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How to Prevent a War Between China and Japan – Bloomberg

How to Prevent a War Between China and Japan – Bloomberg.

Photos: Getty Images; Illustration by A. Babar

China and Japan, Asia’s two most powerful nations, are increasingly jousting in the skies and in the seas near a set of disputed islands. Although their economies remain deeply intertwined, relations between the two governments seem locked in an irreversible, dangerous downward spiral.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe further embittered feelings last week by visiting the controversial Yasukuni shrine, which honors the souls of Japan’s war dead, including 14 World War II leaders convicted as Class-A war criminals.

Needless to say, neither side seems terribly interested in a rapprochement. That’s a shame, because the deterioration in ties is fairly recent, stemming from a single incident involving the islands administered by Japan, which calls them the Senkakus, and claimed by China, which refers to them as the Diaoyu. A single, symbolic-but-generous gesture could well halt the slide.

Abe, though unquestionably a hawk on China, had nothing to do with the triggering event. In September 2012, then-Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ordered his government to buy several of the disputed islands from a private owner — an action which, in China’s view, effectively nationalized them.

Noda hadn’t intended to provoke the Chinese. On the contrary, he aimed to preempt a more aggressive gesture by hyper-nationalist politician Shintaro Ishihara — then Tokyo’s governor — who wanted to have the Tokyo metropolitan government purchase the islands and build on them to assert Japan’s sovereignty.

Still, barely two days before Noda’s decision, China’s then-President Hu Jintao had specifically warned him not to proceed. Hu’s concerns were legitimate. For years, China had quietly acceptedJapan’s “de facto” occupation of the islands even as it disputed sovereignty. By buying them, Japan appeared to be moving to “de jure” ownership. Given the nationalist mood in China, the Beijing government couldn’t risk appearing weak in its response.

If Abe really wanted to break the chain of escalation that has since played out between China and Japan, he could singlehandedly return to the status quo ante. He would only need to “sell” the islands to a private Japanese foundation or environmental group, ostensibly to preserve their undeveloped natural beauty.

Japanese hard-liners would no doubt regard such a move as a capitulation to China. It wouldn’t be. Even after a sale, Japan would continue its de facto occupation of the islands, as it has for decades. Since the islands’ purchase was made by a previous government, Abe’s Liberal Democrats need not feel bound by the decision. In fact, after pacifying his nationalist supporters by visiting Yasukuni, Abe may be in a stronger position to compromise on the islands.

In an interview with Bloomberg earlier this month, Abe called for a summit with President Xi Jinping of China and said, “Now is the time to go back to that starting point.” Abe was referring to a bilateral agreement he reached with Hu in 2006, during a previous term as Japan’s prime minister. Selling the islands would be a critical first step toward returning to that calmer time.

If Abe wanted to be bolder, he could make the same offer to China that Japan has made to South Korea over a different set of disputed islands: to have the issue resolved by the International Court of Justice. The chances of China agreeing to this are minuscule. But by taking the moral high ground, Japan would both reaffirm its reasonableness, and satisfy the major precondition China has imposed on any Xi-Abe summit — acknowledging that sovereignty of the Senkakus/Diaoyu is in dispute.

Of course, if it’s hard to imagine an Abe administration reaching out to Beijing now, it’s equally hard to see Chinese leaders responding constructively. Yet on a simple cost-benefit analysis, Xi has incentive enough to scale back aggressive naval and air patrols of the waters surrounding the islands. He has just embarked on a set of difficult, potentially far-reaching economic reforms. Although he can’t afford to look weak domestically, he also can’t afford a geopolitical crisis that would disrupt China’s economy and possibly global trade.

A major rebalancing is gradually taking place in Asia as China’s economy becomes larger than Japan’s. But it isn’t in China’s interest to push for this rebalancing too aggressively. When I was in Tokyo in early December, I was struck by the intensity of concern over China’s aggressive posturing. The harder the Beijing government pushes now, the more rapidly Japan will move to upgrade its military capabilities and strengthen its alliances with the U.S. and countries ringing China.

Both sides need to find a way to ratchet down their words and deeds. Japan can and should take a first, small step forward by “going back” and selling the islands. Any Japanese leaders who doubt the wisdom of doing so should ask themselves a question: Are they really better off today than they were two years ago?

(Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, is author of “The Great Convergence: Asia, the West and the Logic of One World.”)

