In-Focus Japan – New regulatory body – Stronger opposition to nuclear power – Hibakusha oppose Ohi restart

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Japan’s main political parties have started establishing the foundation for the country’s new nuclear regulatory body.

Japan’s main political parties have agreed to set up a nuclear regulatory committee that’s largely independent of the government, and a nuclear regulatory agency that acts on the committee’s orders.

In an effort to stop the revolving-door selections, appointees to the country’s new nuclear regulatory body should not be allowed to return to work at their former ministry or agency.

Source: NHK

Japanese opposition to nuclear power stronger than last year

Japanese oppose nuclear power more strongly than they did while the tsunami-damaged Fukushima plant was still in crisis a year ago, according to a poll that found widespread dismay with the government’s handling of that disaster and the ongoing recovery.

The survey released Tuesday by the Washington-based Pew Research Center said 70 percent of Japanese believe the country should reduce its reliance on nuclear energy, up from 44 percent last year.

The survey found that 80 percent of Japanese are dissatisfied with the government’s handling of the nuclear crisis, caused by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which spewed radiation into the surrounding air, soil and water.

Overall, the poll showed widespread pessimism: Some 78 percent of the people are unhappy with the direction of the country, and 93 percent perceive the economy to be in a bad state.

That contrasts with hopes last year that Japan might turn the tragedy into something positive: A year ago, 59 percent believed the disasters would make Japan stronger. Now 39 percent hold that view, and 47 percent believe it has made the country weaker.

The public has a very low opinion of the government and the media. Only 12 percent see the central government as having a positive influence on the country.

Source: Las Vegas Sun

Hibakusha oppose Ohi restart

The Japan Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Sufferers Organizations held a regular meeting on Wednesday in Tokyo, where they demanded the government make a turnabout on its energy policy and end its dependence on nuclear power.

Survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, commonly known as hibakusha, have adopted a resolution to oppose the restarting of the Ohi nuclear power plant on the Sea of Japan coast.

Secretary General Terumi Tanaka says he feels exasperated and sorry as the government has not listened to the opinions of the hibakusha on the issue.

Source: NHK

 New York’s legendary Jewish former mayor Ed Koch scopes out the scene in the US.

The American public should learn from the Japanese nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, the Japanese government did not tell its people the truth about the need for evacuation and other dangers and, I believe, no government, including our own will, under similar circumstances, because a nuclear catastrophe is so great that government is at a loss on how to deal with it.  So they will lie to gain time within which they can, hopefully, come up with a coherent policy of survival.  Our government should have learned from Chernobyl and Fukushima that nuclear energy plants are currently too dangerous to continue and the existing plants should be shut down.

Source: Jerusalem Post

Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 4 Cooling

The pump at the Number 4 reactor building pool stopped working on Monday night after becoming burnt. The pool holds 1,535 spent and unused fuel rods, the most at the plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, used a backup pump, but on Tuesday, it also broke. The firm fixed the pump on Wednesday, and restarted it at around 6 PM.

TEPCO says the pool’s temperature at 11 AM on Wednesday was 40 degrees Celsius, up six degrees from a day before. As of 5 PM, the temperature had risen to 42 degrees.

Source: NHK

Kyocera Group working to meet energy reduction targets

Kyocera Group reports that it is acting in support of the Japanese government’ regional energy reduction targets by planting “Green Curtains” at its company locations across Japan that will reduce its need for air-conditioning in the summer months, thereby reducing its buildings’ energy demands.

These curtains of foliage, grown on trellises over the windows and outer walls of Kyocera’s manufacturing and office buildings, will provide shade from the direct sunlight and heat gain that play a key role in driving up temperatures in those buildings when the mercury outside rises. The company’s effort to install Green Curtains started last year, but has increased in 2012, with trellised plants being planted at 28 Kyocera company locations throughout Japan, more than a 30 percent increase over last year.

Source: Earthtechling

Japan’s fertility rate for 2011 remained unchanged after rising each year for 5 years in a row.  The rate refers to the average number of children a woman gives birth to in her lifetime.

The island prefecture of Okinawa in Southern Japan saw the highest rate of 1.86, while that of the capital, Tokyo, was the lowest at 1.06.  The average age of women giving birth for the first time keeps rising and it rose above 30 years old for the first time last year.

The declining birth rate and the high number of deaths from the East Japan tsunami-quake last year led to the highest-ever natural population drop. The decrease marked a record of about 202,000 in 2011.

Source: NHK

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