my presentation.

Slide 16: In terms of quake resistance, all these reactors in Fukushima No. 1 Plant were originally designed to endure a tremor of 270 Gal. TEPCO has said they were later reinforced to withstand a quake of 600 Gal. Although I am inclined to doubt the power company told us the truth, it does not seem the March 11 quake was strong enough to destroy these reactors because the horizontal power to reactor No. 3, for instance, was no more than 507 Gal. But that does not make any difference to the fact that these reactors are too aged to withstand what is coming in the near future. I'm 68-years-old. Like any old man, I wear glasses, which, incidentally, got broken by the quake. I may also start wearing false teeth or hearing aid anytime soon. In short, I'm almost a cyborg. The same applies to these reactors. You can never rejuvenate them no matter how hard you fix this problem here, that problem there.
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Japanese Voices of Conscience

Since the outbreak of the ongoing catastrophe, I have uploaded five posts to tell my prominently Western audience what is really going on in this rotten country named Japan. Basically I hadn't expected the Japanese to wake up to the reality that their country is almost sunk by now, and yet I must admit it was a great disappointment that most people in the U.S. and some European countries have also been too brainwashed by the media to take me seriously. Some thought I was just a grumpy old man; some others simply refused to lend an ear to this blogger because he is just a nobody.

But I still insist that if you are anxious to know the truth about the now world-famous nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, you should look at the video embedded below here. If you are too busy to watch the 2-hour-long video, or you can't afford to install the software to translate Japanese into English, just forget it and remain brainwashed. Fortunately, though, their PowerPoint slides are on the wordy side. So automatic translation must be relatively easy if you don't understand a word they speak.

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We used to say, "A friend in need is a friend indeed," but this is no longer true these days

The faded photo
of Hibiya Park and
its surrounding area
was taken by a GI in
November 1945
When the U.S. government offered a massive relief operation involving 18,000 troops, the Japanese government jumped at it and named it "Operation Tomodachi." To be more precise, it should have been named Operation Yujo because Yujo means friendship whereas Tomodachi just means a friend, or friends. Semantics aside, however, most Japanese have really appreciated the friendship demonstrated by the Americans because they are really fed up with their government which has constantly mishandled the post-quake situation.

My take on the operation is miles apart from theirs. I suspect there's something fishy about it. To begin with, Prime Minister Naoto Kan had already dispatched an unprecedented 100,000 military personnel of the Japan Self-Defense Forces to these areas afflicted by the March 11 quake and tsunami. What the heck are they doing out there?

Japan's defense budget for fiscal 2010 was 4,682.6 billion yen, or approximately US$56.4 billion if you exclude what they call omoiyari yosan, "sympathy" budget, voluntarily allocated to the U.S. armed forces stationed in Japan. Despite the huge expenditure, Japan's disguised military has refused to engage in actual combat in the last six decades on the pretext that the Constitution prohibits "forever" the Japanese people from threatening or using "force as means of settling international disputes." Thanks to the war-renouncing clause, the Japanese can still boast that not a single drop of their blood, nor their enemy's, has been shed in actual warfare. To them, it can't be helped if the lives of American youth sometimes have to be put at risk.

Yet, they should admit that Article 9 of the Constitution does not prohibit these toy soldiers from fighting a disaster. So, there is no reason to think the 100,000 troops are doing fairly well in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures. Actually all they have been doing there is to recover a small number of corpses here, remove a tiny amount of debris there and haphazardly pour a bucketful seawater onto the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. It seems as though they are deliberately doing their jobs so poorly as to prove Operation Tomodachi is as needed as in fighting an imaginary enemy force.

I remember walking side by side with my father on a clear day in the fall of 1945. We were crossing Hibiya Koen park diagonally toward the General Headquarters of the Allied Powers because someone in the GHQ had wanted to ask my father about his wartime activities as a leading scientist in aeronautics. He had somehow wanted to bring me along. You may wonder why we could cross the park diagonally. The reason we could do so is because the park and the surrounding area had been almost flattened out leaving only a handful of structures such as the GHQ building and the Imperial Palace across the moat from it.

There were dozens of GIs playing softball there. When we were walking behind a center fielder, a batter hit a long ball. It directly hit me, perhaps on the shoulder. The slugging GI dashed a long way from the plate toward us. He said in English something like, "I'm awfully sorry. Are you OK?" Since I didn't understand English, my dad smiled and answered on my behalf: "No problem. He's quite OK."

This was my first encounter with an American. Ever since, I thought ordinary Americans were all friendly people like the GI. I admired them for their positive attitude toward life and straightforward way of thinking. Even though I didn't particularly admire those bastards named Harry S. Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, in later years I got really turned off by the likes of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama because these crooked guys have absolutely nothing in common with the GI.