To contact the writer of this article: Kishore Mahbubani at kishore.mahbubani@mahbubani.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this article: Nisid Hajari at nhajari@bloomberg.net.

 

Japan set to buy $240B worth of hi-tech weapons | StratRisks

Japan set to buy $240B worth of hi-tech weapons | StratRisks.

Source: NewsInfo

Japan set to buy $240B worth of hi-tech weapons

TOKYO—Japan announced on Tuesday that it would buy stealth fighters, drones and submarines as part of a splurge on military hardware that would beef up defense of far-flung islands amid a simmering territorial row with China.

The Cabinet of hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to spend 24.7 trillion yen ($240 billion) between 2014 and 2019 in a strategic shift toward the south and west of the country—a 5-percent boost to the military budget over five years.

The shopping list is part of efforts by Abe to normalize the military in Japan, which has been officially pacifist since its defeat in World War II. Its well-equipped and highly professional services are limited to a narrowly defined self-defensive role.

Abe’s plan to upgrade Japan’s military capability comes with the establishment of a US-style National Security Council that is expected to concentrate greater power in the hands of a smaller number of senior politicians and bureaucrats.

Fears are growing in Japan over the rising power of China, with the two countries embroiled in a dispute over the sovereignty of a group of islands in the East China Sea, and the perennial menace posed by an unpredictable North Korea.

Joint defense force

New guidelines approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday said Tokyo would introduce a “dynamic joint defense force,” intended to help air, land and sea forces work together more effectively.

Abe said the shift would allow Japan’s military to better shoulder its responsibilities on the global stage, through what he has promoted as “proactive pacifism.”

“We hope to make further contributions to the peace and stability of the international community through proactive pacifism,” he said. “This shows with transparency our country’s diplomatic and defense policies.”

Spending will be raised to 24.7 trillion yen over five years from April 2014, up from the present 23.5 trillion yen over the five years to March 2014, but the figure could be trimmed by up to 700 billion yen if the defense ministry can find savings and efficiencies.

New hardware will include 3 drones, 52 amphibious vehicles, 17 Osprey hybrid choppers and 5 submarines—all designed to boost maritime surveillance and bolster defense of islands.

The spending will also encompass two destroyers equipped with the Aegis antimissile system and 28 new F-35 fighter jets, a stealth plane far superior to the F-15s that Japan currently has in service.

Analysts noted that much of this kit will replace obsolete equipment, but the shift in military priorities is evident.

“The guidelines underscore a clear shift of Japan’s major defense focus to the protection of its islands in the East China Sea,” said Hideshi Takesada, an expert on regional security at Takushoku University in Tokyo.

During the Cold War, Japan’s military was largely static, with the majority of resources in the north and east to guard against any invasion by Russia.

Changing dynamics

But changing dynamics and in particular the rise of China—where double-digit rises in defense spending are the annual norm—mean that Japan’s armed forces need to be located further south and to be able to deploy to the country’s many far-flung islands.

“The guidelines show Japan’s readiness for practical defense if China’s bluff turns to be real military action,” Takesada said.

Regional tensions were ratcheted up last month when China abruptly declared a new air defense identification zone over the East China Sea, including overdisputed Tokyo-controlled islands called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.

Abe on Saturday denounced the declaration and demanded Beijing retract it immediately and unconditionally, after a summit with Southeast Asian leaders where a joint statement called for freedom of travel on the seas and in the air.

Beijing issued a sharp rebuke, singling out Abe for “slanderous remarks.”

The guidelines also call for Japan to boost its missile defense system to counter “a grave and imminent threat” from North Korea.

 

Believe It Or Not: Japan To Reopen Soccer Facility In Fukushima For 2020 Olympics | Zero Hedge

Believe It Or Not: Japan To Reopen Soccer Facility In Fukushima For 2020 Olympics | Zero Hedge.

Below we present a twitter exchange we had with a Japanese media outlet overnight on Twitter. It needs no commentary.

 

Japan protests new China ‘air defence zone’ – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

Japan protests new China ‘air defence zone’ – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English.

China says the establishment of the zone is aimed at “safeguarding state sovereignty” [Reuters]
Tokyo has branded as “very dangerous” a move by Beijing to set up an “air defence identification zone” over an area that includes disputed islands controlled by Japan, but claimed by China.

In a move that raised the temperature of a bitter territorial row between the two countries, China’s defence ministry said that it was setting up the zone to “guard against potential air threats”.

It later scrambled air force jets, including fighter planes, to carry out a patrol mission on Saturday in the newly-established zone.

