Dealing with an ongoing crisis.

It has been eighteen days since the triple disaster here in Japan.
Dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami would be by far enough on their own. However, the crippled Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant only adds to the grief and stress for all and makes relief efforts all the more difficult for the victims of this disaster as well as for the aid workers. Our main house will have to be torn down, due to the damage caused by the earthquake, it is no longer safe to be lived in and be on repair now. Saving the building would exceed the cost of building a new house by several million yen. The recent events force us to tear down the old buildings as soon as possible. Never the less, we are still very fortunate since we did not lose any one in our family nor have we lost our property (land) or car in the earthquake, just a lot of material damage so far. Why it is important for us to focus on helping those that lost loved ones and their livelihood before worrying about rebuilding our own place.
After, I saw the extend of the damage in the Prefectures of Chiba, Ibaraki and Fukushima for my self, it was far be on what one could imagine to be possible, no TV nor any pictures can possible show the extend of this disaster or the conditions in which the people find them self in now, especially the smell in some areas is gruesome. The worth may very well be the still out of control nuclear power plant, that leaks massive amount of radiation and contaminates our food and ground water be on safe levels. I urge the government and all aid organisations to focus on the children and pregnant woman first and to get them out of the most affected areas now, and keep them out until this problem is under control after which they may all return once the radiation are below a safe level. We need to find foster homes and convince people to adopt those children that find them self orphaned due to this earthquake and tsunami. We also need to educate people to overcome their cultural or traditional barriers, so that those children do not find them self extradited or isolated for being orphaned and for having been exposed to radioactive contaminations, as it was the case for the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I saw people refusing to drive much needed fuel or food to Fukushima because they where afraid of radiation, even though I can understand the fear, we need to be rational and help those we can. It saddens me to see such lack of empathy, compassion and solidarity by so many in this crisis.
Even though, I have to command the Japanese overall, would this have happen in the US or France, we would have riots by now and more people would have been killed due to civil unrest then by the disaster it self.
Still, we need to do much more and help where ever we can and when ever we can. As of today, we have 10,901 confirmed dead and still 17,840 missing. On top of that, many are now dying due to lack of heat, medication and due to excessive stress.
This is mainly why I resigned my position in Narita. I will now work mainly in Ibaraki, Fukushima and Chiba so I may be able to better help those most affected and I hope that we will be able to convince people to take in children, especially those that are now orphaned so they may have some kind of normality again.
These times demand to be open minded and they demand solidarity from all. There is no room left for selfishness or self-pity.
The worth part in all this, is the lack of understanding of the gravity of this nuclear accident by some of the companies and entrepreneurs that are already engaged in talks to build nine more nuclear power plant around Japan. Not one of those politician, entrepreneurs or stockholders has set foot on the site of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, nor will they ever do so. Their houses are far enough from those plants so that they may not have to worry too much.
In a country such as Japan, with countless hot springs and volcanoes it is inconceivable why we do not have geothermal energy plants making full use of the gifts that nature gave us.
Such as is the case in Iceland, where the high concentration of volcanoes in the area is used as an advantage in the generation of geothermal energy, the heating and production of electricity. During winter, pavements near these areas (such as Reykjavík and Akureyri) are heated up.
Five major geothermal power plants exist in Iceland, which produce approximately 24% (2008) of the nation's energy. In addition, geothermal heating meets the heating and hot water requirements of approximately 87% of all buildings in Iceland. Apart from geothermal energy, 75.4% of the nation’s electricity was generated by hydropower, and only 0.1% from fossil fuels. Consumption of primary geothermal energy in 2004 was 79.7 petajoules (PJ), approximately 53.4% of the total national consumption of primary energy, 149.1 PJ. The corresponding share for hydropower was 17.2%, petroleum was 26.3%, and coal was 3%. Plans are underway to turn Iceland into a 100% fossil-fuel-free nation in the near future. 
Japan could certainly match Iceland its power production with geothermal energy and achieve the same goals as Iceland strives to by generating 100% of its energy production with renewable energies giving its location and geological configurations.
This sort of proposal is not new either here in Japan, since several experts over the past decade have wondered why Japan is persisting in using nuclear energy and other fossil fuels when it has such an abundance of natural geothermal energy just waiting to be used.
Wake up Japan!


  1. sorry to hear about your house but at least you and your family are safe. I suppose you didn't have Earthquake Insurance. I would not live in Japan without that?

    I have many Japanese friends in Sendai and other areas. We are starting to organise aid.

    Be well

  2. Thank you for the comment here Zichi. As far as the data goes only 3% of the property in Hyogo Prefecture, where Kobe is located, was covered by earthquake insurance, it is reasonable to assume that the earthquake was entirely unexpected in this area. On the other hand, the insurance coverage for the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, which was hit by a massive earthquake in 1923, was 16.0% [Yamaguchi (1999)].

    In fact, serious limitations do exist in private but highly-regulated insurance markets for earthquakes in
    Japan [Saito (2002); Yamaguchi (1998)]. Froot (2001) also observed that, in the United States, most insurers
    purchased relatively limited catastrophe reinsurance against natural disasters. He concluded that this is
    attributable to supply restrictions associated with capital market imperfections and market power exerted by
    traditional reinsurers.
    In Chiba only 5% of people have insurance covering natural disasters. The reason is two folded, one insurers do not like to insure against disasters such as Earthquakes and secondly this sort of insurance is usually be on any ones means.
    The annual cost for an adequate earthquake insurance would allow you to build a new house every five to ten years if you where to save the money.
    In our area I do not know one single farmer that can afford earthquake insurance.