Now I think it is noteworthy that there are many soldiers participating in Operation Tomodachi from the bases in Okinawa. U.S. Navy Admiral Robert F. Willard has already told reporters to the effect that he hopes that the Japanese will now understand what for the U.S. has deployed so many soldiers in Okinawa. Most recent reports have it that Hillary Clinton is now planning to come over to Japan in a week or so.
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Honestly, I Would Rather Die under the Rubble Than in the Sinking Boat

Fishing boats driven ashore
by tsunami

At 2.46 p.m., March 11, it hit the northern half of Japan's coastal area facing the Pacific Ocean. Since the rundown apartment building I live in is 30-something-years-old, it is unlikely that the architect assumed a huge quake such as this one. Yet the elevator is a little more modern. So I knew it had automatically stopped the moment it sensed the jolt.

Also I knew that with my legs crippled by Parkinson's, I wouldn't be able to climb down the fire escape any faster than a snail. So I remained indoors. But even inside my 172 sq.ft. micro-apartment, I had nothing but to sit at the computer, my longtime friend, because I thought it wouldn't do any good to move around in the usable space of no more than 95 square feet. I was just watching absentmindedly the walls, the window, the ceiling, and the beams which were supposedly supporting the entire structure, all warping like hell.

It was as though Buddha was enjoying the pendulum motion of the Frisbee at Disneyland - if you can see what I mean by this.

Around the same time, one of my grown-up sons was trying hard from his workplace to reach his wheelchair-bound wife confined to their home and his old mother (my ex) who lives in their neighborhood, according to what he told me a couple of days later. Maybe he also tried to find out, on behalf of his mate, if his in-laws were all OK. They live, or at least lived, in Miyagi, the nearest prefecture to the epicenter. It turned out not OK because for one thing, his wife's uncle was swallowed by tsunami.

It didn't cross his mind to call or mail his dad, as he told me in a little apologetic tone. I told him that it's quite OK with me because I'm so used to it living in this rotten country for 75 years. Actually I think he did the right things in the right priority. I could have been crushed under the rubble if the quake had lasted another minute. Yet, I would never have blamed him.

His personality is diagonally different from mine. The guy is so likable a person that he could be a role model for the Japanese who all want to be people persons. No sensible woman would fall in love with such a guy who becomes committed with everyone, but he couldn't care less.

From my point of view, the only problem with the guy was that he didn't know he couldn't be nice to everyone, especially in the face of a crisis. But now thanks to the devastating quake, he seems to have realized that in reality, the number of adults he could save in an emergency situation would be no more than 2 to 3.

Actually he was learning the basics of preventive risk management and post-fact crisis management amid the March 11 tremor. He tried to find out, in a very short period of time, what he could do, and couldn't do, under the constraint of time and other resources. I suspect that the same constraint was experienced across the board and at all levels. Policymakers were no exceptions.

In fact, though, the likes of Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano learned absolutely nothing from the pinch. Although most Japanese and some observers in the West disagree, the fact of the matter remains that the natural calamity quickly turned into a man-made catastrophe.

I am inclined to attribute the fiasco primarily to the incompetence of the makeshift crisis management team virtually headed by Edano. And I think he had to fail because of his utter ignorance of the basics of crisis management. He and his boss Kan thought the most important thing when trying to effectively counter the crisis was to create a monolithic social milieu and a conciliatory political climate. To that end, they have been trying hard to instill a sense of unity into people's minds, through the mainstream media. TV commercials they run around the clock are really reminiscent of the prewar and wartime slogan propagated by NHK as the mouthpiece of Daihon-ei, the Imperial Army Headquarters. It went like this: "Ichioku hinotama-to nare" or "One hundred million hearts should beat as one."

Actually it was a piece of cake even for the incompetent guys in the Kan administration to create a monolith because even in the normal situation, a false sense of oneness always prevails in this country. Even the major opposition Liberal Democratic Party has now started to show a keen interest in forming a grand coalition as proposed by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.

I wouldn't be surprised if a Taisei Yokusankai-like regime comes into being in a matter of weeks. In October 1940, on the eve of the oil embargoes imposed against Japan by the U.S., the U.K., China and the Netherlands, a grand coalition was formed to prepare Japan for all-out war. The only condition for the unholy alliance to materialize is that Kan yields his position as Prime Minister to Sadakazu Tanigaki, head of the LDP.

Now with all the cracks from the "lost 20 years" buried deep underneath, the Japanese are all in the same boat. No one is supposed to left out or unattended.

In the wake of the financial crisis of the early-1990s, we businesspeople, perhaps with some exceptions such as I, were using the same-boat analogy. But there always were two major problems with it.

Firstly, as I have already said, it can never be true that the life boat has enough room to accommodate everyone. Does it have enough space for social outcasts and dissidents such as those who keep busy with their looting business in the afflicted areas, those who are just panicking over the free fall in the stock price of Tokyo Electric Power Company, those who have difficulty footing the tax bills to fund the government's emergency relief programs, or those in Okinawa who badly want the U.S. Marine Corps to get out of their island more than anything else?