China will take timely measures to deal with air threats and unidentified flying objects from the sea, including identification, monitoring, control and disposition, and it hopes all relevant sides positively cooperate and jointly maintain flying safety.

Yang Yujun, Chinese defence ministry.

 

The outline of the zone, which is shown on the Chinese defence ministry website and a state media Twitter account , covers a wide area of the East China Sea between South Korea and Taiwan that includes airspace above the Tokyo-controlled islands known as the Senkaku to Japan and Diaoyu to China.

Junichi Ihara, who heads the Japanese foreign ministry’s Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau, lodged a protest by phone to Han Zhiqiang, minister at the Chinese Embassy in Japan, the ministry said in a statement.

He said Japan could “never accept the zone set up by China” as it includes the Tokyo-controlled islands, the statement said.

Ihara also told the Chinese side that such a move by Beijing would “escalate” current bilateral tensions over the islands.

Akitaka Saiki, Japan’s vice foreign minister, plans to summon the Chinese ambassador to Japan, Cheng Yonghua, as early as possible on Monday and state Japan’s position on the matter, Kyodo news agency reported.

‘Safeguarding sovereignty’

A Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman, Yang Yujun, said the establishment of the zone, which became operational on Saturday morning, was aimed at “safeguarding state sovereignty, territorial land and air security, and maintaining flight order”.

“It is a necessary measure in China’s exercise of self-defence rights. It has no particular target and will not affect the freedom of flight in relevant airspace,” Yang said in a statement on the ministry’s website Saturday.

“China will take timely measures to deal with air threats and unidentified flying objects from the sea, including identification, monitoring, control and disposition, and it hopes all relevant sides positively cooperate and jointly maintain flying safety,” he said.

Along with the creation of the zone in the East China Sea, the defence ministry released a set of aircraft identification rules that must be followed by all planes entering the area, under penalty of intervention by the military.

Sino-Japanese relations have remained at a low-ebb for more than a year as a result of the dispute, which was revived when Japan nationalised three of the archipelago’s five islands in September 2012.

 

Testosterone Pit – Home – Japan’s Most Hated Outfit, TEPCO, Reports Fat Profit (From Taxpayer Bailout Money)

Testosterone Pit – Home – Japan’s Most Hated Outfit, TEPCO, Reports Fat Profit (From Taxpayer Bailout Money). (source)

TEPCO, the utility that serves 29 million households and businesses in the Tokyo metropolitan area, and that owns the Fukushima nuclear power plant where three melted-down reactors are contaminating air, soil, groundwater, and seawater, an outfit famous for its lackadaisical handling of the fiasco and the parsimoniousness with which it doles out information – the most despised and ridiculed company in Japan reported earnings today. It was a doozie.

Instead of sending it into bankruptcy court to make bondholders and stockholders pay their share, the government has bailed it (and them) out lock, stock, and barrel. And it’s still on taxpayer-funded life support. So it was good news that revenues jumped 11.8% to ¥3.2 trillion during the fiscal first half ending September 30 – blistering hot growth for a utility with 49,000 employees in a slow-or-no-growth market!

But that was about it with the good news. It wasn’t even good news. It was based exclusively on electricity rate hikes that regulators had approved to compensate the company for the costs of running fossil-fuel power plants instead of its nuclear power plants, which remain shut down. It then inflicted those higher rates on already struggling businesses and squeezed consumers.

Sign of a booming Abenomics economy? Nope. Electricity sales volume fell by 1.7% in the first half. Among the reasons, ominously: a “decrease in production activities.” Commercial use fell 1.7% and industrial use 0.5% from the already depressed levels last year. Among large-scale industrial customers, electricity sales to ferrous metals companies suffered the most, down 6.7%, followed by sales to machinery producers, down 3.8%.

Net profit for the first half soared to ¥616.2 billion ($6.2 billion), up from a steep loss last year. But the rate hikes alone, big as they’ve been, couldn’t accomplish that. So cost cuts?

TEPCO is certainly trying to cut costs in dealing with the Fukushima fiasco, mostly by cutting corners. Efforts that produce curious results. A few days ago, for example, when it didn’t put enough pumps in place to deal with the rains from the typhoon, water contaminated with highly radioactive and toxic Strontium-90 leaked once again into the ocean. Despite all these valiant efforts at cutting corners, its “ordinary expenses” rose 1.2%.

