MONGERING FEAR: Japan’s still in hot, irradiated water

Just dropping a quick post to link this article (It’s not an article, I don’t know what it is. I don’t understand the internet yet, or how to categorize all the different news-ish stuff one can access these days), which I thought pretty interesting. It’s fairly sensationalist, but it raises some nice questions the news media outside of Japan probably isn’t addressing.

I realize it’s been almost 4 months now since the 3/11 earthquake, and CNN et al can’t be tasked with covering a story more than 2 weeks, but please do not confuse international media silence with an actual resolution to the problems caused by the earthquake in March. Large parts of Northern Japan are, of course, still a mess reminiscent of Mad Max movies. The area immediately surrounding the Fukushima nuclear plant is still bathed in radiation, bathing, rather. Past tense is not accurate. The truth of what happened at the Fukushima plant will probably never come to light. TEPCO officials and the news do a lot of speaking, but very little talking, if you know what I mean. The current working plan seems to consist of watching the plant from afar and letting it shoot out all the radiation it can until it runs out, which should be about march 2012 according to current estimates. Boy, if that doesn’t inspire confidence.

I don’t pretend to be an nuclear engineer, or know anything about curbing a nuclear meltdown, other than calling the Justice League. However, as an educated consumer of news, and more importantly, electric power supplied by  TEPCO (I do live in TYO), I would enjoy getting something more than nothing and what seems like complacency. I am not Japanese; tearful apologies and bowing your head to the ground in front of  cameras doesn’t do much for me. Frankly, it’s not doing much for the general public here, either. Naoto Kan, the current PM faced tremendous pressure from his own party and constituents to resign after his perceived failures to handle the national disaster adequately. He did survive the vote of no confidence last month, but only because he promised to resign on his own “in the near future.” There’s Japanese politics for you.

And now I’m rambling. My main purpose is just to stress how the crisis is still very much ongoing, and though the Japanese put on a very brave and capable front, they are mired in inaction and politics as usual. While reading the linked article, don’t be surprised to hear about TEPCO’s yakuza connections, or bribing history, or never being held accountable for anything…that’s all standard procedure for Japanese hypercorporations (and even American ones, honestly). Let’s just see if and how anything changes, and if TEPCO can successfully switch its priorities around, and start focusing on the people of Fukushima first, and the yen second.

(Post Edit- Why solve a problem, when you can just apologize and resign? 2011/7/5)

Later days,

Sagramore

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