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, what good would it do to remain in the boat which is doomed to wreck?

In those turbulent years, we were doing what we called the SWOT analysis all the time. The abbreviation stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The real implication of the exercise is that because of resource constraints everywhere, it is crucially important to optimize the use of time, money and people, especially in the face of a crisis.

Businesspeople were increasingly becoming aware that there was no such thing as an opportunity that did not entail a threat, and vice versa. We thought a good manager should be able to identify the SWOT involved there and find the best trade-off between costs and benefits, or opportunities and risks. To him, opportunities often meant smaller risks. Total elimination of risks or total avoidance of costs was out of the question.

Now Edano, et al, were mistaken when they thought bringing people together the way they did was what crisis management was all about. Actually, this formula is not only useless, but also harmful as was proved in the first half of the 1940s. What was really needed was professionalism.

With these in mind, let us take a quick look at TEPCO's part of the story. The electricity company which runs the now crippled Fukushima power station has kept suppressing critical data since Day 1 of the crisis. When it released a piece of data, almost always belatedly, it was, more often than not, fabricated, and its interpretation was distorted by childish tricks such as comparisons between apples and oranges. And every second day, the TEPCO spokesman corrected a reading on the dosimeter or particle detector which he had released previously.

At least, these manipulations of information had lasted until TEPCO realized its traditional modus operandi wouldn't work any more when the U.S. military started flying its Global Hawk unmanned high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft over the power plant.

The brainless guy overseeing activities of the crisis control center kept saying, "Stay calm, because things out there are basically under control now," as if it wasn't a race against time. While Edano was stalling for time to allow the criminals in TEPCO to recidivate, the situation arising from the force majeure of March 11 quickly went out of control.

Why did that happen when 128-million hearts were supposedly beating as one to fight the crisis? As you can tell if you have read my post titled Honne and Tatemae, the reason is twofold as described below:

■ As the virtual head of the crisis management team, Edano thought the single most important quality of a leader is to trust his people unconditionally in the nation where the world's most credulous people think it's not a big deal to deceive each other. TEPCO knew that very well.
■ On the other hand, Edano knew that he could shift the blame onto TEPCO when things went wrong. Needless to the say, though, the government should be held more, or at least no less, responsible for the constant aggravation of the situation no matter whether someone else is found at fault. (Refer to the footnotes added on April 6 for some examples of mishandling of the situation on the part of the government.)

This is the most serious fallout of the same-boat mindset. If this had happened somewhere else, say in China, we must have seen massive riots, or at least, people must have refused to pay their electricity bills.

And now that things went helplessly wrong, Edano was in a position also to have to invite emergency relief teams from foreign countries on board his sinking ship.

It is true that nuclear scientists and engineers in these foreign crews are more competent than their Japanese counterparts who have too much vested interests in the nuclear industry to reveal the truth. But, it's a different story when it comes to foreign experts in crisis management. While the basics of crisis management apply universally, its actual practices are pretty much culture-dependent. Simply it is impossible for them to make any contribution in the culture totally different from theirs.

Here again, the Japanese government neglected to do a SWOT analysis for its diplomatic risk management. It should have known that there is no such thing as a free lunch, as we businesspeople used to be saying. For one thing, the U.S. government did not send in for nothing 450 military and nonmilitary personnel together with a bunch of equipment. As any sane person can tell, Washington is now fishing in troubled waters where antibase Okinawans who have been thrown out of the boat are already drowning.

In short, the stupid Kan, Edano and their mouthpieces in the media have chosen the surest way to fail. Now they might as well put the entire country in a "sarcophagus," just like the Soviet Union did Chernobyl 25 years ago. Even in that case, they should exclude Japan's last colony - Okinawa - because it does not deserve to be treated like that.

The worst thing about the haphazard way of crisis management particular to the Japanese culture is the fact that this way people will learn absolutely nothing from their failure.

They have already had a similar problem with Kashiwazaki Nuclear Power Plant located in Niigata Prefecture. Three and a half years have past since some reactors there were damaged by an earthquake of Magnitude 6.8. But as of now, they still remain unrecovered.

Also, there is yet another problematic reactor dubbed "Monju" in the power station located in Fukui Prefecture. Monju is one of the few "fast breeder reactors" around which generate more "MOX" fuel than it consumes. In 1995, it suffered a serious accident when several hundred kilograms of sodium leaked out. In May 2010, the quasi-governmental Japan Atomic Energy Agency, which runs the power plant, announced that its fast breeder reactor had now been restarted. But in a matter of 3 months from the restart, JAEA got into another serious trouble when replacing the fuel rod. According to the independent daily Nikkan Gendai, the problem has not yet been fixed as of today.
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30,000 Estimated Dead? That's Too Bad, but is it a Big Deal?