So where did that big fat profit of ¥616.2 billion come from? Turns out, “ordinary income” was only ¥141.6 billion, up from a loss last year. Those were the rate increases. The difference? “Extraordinary Income.”

A lot of it! So TEPCO sold some fixed assets for a gain of ¥74.2 billion, fine. But then there was an interesting, and huge entry:  ¥666.2 billion ($6.7 billion). It was the amount of taxpayer bailout money TEPCO had received during the first half. Booked as income!

After some extraordinary loss items – ¥22 billion for “extraordinary loss on natural disaster” and ¥230.5 billion for “nuclear damage compensation” – net disaster-related extraordinary income amounted to ¥413.7 billion ($4.2 billion), every yen of it from taxpayers. It became part of its net profit. What a way to make money!

These kinds of shenanigans have impact. TEPCO’s stock, which traded above ¥4,000 in 2007, skittered down during the financial crisis to land at ¥2,000 by the end of 2010. After the disaster in March 2011, the stock collapsed entirely and a few months later approached ¥100 yen – a technically bankrupt company with 49,000 employees. But since the bailout funds started pouring into TEPCO’s pocket, the stock has quintupled to ¥523.

Today, the government offered a view into the future. A panel composed of lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party issued a draft report that recommended that the government, and therefore the taxpayer, step in and take control of the Fukushima cleanup and decommissioning efforts. It will be expensive and take four decades – unless the spent fuel rods in their destroyed pools ignite when the next big earthquake hits or when TEPCO screws up again, which would alter the hemisphere and eliminate any need to worry about the site.

The panel said that TEPCO must implement major internal improvements, including cost controls, and it suggested that the company may have to be broken up, partially or fully – with the good part likely going to bondholders and stockholders, and the bad part, that is Fukushima Daiichi and all associated costs and liabilities, being hung around the neck of the taxpayer.

There was urgency, the panel said. TEPCO could not manage the large amounts of groundwater that were getting contaminated daily by the reactors, and at the same time manage their decommissioning. The government would also have to figure out what to do with the nuclear waste from the site – and then pay for it as well.

The true costs of nuclear power are thus getting shuffled from the industry to the taxpayer – while bondholders and stockholders benefit.

Not a coincidence. Earlier this year, it was leaked that TEPCO had paid ¥1.8 billion ($189 million) in annual membership fees to a nuclear lobbying group in 2011, weeks after the melt-downs. The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, which lobbies for Japan’s ten mega-utilities, keeps its budget secret. This was the first time the fees seeped out, offering an idea of its annual lobbying budget – whose magnitude explains in part the overwhelming power the nuclear industry has over its regulators and governments.

That power is now being exerted on the Abe administration and the legislature – not only to slough off the costs of dealing with Fukushima but also to restart the 50 surviving reactors, against strong local and national opposition.

As the Fukushima fiasco hobbled from cover-ups to partial revelations, TEPCO always pretended the situation was under control. But days after Tokyo scored the 2020 Olympics, that pretense fell apart. Read…. After Snatching Olympics, Japan Suddenly Admits Fukushima Not “Under Control,” Begs For International Help

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Japanese PM warns China on use of force – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

Japanese PM warns China on use of force – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English. (source)

One of Prime Minister Abe’s first decisions was to increase Japan’s defence budget [File: AFP]
Japan is ready to counter China if it resorts to force in the pursuit of its geopolitical interests, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said in an interview.

Abe in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Saturday said Japan should take the lead in guarding against what he said might be an attempt by China to use force to attain its diplomatic goals.

He said he had realised at recent meetings with South East Asian leaders that the region sought leadership from Tokyo in terms of security amid China’s more forthright diplomacy.

“There are concerns that China is attempting to change the status quo by force, rather than by rule of law. But if China opts to take that path, then it won’t be able to emerge peacefully,” he told the paper.

If Japan does resort to enforcement measures like shooting down aircraft, that is a serious provocation to us, an act of war

Geng Yansheng, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman

 

“So it shouldn’t take that path and many nations expect Japan to strongly express that view. And they hope that as a result, China will take responsible action in the international community.”

A top retired Chinese diplomat said any move by Tokyo to contain China could amount to an attempt to conceal ulterior motives in the region and prove to be “extremely dangerous”.

The defence ministry warned Japan not to underestimate China’s resolve to take whatever measures were needed to protect itself.

China took issue with a Japanese media report saying Abe had approved a policy for Japan to shoot down foreign drones that ignore warnings to leave its airspace.

