Day 221 Henry, ya think that nice PM will give you the money?

Ok, just  minute… let me see if I’ve got this right.

1st story: The government wants to raise taxes to pay for reconstruction. Yet, at the same time, the government is inviting 10,000 people from other countries to visit Japan in 2012 – free – just so they will Tweet that Japan is a great place (it is, by the way. Just less so in some places now, though, thanks to some nuclear reactors up north that happened to blow up).

2nd story: TEPCO wants a bailout of Y700,000,000,000 to help pay compensation that may reach Y4,540,000,000,000? So, why don’t they liquidate ALL of TEPCO’s holdings, down to the last doorknob, and THEN the gov’t – no, the people (through their taxes, of course) – can foot the rest of the bill…. no, wait, why not liquidate the holdings of the entire nuclear power industry in Japan. If they want the privileges of operating here, they can at least accept some of the responsibilities. In that way, THE PEOPLE WON’T HAVE TO PAY TO CLEAN UP TEPCO’S MESS.

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DUH.

Survey: Less than half of voters support tax-hike plan

 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201110170395.html

photoYoshihiko Noda (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Forty-nine percent of Japanese voters oppose the government’s tax-hike plan for post-quake reconstruction, while 65 percent feel more can be done to cut wasteful spending, an Asahi Shimbun survey found.

The proposed tax increases, including the income tax, were supported by 40 percent of respondents in the telephone survey conducted on Oct. 15 and 16.

The survey also found the support rate for Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s Cabinet dropped to 48 percent from 53 percent in the Sept. 2-3 survey taken immediately after his Cabinet was formed.

The disapproval rate was 26 percent, up from 18 percent in the previous survey.

One apparent reason the tax–hike plan is not receiving substantial support is that voters feel not enough is being done to cut wasteful government spending.

(article continues at link above)

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TEPCO to ask gov’t for 700 bil. yen to meet compensation needs

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/10/120832.html

TOKYO, Oct. 18, Kyodo

Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to ask the government for roughly 700 billion yen in aid to cover its immediate compensation payments in connection with the nuclear disaster at its power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

The aid is expected to form the main pillar of a forthcoming special operating plan to be formulated in early November with a state-backed fund-providing body called the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund, the sources said.

The amount of money the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant, known as TEPCO, will have to pay in compensation by the end of March 2013 is projected to reach 4.54 trillion yen.

PM hints at approval for some nuclear reactors under construction

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda talks in a joint press interview with the Mainichi Shimbun and other media outlets at his office on Oct. 17. (Mainichi)

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda talks in a joint press interview with the Mainichi Shimbun and other media outlets at his office on Oct. 17. (Mainichi)

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has suggested that he will give the green light to operations of some nuclear reactors under construction.

“The construction of some nuclear power plants has progressed to a great extent. I’ll make a final decision on each of them while considering the opinions of the local communities,” Noda said in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun and other media organizations at his office on Oct. 17.

He apparently made the remarks while keeping in mind the No. 3 reactor at the Shimane Nuclear Power Plant, 90 percent of whose construction work has been finished.

Noda had told a news conference when he took office that it would be difficult to install new nuclear reactors.

Article continues at:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111018p2a00m0na015000c.html

Decontamination work underway in Fukushima, but many choosing not to return

A worker, front, uses heavy machinery to remove vegetation from Yoshiharu Suda's yard, while another man at the back works to decontaminate the roof of his house in the Onami district in the city of Fukushima, on Oct. 18. (Mainichi)

A worker, front, uses heavy machinery to remove vegetation from Yoshiharu Suda’s yard, while another man at the back works to decontaminate the roof of his house in the Onami district in the city of Fukushima, on Oct. 18. (Mainichi)

FUKUSHIMA — District-wide radiation decontamination work got underway on Oct. 18 in the Onami district of Fukushima city, but regardless, many families are choosing to have their children live elsewhere to avoid exposure to radiation.

One such family is that of Yoshiharu Suda, 61, whose house in the Onami district was the first to have decontamination work carried out on it. After the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, his only son, Takahiro, who is 18 and soon to leave the house for university, said he will not live in Fukushima Prefecture.

The Onami district has high radiation levels, thought to have come from the heavily damaged nuclear plant. Located in the eastern part of Fukushima city, Onami is a hilly area around 60 kilometers removed from the nuclear plant, a farming landscape where the people have lived self-sufficiently.

Suda also holds farmland, and he grew vegetables throughout all four seasons, sending a portion of his crops to market. After the nuclear plant disaster, however, his crops started fetching only about a tenth of their former prices, no longer even covering the cost of growing and harvesting them. He threw out his onions and gave up on planting rice, cucumbers and eggplant.

“There’s no point in growing contaminated crops,” he said. “A supplemental income of around 400,000 yen a year gone, just like that.”

Article continues at:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111018p2a00m0na020000c.html

Blackout: Japan media yet to mention radioactive baseball field in Tokyo — 4 times Chernobyl ‘contaminated’ levels — Parents, kids clueless

By ENENEWS Staff
TOKYO, Oct. 16 — Tokyo residents are making some “unexpected discoveries” while searching for radiation,reports the Voice of America’s Steve Herman.

For example, “Just meters from where a hot spot of radioactive cesium was
confirmed days before by a private laboratory, a Little League baseball
game was underway Sunday.”

News of the ‘hot spot’ made the New York Times front page, but according to Herman, “it had yet to be mentioned in Japan’s mainstream media.”

In fact, players, their parents, and spectators were unaware that dirt here has “tested equivalent to four times the minimum level of the contaminated zones from the 1986 Chernobyl accident.”

Another hot spot was found at a children’s theme park in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo. The radiation there is “higher than in an evacuated village in Fukushima, 45 kilometers from the crippled plant.”

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