Simple arithmetic aside, my sympathy goes more to a greater number of people who get killed by others or kill selves every year than to those identified or presumed as dead in the once-in-a-millennium calamity of March 11. It is true that the weak should take the blame for their weakness, but it is also true that the leader of the country should be held responsible for their plight that has weakened them.

As I wrote in my post titled For Whom Kamikaze Blows, Prime Minister Naoto Kan is among those who benefited most from the earthquake of Magnitude 9.0 and 33-foot tsunami that followed it. As if to make sure that he can make the most of the windfall disaster, Kan has been exacerbating the situation by mishandling the constant drain of radioactive contaminants from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. At least, that's what he looks to be doing through his right-hand man Yukio Edano.

Inauguration of Taisei Yokusankai
on October 21, 1940

Drowsy-eyed Ministers at the
Diet session of March 29, 2011
As a result, we are now witnessing a social milieu, which has a striking resemblance to 大政翼賛会 (Taisei Yokusankai). Taisei Yokusankai is the grand coalition formed for the cause of 国体維持 (Kokutai Iji or preserving the polity centered around the Divine Emperor) on the eve of the oil embargoes imposed against Japan. If there is any difference between Taisei Yokusankai and Kan's virtual coalition that even includes the Japanese Communist Party, you can find it in these pictures. In the Diet session of March 29, where lawmakers supposedly discussed the source of the emergency relief fund, most Cabinet members, including Kan, were intermittently taking a nap.

They would say it couldn't be helped because they were so exhausted from working hard since March 11, but I am sure I've worked much harder and longer on a very demanding gig only to make ends meet despite the difficulty caused by Parkinson's Disease. Actually, these highly-paid bastards looked so dozy because they rest assured that the Kan administration, which had been on the verge of falling apart before the quake, is now getting a boost from the newly emerging monolithic political climate.

But everything else is an exact replay of Taisei Yokusankai. The mainstream media, especially reporters in 官邸記者クラブ (Kantei Kisha Kurabu or press club exclusively and collusively attached to the Prime Minister's office,) have been doing a good job just like their forerunners did in the early-1940s. Now Yukio Edano, the Cabinet spokesman, owes them a lot for their wholehearted cooperation with his 大本営発表 (Daihon-ei Happyo or press releases by the Imperial Army Headquarters.)

You may ask: "Is Kan alone in leveraging the disaster?" Good question. Actually there are many others who are taking advantage of the national tragedy.

This climate is really reminiscent of the wartime slogan "一億火の玉となって" (Ichioku Hinotama to Natte, or One Hundred Million Hearts Beat as One.) On TV we watch an endless stream of supposedly touching stories about selfless deeds. But in reality, other types of crimes than those by policymakers are now rampant across the nation, especially in the afflicted areas. Among other things, looting and charity-swindling are widespread more than ever although the media have hushed them all up.

Is there anyone else who is cashing in on the catastrophe? You bet there is: the United States of America. If Obama and his people weren't terminally ill as the Japanese are, they would have thought it's about time to pull the plug on Japan, the nation now proving unviable for the fourth time in its modern history. In fact, though, the U.S. is now sending in 450 military and non-military personnel, together with two "barges," SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters aboard USS Ronald Reagan and a "military robot" of the type used for bomb disposal in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This robot developed by a defense contractor named QinetiQ North America surprised me because until now I thought Japan is a leader in robotics. Now I have learned Japanese robots are only good at playing the violin as the one developed by Toyota or playing the role of a pet as the one manufactured by Nintendo. This is yet another confirmation that Japan's technological supremacy is nothing but a myth.

Other countries such as Israel, France, Germany and China are also lending a helping hand, but in a more modest way. Though off the subject, it was interesting to know the initial reaction of Edano, the licensed shyster, to foreign medical teams. He reportedly insisted that they should be prohibited from treating patients on the grounds that they are not licensed for medical practice here.

Japanese people who were at a loss over what to do are now exulting at the sight of foreign rescue teams arriving one after another. Especially the one from the U.S. have really heartened them. But with my longtime experience with American people, I would call their massive relief operation "fishing in troubled waters." There's no other way to explain it.

As I have already written on this website, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, on February 16 in Okinawa, said: "My hope is that we will get resolution, particularly on the configuration of the airfield or the runways perhaps later this spring. And that would then allow us to go forward with our planning [to realign military forces in the region based on the agreement reached in 2006.]" The coded directive to Kan can be deciphered like this: "We can no longer tolerate your inaction and irresoluteness beyond the end of April."

Given the unexpected seismic activity, Gates's order may have to be changed, but only slightly. I am sure that the U.S. will go ahead with its plan against the will of the Okinawans before the dust settles in Miyagi, the prefecture hardest-hit by the natural calamity, and in Fukushima, the prefecture hardest-hit by the manmade disaster. Until then, the Japanese won't give a damn to what happens in Okinawa Prefecture.