“Don’t underestimate the Chinese army’s resolute will and determination to protect China’s territorial sovereignty,” Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said on the ministry’s website.

For more than a year, relations between Beijing and Tokyo have been chilled by a territorial dispute in the East China Sea where China claims a small, uninhabited archipelago administered by Japan under the name of Senkaku, though Beijing calls it Diaoyu.

Ties have taken a further battering over visits by Japanese lawmakers this month to the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo honouring both war dead and Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals.

One of Abe’s first decisions as prime minister has been to increase Japan’s defence budget for the first time in 11 years.

Tokyo also plans to hold a large air and sea exercise in November to strengthen the island’s defenses, and as a display of might intended for the Chinese.

 

Japan Hit By 7.3-Magnitude Earthquake Off Fukushima Prefecture Coast, Tsunami Advisory Issued

Japan Hit By 7.3-Magnitude Earthquake Off Fukushima Prefecture Coast, Tsunami Advisory Issued. (source/link)

An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck early Saturday morning off Japan’s east coast, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Japan’s emergency agencies declared a tsunami warning for the region that includes the crippled Fukushima nuclear site.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued a 1-meter (3-foot) tsunami warning for a long stretch of Japan’s northeastern coast. It put the magnitude of the quake at 7.1. The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not post warnings for the rest of the Pacific.

There were no immediate reports of damage on land. Japanese television images of harbors showed calm waters.

The quake hit at 2:10 a.m. Saturday Tokyo time (1710 GMT) about 290 kilometers (170 miles) off Fukushima. Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima plant, ordered workers near the coast to move to higher ground. Japanese news service Kyodo said there were no signs of trouble at the plant.

The tremor was felt in Tokyo, some 300 miles (480 kilometers) away.

All but two of Japan’s 50 reactors have been offline since the March 2011 magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns and massive radiation leaks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, about 250 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Tokyo. About 19,000 people were killed.

 

Looking For Japan’s Radioactive Mutant Army | Zero Hedge

Looking For Japan’s Radioactive Mutant Army | Zero Hedge. (source)

First: we are not suggesting Japan’s army is comprised of radioactive mutants – perhaps just those stationed within 10 kilometers of the Fukushima gift that keeps on giving alpha through gamma rays. We are merely saying that if one takes Abe’s latest deluded ramblings that Japan is “ready to counter China’s power” literally instead of merely more nationalistic bluster by a prime minister whose first term ended in the runs (literally), then the demographically crippled island nation that has a soaring food and energy inflation problem, sliding wages and radiation that comes in 100,000+ RDA dosage increments, would be well advised to have a few invincible X-Men in its army’s ranks if indeed it has any intention of taking on China. Because as Walter Sobchak would say, “this is not Man(churia).”

What else did the not so big man, with the very big ego (supposedly because he thinks doing Goldman’s reflationary bidding helps anyone besides Goldman’s year end bonus pool), say? Some very strange things – from the WSJ:”Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he envisions a resurgent Japan taking a more assertive leadership role in Asia to counter China’s power, seeking to place Tokyo at the helm of countries in the region nervous about Beijing’s military buildup amid fears of an American pullback.” He added that “many nations were concerned that China was  attempting to use force to change the status quo in Asia, adding that  Tokyo’s role as the region’s leader is to urge Beijing not to follow such a path.

Uhm, did he say “Tokyo’s role as the region’s leader“? Precisely in what is Tokyo a leader any more? Imported Chinese smog? Unsolicited gamma radiation? Goughing at the pump? Sex doll sales? That pretty much covers Tokyo’s current leadership areas in the region. Sadly, it is this kind of sociopathological self-delusion (and denial) that is the mark of the Japanese government, and why not only was Fukushima a guaranteed outcome (and has now become the worst radioactive catastrophe in history, nearly three years after the explosion), but why day by day, Japan’s society is slowly sinking into the Pacific. Mostly metaphorically, but also literally.

The absolutely hilarious snippets from the sociopath continue:

 In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with The Journal, Mr. Abe also defended his program of economic reforms against growing criticism that the package lacks substance—though he offered few details of new programs, or a timetable, that anxious foreign investors have been seeking.d

What can one say but LOL. But the funniest stuff was naturally reserved for how this feeble, mutagenic David is approaching the Chinese goliath.

 “There are concerns that China is attempting to change the status quo by force, rather than by rule of law. But if China opts to take that path, then it won’t be able to emerge peacefully,” he added.

