Jul 22

Ex-premier Hatoyama joins antinuclear rally

Ex-premier Hatoyama joins antinuclear rally near PM’s office (Kyodo News, July 20, 2012):

In an unusual move by a former prime minister, Democratic Party of Japan heavyweight Yukio Hatoyama joined an antinuclear rally on a street in front of the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on Friday, saying he believes it is premature to reactivate nuclear reactors in the country.

With a microphone in his hand, Hatoyama said, “I must play a role to change the political trends by conveying people’s voices to the prime minister’s office as a former prime minister.”

Hatoyama later called at the prime minister’s office and asked Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura to have Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda meet with antinuclear protesters. The top government spokesman responded he would convey the request to Noda.

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Dec 18

See also:

Japan Government: Fukushima Nuclear Plant In State Of Cold Shutdown! – Minister Hosono: ‘No One Knows Where The Fuel Is’

Japanese Engineer (Former JNES Inspector): ‘There Was A Nuclear Explosion (‘Black Smoke’ – ‘Mushroom Cloud’) At Reactor No. 3 In Addition To A Hydrogen Explosion’

Former Japanese PM Hatoyama: #Fukushima Reactor 3 Nuclear Explosion Likely (EX-SKF, Dec. 16, 2011):

It turns out that former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama had more than just the recriticality back in March and April to talk about in his Nature article that was published on December 15, a rather awkward day it must have been for the Noda administration who was going to declare the end of the Fuku I Nuke Plant accident.

Even though the original English version of the Nature article is only available to the subscribers, Nature Asia has the full translation made available to anyone.

In the article, he and his co-writer Tomoyuki Taira talk about the possibilities of recriticality (chlorine-38 detection), nuclear explosion of Reactor 3, and melt-through of the corium contaminating the groundwater.

No wonder Yomiuri Shinbun, when writing about Hatoyama’s article in Nature magazine, decided to only mention TEPCO nationalization and recriticality in March/April – a subject safe enough to talk about now.

In concluding that it may have been a nuclear explosion at Reactor 3, Hatoyama forgoes the mechanism of how a nuclear explosion could have happened and focuses on the evidence of transuranic elements scattered far outside the plant, saying a hydrogen explosion wouldn’t be powerful enough.

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Apr 13


TOKYO — Greece’s debt problems may currently be in the spotlight but Japan is walking its own financial tightrope, analysts say, with a public debt mountain bigger than that of any other industrialised nation.

Public debt is expected to hit 200 percent of GDP in the next year as the government tries to spend its way out of the economic doldrums despite plummeting tax revenues and soaring welfare costs for its ageing population.

Based on fiscal 2010’s nominal GDP of 475 trillion yen, Japan’s debt is estimated to reach around 950 trillion yen — or roughly 7.5 million yen per person.

Japan “can’t finance” its record trillion-dollar budget passed in March for the coming year as it tries to stimulate its fragile economy, said Hideo Kumano, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.

“Japan’s revenue is roughly 37 trillion yen and debt is 44 trillion yen in fiscal 2010, ” he said. “Its debt to budget ratio is more than 50 percent.”

Without issuing more government bonds, Japan “would go bankrupt by 2011”, he added. Continue reading »

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Jan 05

Atsushi Nakanishi has condensed his possessions to two suitcases, which he stores in lockers at the capsule hotel where he lives.

Atsushi Nakanishi is among the jobless living in a capsule hotel, renting a bunk with no door.

The capsules have no doors, only screens that pull down. Every bump of the shoulder on the plastic walls, every muffled cough, echoes loudly through the rows.

OKYO — For Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas, home is a cubicle barely bigger than a coffin — one of dozens of berths stacked two units high in one of central Tokyo’s decrepit “capsule” hotels.

“It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep,” he said, rolling his neck and stroking his black suit — one of just two he owns after discarding the rest of his wardrobe for lack of space. “You get used to it.”

When Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 opened nearly two decades ago, Japan was just beginning to pull back from its bubble economy, and the hotel’s tiny plastic cubicles offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home.

Now, Hotel Shinjuku 510’s capsules, no larger than 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide, and not tall enough to stand up in, have become an affordable option for some people with nowhere else to go as Japan endures its worst recession since World War II.

Once-booming exporters laid off workers en masse in 2009 as the global economic crisis pushed down demand. Many of the newly unemployed, forced from their company-sponsored housing or unable to make rent, have become homeless.

The country’s woes have led the government to open emergency shelters over the New Year holiday in a nationwide drive to help the homeless. The Democratic Party, which swept to power in September, wants to avoid the fate of the previous pro-business government, which was caught off-guard when unemployed workers pitched tents near public offices last year to call attention to their plight.

“In this bitter-cold New Year’s season, the government intends to do all it can to help those who face hardship,” Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said in a video posted Dec. 26 on YouTube. “You are not alone.”

On Friday, he visited a Tokyo shelter housing 700 homeless people, telling reporters that “help can’t wait.”

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