This reminds me of one of my friends with quotation marks. (These days I have many foreign friends who I've had to refer to with quotation marks for an obvious reason.) His name is Benjamin Fulford. I know self-styled conservatives in America have developed allergy to "truth-seekers" like Fulford. Some of them have even hysterically warned me that my association with such a nutter will tarnish my credibility, but I don't care.

Quite expectedly, the Canadian conspiracy theorist based in Tokyo now theorizes that the devastating quake was caused by HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) based in Nevada or New Mexico, just like the Niigata Earthquake of 2007 which also caused a serious damage to the nuclear power plant located near the epicenter. I don't know if his theory is fully substantiated. Neither do I want to know. But I wouldn't be surprised if Fulford proved to be right, because it isn't hard to see the fingerprint of the CIA there.

Whether or not there was a conspiracy, I am only concerned about what's coming next from the recidivists in Washington, rather than rogues stationed in Nevada or New Mexico.
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Japan is Proving an Unviable Nation for the Fourth Time

At the beginning of the year, a stupid Harvard professor named Joseph Nye told the Yomiuri Shimbun daily that he was sure that the Japanese people will overcome the current economic doldrums and political imbroglio. He assured the Yomiuri editor that with their proven track record of innovativeness, resilience and diligence, the Japanese people will reinvent their nation as they did twice in the past. I found his flattery not only sickening but also insulting.

In a matter of two-plus months, the M-9.0 quake and 33-foot seismic tidal waves hit the country as if to test Nye's intellect. Indications thus far is that the professor is flunking.

But just in case, let's take a look at how some salient political figures are trying to lead the country out of the ongoing crisis. If you find them way too incompetent to do their job, then the rest of the Japanese are unviable too, because after all, they have chosen these guys to represent them. In other words, the nation is done for - totally and for good.

Yukio Edano, Chief Cabinet Secretary

The nuclear power plant
located in Fukushima
Prefecture, 124 miles north-
east of Tokyo, is possibly
turning into another
Chernobyl now.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan has assigned his right-hand man to head his makeshift crisis management team. Edano is a wrong choice primarily because he is a licensed shyster. Not that, though, equally incompetent Prime Minister could have handpicked any other person who is qualified for the task from among his cronies.
You can never expect anyone with legal background to go extralegal whereas there is no such thing as an emergency measure that can be implemented within the existing legal framework. Worse, he knows absolutely nothing about the basics of risk management, such as:

■ strictly avoid wishful thinking,
■ always be prepared for the worst case scenario,
■ never distort facts or cover up what went wrong,
■ act a little faster than a snail,
■ be professional,
■ be systematic.

With the help extended by 官邸記者クラブ (Kantei Kisha Kurabu, or press club collusively attached to the Prime Minister's office), he has intended to manipulate people's hearts and minds, exactly in the same way 大本営 (Daihon-ei or Imperial Army Headquarters) did in the mid-1940s. For one thing, Edano and his friends in Kisha Kurabu have completely hushed up over the worst case scenario in which the trouble-stricken nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture is buried in a "sarcophagus" made of sand and concrete as the entire facility of Chernobyl was 25 years ago.

Presumably in this connection, they have also buttoned their lips over the fate of the 50 employees of Tokyo Electric Power Company who are still staying in the premises, according to the information reimported from Western media.

Because of his complete ignorance about the methodologies of professional crisis management, he had let things drift, while keep saying, "Don't panic because there's no immediate threat at this moment." In the meantime, TEPCO engineers indulged in fabricating data about radioactive contamination.

No wonder the natural calamity has quickly turned into a manmade catastrophe which is way beyond control. Now the "Chernobyl solution" seems to be the most likely scenario as many foreign experts have suggested.

Yet, very few Japanese are aware of the severity of the situation in part because they have learned too much about irrelevant things such as the lengths of half-life of cesium or iodine from self-proclaimed experts in nuclear engineering and atomic physics. These guys have never uttered the word "bury" because they have too much vested interests in the nuclear industry.

It is true that even in the U.S., there are some who dare to say the situation in Fukushima is even more benign than that of Three Mile Island. William Tucker, for one, says, "The containment structures appear to be working [in Fukushima]." But has he visited the site himself? Obviously, he is one of those guys who have sold their souls to the nuclear industry.

As I always argue, the single most important issue when talking about technologies is the human element entailed in them. Given Edano's utter ignorance of the basics of crisis management, the March 11 natural calamity has quickly turned into a manmade catastrophe which is far beyond control now.

Renho (Murata)

Renho was a bikini model
In the wake of the acute power shortage, the Taiwan-born member of Kan's Cabinet came up with an absurd countermeasure called 計画停電 (Keikaku Teiden or cuts in power supply scheduled in rotation among arbitrarily determined 5 blocks within TEPCO's service area.)

Previously she was spearheading the program called 事業仕分け (Jigyo Shiwake or budget cutback exercise as the Minister in Charge of Administrative Reforms.

