No, it hasn’t happened yet. But who knows, stranger things have happened.
By “the rez” I mean, of course, the reservation. In this case I have no particular reservation in mind but rather am thinking of all 300+ of them as a collective entity that encompasses 2.3% of the landmass of the United States. While most of them are rather small, a few are quite large, with nine larger than the state of Delaware while the lands of the Navajo Nation are roughly the size of West Virginia.
What’s interesting about these Indian reservations is that the tribes possess tribal sovereignty, which means that in some respects these reservations are foreign nations. That’s why a few tribes have been able to get rich from gambling casinos on the rez. Federal and state laws don’t apply on the reservation, and if the reservation happens to be in the middle of are populated by people with money they’d like to gamble away, when then come on down!
But I’m not interested in gambling. I’m interested in poverty. Many reservations are, in effect, third world countries within the territorial United States. Over a quarter of Native Americans live in poverty as compared to 15% nationally. Poor people generally get lousy education and that, in turn, makes it difficult for them to work their way out of poverty.
And that’s where the Japanese come in. As I indicated in my post on Takeshi Utsumi, the Japanese government funds distance education in third world nations. Why not fund distance education in these third world nations that just happen to live within the territorial boundaries of the United States of America? Continue reading
The birth on July 5 of the zoo’s first baby panda for 24 years and its progress during its first few days of life attracted broad news coverage in Japan.
National broadcaster NHK ran breaking news headlines over its normal programming to announce the birth, and death, of the cub, while newspapers gave daily updates on the cub’s milk intake and published front-page photos of Shin Shin cradling the pinkish newborn — weighing a mere 133 grams at birth.
Could it be that the Japanese, caught in the awful resonance of Fukushima, had pinned their hopes on this baby panda? Is the future that fragile?
via Tokyo’s Newborn Baby Panda Dies – Japan Real Time – WSJ.
Emperor Akihito expressed mild skepticism about nuclear power in a speech on the anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. Evening TV news and newspaper accounts failed to mention these remarks. Many Japanese fear the fix is on.
While [the Emperor's] statement may seem more obvious than radical to outsiders, underneath the Imperial-grade Japanese understatement were two ideas that have become quietly explosive. First, he seemed to suggest that the nuclear crisis is not over, a “formidable task” yet to be overcome. This noticeably contradicts the government’s official stance that Fukushima has achieved a cold shutdown and, for all practical purposes, the crisis is over. Second, it implies that it is not yet safe for people to return to areas stricken with high levels of radiation, at least not before the “formidable task” is “overcome.” This, again, contradicts the government’s position that it is now safe for people to return to almost all areas and that neither Tokyo Electric Power Company nor the national government are obliged to assist in long term evacuations.
via Japan in Uproar Over Censorship of Emperor’s Anti-Nuclear Speech – Michael McAteer – International – The Atlantic.
The Japanese government has been incompetent in response to Fukushima and the Japanese people have begun organizing and protesting,
…several community-based initiatives, protests and rallies have sprung up in the past year. Volunteers have set up a popular website where users crowd-source local radiation levels. Mothers are testing school lunches for radiation. And perhaps in a nod to the Occupy movement, antinuclear activists have camped out in front of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Tokyo for more than four months and refused orders to leave. Citizens are also becoming increasingly vocal toward public officials.
“You see people yelling and interrupting these bureaucrats, which I’ve never seen at public meetings,” said Aldrich. “What I’ve been seeing from Fukushima and elsewhere is ‘rituals of dissent’ — local people not willing to be talked down to, not willing to be ignored.”
via Activists challenge Japan’s “nuclear village” – Nuclear Power – Salon.com.
Many jobs in the Japanese nuclear industry are controlled by Yakuza, Japanese gangsters.
Crime syndicates and illegal businesses flock to nuclear plants where workers toil under harsh conditions. But the problem does not stop there.
“The disguised subcontract has thrived at nuclear plants across Japan because the power utilities, which wish to save on personnel expenses, have turned a blind eye to the picture,” said Masahiko Yamamoto, a 54-year-old former nuclear plant worker in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, who is engaged in campaigns against nuclear power.
via Yakuza labor structure formed base of nuclear industry – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun.
A group of Japanese from the Fukushima area visited Germany to learn about sustainable energy.
The group, organized and led by representatives of Greenpeace Japan, arrived Wednesday in the northeastern German village of Feldheim to learn how its 145 residents have taken advantage of the energy generated by a nearby windfarm and a biofuel plant that burns the waste from a local pig farm to become an entirely self-sustaining, energy-positive village.
via Fukushima residents tour German renewable village ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion.
The Fukshima disaster was created by that Japanese CorpState. That CorpState’s still at it:
After the tsunami and the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima, some Japanese leaders vowed that the disasters would give birth to a new Japan, the way the end of World War II had done. A creative reconstruction of the northeast, where Japan would showcase its leadership in dealing with a rapidly aging and shrinking society, was supposed to lead the way.
But as details of the government’s reconstruction spending emerge, signs are growing that Japan has yet to move beyond a postwar model that enriched the country but ultimately left it stagnant for the past two decades. As the story of Kamaishi’s breakwater suggests, the kind of cozy ties between government and industry that contributed to the Fukushima nuclear disaster are driving much of the reconstruction and the fight for a share of the $120 billion budget expected to be approved in a few weeks.
The insistence on rebuilding breakwaters and sea walls reflects a recovery plan out of step with the times, critics say, a waste of money that aims to protect an area of rapidly declining population with technology that is a proven failure.
via Japan Revives Kamaishi Breakwater That Crumpled in Tsunami – NYTimes.com.
Still, the shutdown came as the government was renewing a push to restart reactors that were idled after the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi in March. Kyushu Electric said that inspection work had been carried out on a valve of the condenser in question on Tuesday, raising the possibility that human error had triggered the shutdown.
“As we saw in Fukushima, cooling systems are central to the safety of nuclear reactors,” said Chihiro Kamisawa, a researcher at the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, an antinuclear organization.
via Genkai Nuclear Plant Shuts Down in Japan – NYTimes.com.
Japan plans to build a floating wind farm near the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant as part of the country’s disaster reconstruction effort, a government official said Thursday.
Tokyo is seeking ways to reduce its reliance on atomic energy following the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, and is eying the Pacific coast of Fukushima Prefecture, the official said.
via Japan to build floating wind farm near Fukushima nuclear plant ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion.
In speaking with young people in various parts of Japan, I was struck by the fact that no one said they trusted their government. They did, however, trust each other. Thirty-year-old Tomoko, who lives in Iwaki City, which is 25 miles away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor, put it best. “I am not afraid, because the workers at the nuclear power plant, the fire department and the defense department are working around the clock.” There is an invisible web of community support, and it is in this that most Japanese place their faith.
via Japan’s distinctly un-American brand of heroism – Japan Earthquake – Salon.com.