“So it shouldn’t take that path, and many nations expect Japan to strongly assert that. And they hope that as a result, China will take responsible action in the international community.”

Mr. Abe, whom China has criticized as attempting to whitewash Japan’s wartime actions and beef up its military, also said countries in the region shared concerns over Beijing’s arms buildup.

“It’s not just Japan. Many countries have expressed concerns over the increase in China’s military spending which is not transparent,” he said.

Actually it is just Japan, because unlike Japan which still lives in the 80s and thinks it is a superpower, still thinks the Nikkei 30000 is just within reach, still thinks it can restart its 30 or so nukes, still thinks that buying Rock Center was a brilliant idea, and the Walkman and Trinitron are the second coming of the iPod, the other countries in the region know to keep their mouth shut when it’s good for them.

We are far more amused and impressed by China’s resilience to putting Abe in his place. Then again, it is just as easy to bleed Japanese society dry by exchanging China’s massive trade surplus for Japanese labor on ever more-devalued terms.

In retrospect, perhaps it really is not too late for Japan to get that radioactive mutant army, because at the rate things are going that will very soon be its only hope…

 

Fukushima overwhelmed with radioactive water – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

Fukushima overwhelmed with radioactive water – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English. (source)

Highly radioactive water overflowed barriers into Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station after its operator Tepco underestimated how much rain would fall and failed to pump it out quickly enough.

Tepco has been battling to contain radioactive water at the nuclear complex, which suffered meltdowns and hydrogen explosions following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Dealing with hundreds of tonnes of groundwater flowing through the wrecked nuclear station daily is a constant problem for the utility and for the government, casting doubt on the promises of Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, that the Fukushima water “situation is under control”.

After heavy rain on Sunday, water with high levels of radioactive strontium overflowed containment areas built around
some 1,000 tanks storing tonnes of radioactive water at the plant, Tepco said.

The radioactive water is a by-product of an improvised cooling system designed to keep the wrecked reactors under control in case of further disaster.

Tepco said it had planned to pump out the accumulating rainwater into empty tanks, check it for radioactivity, and if
it was uncontaminated, release into the sea. But the company was overwhelmed by the amount of rainwater.

“Our pumps could not keep up with the rainwater. As a result, it flowed over some containment areas,” said Tepco
spokesman Yoshikazu Nagai.

The company had planned for 30mm to 40mm of rainfall on Sunday, but by late afternoon the rainfall already stood at about 100mm, he said.

The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, 220km north of Tokyo, highlights the immensity of the task of containing and controlling radioactive water and eventually decommissioning the plant, processes that are expected to take decades.

Tepco is seeking permission to restart its only remaining viable power station – Kashiwazaki Kariwa, the world’s largest nuclear power facility, to cut high fuel costs and restore its finances.

 

Radioactivetyphoonado: Watch As “Once In A Decade Storm” Batters Fukushima | Zero Hedge

Radioactivetyphoonado: Watch As “Once In A Decade Storm” Batters Fukushima | Zero Hedge. (FULL ARTICLE)

While the broader public’s attention continues to be distracted by the circus that America’s legislative and executive branches have become (an expected development at a time when the monetary branch reigns supreme), the real, non-scripted and truly devastating catastrophe continue to unfold in Japan, and specifically in Fukushima, where both TEPCO and the government have long since lost control of the worst nuclear disaster in history. However, in addition to the now usual daily spills of hundreds of tons of radioactive coolant into the environment, a potentially far more dangerous situation which may lead to an even greater loss of containment is taking place right now as both the destroyed nuclear plant and soon Tokyo are about to be buffeted by Typhoon Wipha – a “once in a decade storm.

Reuters reports:

 Typhoon Wipha is moving across the Pacific straight towards the capital, Tokyo, and is expected to make landfall during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, bringing hurricane-force winds to the metropolitan area of 30 million people. The center of the storm was 860 km (535 miles) southwest of Tokyo at 0800 GMT, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on its website. It was moving north-northeast at 35 kph (22 mph).

The storm had weakened as it headed north over the sea but was still packing sustained winds of about 140 kph (87 mph) with gusts as high as 194 kph (120 mph), the agency said. The agency issued warnings for Tokyo of heavy rain, flooding and gales, and advised people to be prepared to leave their homes quickly and to avoid unnecessary travel.

A spokesman for the meteorological agency said the storm was a “once in a decade event”….

 

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