Already at that time, the former model for cheesecake magazines thought she could squeeze trillions of yen out of her targets, mostly quasi-governmental organizations. She had been misled by Kan and Edano to believe that would be a piece of cake because all she would have to do is to shriek. And shrieking is her only forte. But of course, the single most important thing she should have to do was to prioritize things. And to prioritize, she should have had a clear vision of how things are organized at present and how they should be reorganized in the future.

As you have already known, she failed to bring about the expected result. Needless to say, it didn't cross her mind to strip the Imperial Family and its servants of US$213 million appropriated to them every year despite her initial pledge for a reform leaving no sacred cow.

Renho didn't staggered at all because the idiot thought Jigyo Shiwake was a success. Now she went on to implement a rationing system for power supply.

Once again, the single most important thing she doesn't have the slightest idea about is how people are interconnected among each other in an industrialized country such as Japan. For one thing she doesn't have the foggiest idea about what we businesspeople call "supply chain management system." She hasn't even heard the words often abbreviated as SCM.

I think you know what SCM is all about, but just in case, I will briefly explain it here.

A simplified illustration of
Supply Chain workflow
Your company is headquartered in Tokyo. The main application servers are installed in the headquarters building. Stationed in Osaka Branch, you get an inquiry for a product from a customer in Kyoto. He wants to know how soon it is delivered to his place. (We call it an event.)Then you make your inquiry at your PC or on a mobile device to find out the availability of the product for an immediate delivery.

The database on the server is always brought up-to-the-minute as to the stock information at the several distribution centers. Unfortunately, you learn that none is available for an immediate shipment. Now you have to know how soon your Fukushima Plant can manufacture the product, again from the database on the server. Then someone in the Production Planning Department has to ask his friend working at the Parts Storage Department for the availability of necessary parts. And finally, if some parts and components are found not in stock, he has to place orders with subcontractors located in Chiba and Miyagi Prefectures - and so on.

It should be noted that all these event-driven exchanges of information have to be done in a matter of minutes through the Internet and the "Intranet."

With her empty head, Renho thought her Keikaku Teiden program will somehow work out. But actually it will never. The broad might as well have thought about implementing total blackouts for the entire service area of TEPCO at a time.

At any rate, one thing is for sure: the Japanese industries which were allegedly in the recuperation stage before March 11 will screech to a halt once again. This is what the Kan administration is empowering the bikini model to do.

Postscript 1: Mitsumaru Kumagai, the Chief Economist at Daiwa Institute of Research, estimates the effect of the cuts in power supply on the Japanese economy at 15 trillion yen, or $185 billion, per year which translates into 2.8% of GDP. This means nothing because Kumagai has based his estimate on an absurd assumption that the supply cuts by rotation is the only possible way to counter the situation.
Postscript 2: One of my sons, who is a little more electricity-literate, told me that he doubts scheduled blackouts for the entire service area of TEPCO, at a time rather than by rotation, would help minimize the loss of industrial outputs because electricity is not practically retrievable like gas or water. Yet, he agrees there must be a much smarter way to optimize the use of available resources. More importantly, it's Renho's responsibility and TEPCO's - not ours - to try hard to come up with a workable solution. The former bikini model, however, just keeps saying, "You guys should just tolerate. It's an emergency." They might tolerate on certain conditions: 1) she should give them specific plans to bring the power supply back to normalcy, and 2) she should tell the Imperial Family that they are no longer exempt.

Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo Governor

With his face frowning,
Shintaro Ishihara could barely
empty the glass to secure
another term for the cushy

Another case in point is Tokyo Governor Ishihara who is now seeking his third term as if the annual income of 50 million yen for 8 years and "retirement" allowances of 500 million yen he has received twice were not enough. Amazingly enough, the bum is still one of the most popular political figures in Japan, especially in the capital.

On March 24, it was learned that water in the metropolitan reservoirs was contaminated with radioactive materials from the Fukushima power plant. Although he has been critical about the DPJ government, Ishihara thought he had to assure extremely gullible Tokyoite that they are still OK despite the alarming revelation.

Yesterday, he dared to drink a glass of water before the press corps, saying, "Tokyo no mizu wa anzen dakara kodomo ni nomasete mo daijoubu dayo - imanotokoro wa ne (Water in Tokyo is not so contaminated. You can let your children drink it - for the time being, that is.)"

Then, it somehow occurred to the brainless governor that he had to translate his message into English to make his water-drinking show more convincing. (This is a typical way of thinking here in this "docile satellite" of the American Empire.) He is an alumnus of the privileged Hitotsubashi University who always brags about having many influential friends in Washington. But unfortunately for him, he was unable to express his idea in a simple English sentence. So he tried to translate the last phrase of his message which was identical to Edano's favorite qualifier. (The Cabinet spokesman uses it a dozen times everyday.)

