Day 214 Would YOU come to Japan for free? Let’s see, in about 24,000 yrs, how much plutonium….

I hate to say it, but this reminds me an awful lot of the late Wangari Maathai who, apparently without her knowledge, was asked to give the opening speech at the Aichi Expo in 2005, an Expo that cut down thousands of trees in an area where lived plants and animals registered in the red data book as in danger of extinction.

Now the government will be asking foreign people to come to Japan for a (probably) government-escorted tour of all of the happy places in Japan so that they can go Twitter and Facebook and tell all their friends and family that Japan is a healthy and habitable Disneyland where everyone should come for tea, tourism, and to teach English.
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Free Trip to Japan for the Lucky 10,000 Foreigners Next Year

The Japan Tourism Agency under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism iscompeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in giving away free trips to Japan to foreigners in the hope of “favorable” coverage on the Internet social media.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (10/10/2011):


The Japan Tourism Agency has decided to invite 10,000 tourists from all over the world in the fiscal 2012, free of charge. The purpose is to help increase the number of visitors from abroad which has plummeted after the March 11 disaster.


The Agency will invite foreigners to apply via the Internet. If the application and travel plan is accepted by the Agency, the applicant will be given a free round-trip ticket to Japan.


The Agency plans to have these tourists broadcast information to the world during their stay in Japan via the Internet. The Agency is hoping the message of how safe it is to stay in Japan will spread to the world by word of mouth. The tourists will be asked to participate in the opinion survey on traveling in Japan after the March 11 disaster and to submit travel plans that can be used as a new model for travel in Japan. For the project, the Japan Tourism Agency is asking 1.1 billion yen (US$14.3 million) in the budget proposal for the fiscal 2012.

The fiscal 2012 year will start on April 1, 2012 in Japan.

So my readers outside Japan, watch out for the formal announcement on the Agency’s website, which should come before that date:

I don’t know if the Agency (or for that matter, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) has the “Plan B” – what if these foreigners do not tweet favorable impression? (Confiscating their return tickets, maybe, or send them off to “volunteer” somewhere north of Tokyo. Just kidding.)

The Agency’s catchphrase is “Japan. Endless Discovery.”

No kidding.

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(UPDATED) Strontium-90 Discovered in Yokohama City, 245 km from Fukushima I Nuke Plant

Details in the mail magazine by the independent journalist Yasumi Iwakami (paid subscription). I’m asking if I could translate and post it here.

The number is 195 becquerels/kg, more than 150 times more than the background (1.2 becquerels/kg).

This is probably the lower of the two samples; the other sample is currently being analyzed.

As far as the Ministry of Education is concerned, the southern most detection of strontium-90 was in Shirakawa City, 79 kilometers from the plant. The Ministry doesn’t have a plan to test for strontium or plutonium outside the 80 kilometer radius.

Story continues at:

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M-9 quake strikes off Tohoku about every 440 years: research institute

An earthquake as powerful as the magnitude 9 Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11 occurs off the Tohoku region about every 440 years, university researchers estimate.

The estimate, made by a research team led by University of Tokyo Earthquake Research Institute professor Kazuki Koketsu, suggests that the frequency of powerful quakes, previously thought to hit the region once every 1,000 years, is far higher. Experts say there is a so-called “super cycle” of powerful quakes, like the M-7 earthquakes that strikes off Miyagi Prefecture at about 37-year intervals.

The team will announce their results during a study session of the Seismological Society of Japan starting in Shizuoka on Oct. 12.

The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred at the fault line where the North American Plate — on which the northern half of Japan sits — and the Pacific Plate meet. Strains — which had accumulated around the fault as the Pacific Plate sank beneath the North American by about eight centimeters a year — were relieved, triggering the powerful temblor.

The team analyzed the amounts of energy released when the March 11 quake and previous earthquakes that had struck off Miyagi Prefecture, and calculated the volume of strains that accumulated in these quakes’ epicenters by using a global positioning system.

The researchers then divided the amount of energy released by the quakes by the volume of strains that had accumulated over a year, based on which they estimated that a huge earthquake occurs at 438-year intervals.

(Mainichi Japan) October 10, 2011


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