Ishihara said: "To put my words in English, we are basically OK 'so far as being time.'" Nobody present there blushed at Ishihara's English lecture. Small wonder the Japanese people have always respected him as an exceptionally highbrow person.

I hope you can imagine what it is like to get pushed around all the time by these idiots, at the expense of we taxpayers.

Political Truce

Thanks to the natural calamity aggravated by a manmade disaster, a political truce has been implemented here. Now this country is a real monolith where there is no place for a small number of sane people who have long been forgotten. We used to call this climate 大政翼賛会的風土 (Taisei Yokusankai teki Fudo) which has already proved the surest way to ruin.

Under the circumstances, we are now fed around the clock with an endless stream of supposedly touching stories about people coming together with the spirit of mutual aid. According to the March 25 edition of Tribune de Geneva, even yakuza criminals sent a fleet of trucks to the afflicted areas to provide food and other daily necessities to the survivors of the disaster, while some of the 100,000 soldiers from the Self-Defense Forces were just looking on.

In reality, though, quite a few swindlers are actively collecting monetary "donations" while supermarkets are running out of food, beverages, and other essential merchandises because of the panic buying.

The same thing is happening to Japan's international relations. With all the diplomatic rifts shelved, temporarily or not, millions of good folks around the world are extending a helping hand to the Japanese. Jacky Cheung and Vladimir Putin are not alone.

But hold on a second. Do you still think that Kan, Edano, Renho, Ishihara, et al. were not as incompetent before March 11? Actually, our suffering had started decades before the quake and tsunami came along, with tens of thousands of Japanese killing each other and selves every year. If you look at the following figures, you will understand the ongoing disaster is not a big deal. It just revealed something that had already been there.

Identified as Dead as of March 27 10,418 ---
Identified as Missing as of March 27 10,072 ---
Total Fatality Toll from the Quake and Tsunami as of March 27 20,490 See NOTE 1
Homicides in 2010 1,067 See NOTE 2
Traffic Fatality in 2010 4,863 ---
Suicides in 2010 31,690 ---
Total Death Toll from Homicides, Traffic Accidents and Suicides in 2010 37,620 ---

NOTE 1: The final death toll can top 30,000 because sometimes nobody could have filed a missing-person report with the authority when an entire family was swallowed by the tsunami.
NOTE 2: Roughly 1 million people die every year, but because of the lack of a coroner system here, 15% of the corpses are buried without going through an autopsy. On an educated guess basis, most of them are victims of murder. That would mean the number of homicide cases here is a gross understatement. My estimate is that there are at least several thousand victims of homicide.
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[FEATURE] For Whom Kamikaze Blows

Now Cabinet spokesman Yukio
Edano is a household name. But
the former shyster is a crisis
management novice who only can
say, "Calm down, we are basically
OK." No wonder the natural
calamity turned into a man-made
catastrophe in a matter of 48 hours.
Now he has reduced himself to a
Shinto priest who conducts press
conferences as if they are a series
of rituals.
Most educated Westerners think they are familiar with the etymology of the Japanese word 神風, kamikaze or divine wind. But actually they aren't; they have never looked at the other side of the half-factual, half-fictitious events that supposedly took place in 1274 and 1281. Each time Mongol invaders attempted to land in Kyushu island of Japan, a ferocious typhoon blew their fleet against the rocks. Ever since kamikaze has been considered a savior by Shoguns and Emperors.

But of course, that does not mean their subjects have always viewed it in the same way. As is true with any other country, perhaps to a lesser degree, Japan is a nation where a handful of people have always prospered at the cost of all others.

In the last days of the Pacific War, kamikaze failed to deal a blow to the warships or bombers of the Allied Powers. So the Imperial Army headquarters had to resort to the idea of substituting young men for typhoons. That's how thousands of kamikaze pilots lost their lives for the absurd cause of protecting Emperor Hirohito from ruin which none other than the bastard had invited himself. Your history teacher have taught you that the ingenious tactic ended up in failure when the A-bombs were detonated over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But once again, you surface-scratching Westerners have overlooked the other side of the coin.

On March 15, the son of the super-
Class-A war criminal made a rare
TV appearance in an attempt to help
Edano bring calm to his subjects.
Many appreciated it because the
bastard has been known for his
absenteeism from the anniversaries
of the apocalypses of Hiroshima and
Thanks in part to MacArthur's generosity, but more importantly to the blind loyalty of the Japanese who wanted to save the demigod at the cost of their lives, it was a piece of cake for Hirohito to survive the war defeat and subsequently duck the responsibility to have started the unwinnable war. Sixty-five years later his son is still enjoying an easy life at his extensive estate located in central Tokyo without being affected by 計画停電 (keikaku teiden or scheduled cuts in power supply.)

Then came the M-9.0 quake late last week which was followed by a series of 33-foot seismic tidal waves. Who was it intended to save this time around?

Without a doubt, it's Prime Minister Naoto Kan who benefited most from the deadly windfall. The initial jolt of the March 11 earthquake rocked the Diet Building just when he was being grilled by the opposition lawmakers over the illegal donations he had received from a Korean resident in Japan. Actually, the particular irregularity that had just surfaced was not making a big difference to the suffering already inflicted on the people because by then Kan had proved much too incompetent to turn around the serious situation facing them. His approval rating had already sunk below 20%.

Despite all this adversity, Kan was still poised to stay in power as of March 11 primarily because the opposition camp led by the Liberal Democratic Party had thought it's not the right time to oust him. The LDP wanted him to carry through with the unpopular plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' "helicopter" unit from Futenma to Henoko against the will of the Okinawans. As I pointed out in my previous post, Robert Gates hinted on February 16, Washington, too, was expecting Kan to do this dirty job while he is in office. Match-fixing is not confined to Sumo wrestling in this rotten nation.

Even so, the Prime Minister had been on the verge of nervous breakdown when the quake of an unprecedented magnitude hit his nation. No wonder that Kan thought the divine wind had started to blow to save him from the cul-de-sac he was in. He took a French leave from the Diet floor to hurriedly set up a crisis control center.

Needless to say, his team had to be staffed so poorly that the only thing it has done so far is to exacerbate the situation.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, now concurrently serving as the spokesman of the crisis management team, is a former shyster. In junior high, he must have learned that 1 milli-Sievert equals 1,000 micro-Sieverts. Also he knows Hydrogen explodes when it is mixed with Oxygen under a certain condition. But it is evident that he knows absolutely nothing about the basics of risk management.

If I were Kan, I would never have dreamed of picking Edano as the virtual head of the team, because you can never expect anyone with legal background to go extralegal. And there is no such thing as an effective emergency plan that is laid out within the existing legal framework.

To make it worse, the unqualified head of a crisis management team as he is, Edano allows his men to ignore the basic rules such as:
■ Strictly avoid wishful thinking,
■ Always be prepared for the worst case scenario,
■ Never distort facts or cover up what went wrong,
■ Act a little faster than a snail,
■ Be professional,
■ Be systematic,

Traditionally, a Japanese who is put in charge of crisis management tends to think his primary responsibility is to calm down people who are extremely prone to panic. To prevent them from panicking, he always tries to immunize them for an inevitable eventuality by feeding critical information only little by little. He admits to the whole truth only when it is too late.

That is exactly what Edano is doing right now. Yesterday he assured Japanese people that they were basically OK for the time being and today he says they still remain OK for the time being, though to a lesser degree, and so on.

Obviously, the fact that Edano uses this qualifier "for the time being" (差し当たって or sashiatatte) so frequently indicates that he has learned the wrong idea from Confucianism. Some 2,500 years ago, the Chinese philosopher said to this effect: "Make the people rely on you, and to that end, never let them know what underlies your decision."

While Edano kept telling people not to be swayed by groundless rumors about the series of explosions at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant located 124 miles away from the capital, the natural disaster quickly turned into a man-made crisis.

Aside from the lessons to be learned from the consequences of his mishandling of the situation, this is also yet another confirmation that the human element is the single most important factor when addressing nuclear, seismological, meteorological, or medical issues. In other words, Japan's technological/scientific superiority is nothing but a myth.

In the last couple of days I have discussed the matter with Mr. Gordon G. Chang. He asked me if I thought the relief for Kan is only temporary. To my regret, I had to answer in the negative.

It is true that as things have worsened, a growing number of political analysts and laypeople, who are not affiliated with the mainstream media, have been calling for a "national salvation government" to immediately replace the Kan administration. They say nobody can expect the leader who has proved totally incompetent even under the normal situation to lead the way out of the unprecedented emergency. But as a matter of fact there are very few candidates for the next Prime Minister and Chief Cabinet Secretary who would outdo Kan and Edano. More importantly, the people here are so used to seeing their leaders become paralyzed, like a spider in thanatosis, in the face of a crisis, that they do not think it would make any difference whoever is at the helm.

During the wartime NHK served as
the mouthpiece of the Imperial Army
The way Edano conducts those press conferences is more than just reminiscent of 大本営発表 (Daihon-ei Happyo or press releases by the headquarters of Japan's Imperial Army broadcast by NHK.) Good news was always exaggerated while bad news was always hushed up until the very last day of the Pacific War.

I remember listening to the NHK announcer in the last week of the Pacific War. He was saying something like this: "Calm down and never be swayed by groundless rumors about the new weapon our enemy used in Hiroshima. As long as you remain fully determined to use your 大和魂 (yamato damashii or dauntless Japanese spirit) to exterminate our enemy, we will still be OK. Thus, our Divine Empire is invincible."

NHK was telling the truth, as it does today; in August 1945, the Japanese people found out that the imperial family was really imperishable.
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