Showing posts from November, 2012

How To Store Nuclear Waste, A Very Long Time

We all use electricity, and we all assume that there is a plan, to keep the power on, all the time. What we all ignore is how the nuclear power plants are run, and especially how the waste from such facilities will be stored. In fact, there is no plan at all. Some 70% of the radioactive waste is stored at each nuclear plant, here in Japan. Soon, such storage facilities, inside nuclear power plants, will be full.

Wiki: Radioactive waste

The plan, here in Japan, was to ship the radioactive waste to Rokkasho in Aomori, but that "reprocessing plant" has had all kinds of problems.

While politicians in Japan who are trying to get elected in December may worry about energy production in the short term, I think they ought to be honest enough to also suggest how Japan is going to deal with the long term disposal of nuclear waste from 54 nuclear plants.

Japan Today: Fukushima governor visits proposed radioactive waste dump site

Fukushima Gov Yuhei Sato on Wednesday visited a site in F…

Japlish (Again)

Using free internet translation services may be alright for private matters, but if you are promoting your business, and planning to make a sign, think twice.

It just may be the case, that your real intention can be misunderstood...

November Links

I have had a busy month with some travels around Japan, and managed to catch Sumo in Fukuoka (Hakuho lost, then went on to win on Sunday against fellow yokozuna from Mongolia Harumafuji).

Here are some links:

Asia Times: China 'pivot' trips over McMahon Line
By Peter Lee

China is looking for a "Western" pivot to counter the United States' diplomatic and military inroads with its East Asian neighbors such as Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Myanmar.

For China's strategists, as an interesting analysis in the Indian Express tells us, the "Western" pivot means nurturing the PRC's continental Asian relationships with the interior stans and, across …

Zlatan från Malmö

As most of my long-suffering Kurashi readers know, I'm from Malmö, a harbour city in the south of Sweden, that used to be a part of Denmark way back some 400 years ago before we all decided enough is enough, let us all get along... Well, we dealt with that. In Malmö, we are closer to Copenhagen than to Stockholm in some ways. There may be a lesson here for prefectures in Japan that are further west, near Korea and China...

Funny how a single Swedish football player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who went to the same elementary school, Rosengårdsskolan as my younger brother Johan and I, now define Sweden. Here is what happened in the last couple of days. Zlatan, who has scored for and won all kinds of honours in Europe for all kinds of great clubs, including Paris, Inter, Milan, you name it... He started out in a small local Rosengård team called Assyriska, where not a single player had Swedish nationality, and was later playing for MFF, the main club in Malmö.

Fast forward, and this incredi…

Organic Festa In Kagoshima

This organic food market event in Kagoshima City today Sunday Nov. 11 seems to good to pass over! I wish I could join. "Living with nature, playing with Earth" or something like that - is the slogan. The event is not just about food but also promoting renewable energy, using 100% solar for the concert and other activities on the stage. Enjoy!

Organic Festa

Hibiya Park Food Event

There has been some confusion this week, as anti-nuclear protesters wanted to stage a huge rally in central Tokyo this weekend, in Hibiya Park. They were denied that particular venue, as a large food fair had already booked the place.

Thus, if you venture to the City on Saturday or Sunday, you can encounter all kinds of foods from around Japan.

Each prefecture seems to have its own promotion booth.

Tanegashima Bananas

Did you know that Japan has really delicious bananas? In the south, as this country reaches down into tropical regions, they grow terrific tasting bananas, sweet and with a slight sour note that adds to the experience. Here is to hoping we can all get more such tropical fruits in the rest of the country.

Slow life... People living down south are trying to tell us something... We can enjoy the fruits of their labour. HAPPY SLOW LIFE has more.

Tanagashima bananas are short and tasty, a real treat. 

Meanwhile, Europe and South America have just concluded a long World Trade Organization battle on bananas... The Telegraph has more.

Banana war ends after 20 years

One of the longest international trade battles - the banana dispute dating back more than two decades - is over

The EU import tariffs had favoured imports from former European colonies, with no duty imposed on bananas from former colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. However, the EU charged duties on bananas fr…

George Harrison: Long, Long, Long

There is a quaint pub in an old kura here in Hanno. Ginga 銀河 can mean Milky Way or galaxy, nice name for a place that I like here in town... Silver River...

Incidentally, in the Ginga loo, she has a poster that I was always wondering about, of Bob Dylan and just tonight I found out that it is the poster for a film called Renaldo and Clara.

I like how I found that - I was listening to George Harrison's masterful tune Long Long Long (from the 1968 White Album) and someone wrote that the chords are the same as Bob Dylan's Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands, from that film.


It's been a long, long, long time
How could I ever have lost you
When I loved you?
It took a long, long, long time
Now I'm so happy I found you
How I love you
So many tears I was searching
So many tears I was wasting, oh oh
Now I can see you be you
How can I ever misplace you?
How I want you
Oh, I love you
You know that I need you
Oh, I love you

George Harrison-The Beatles

In fact, one…

GMOs: To Label Or Not To Label?

Some 50-60 countries have rules for mandatory labelling of genetically modified foods, after 15 years of debate. Most of such GMOs are grown in the US and the rest of the Americas.

Japan, Korea and the European Union are among the many countries that require labelling of GMOs.

California had a choice with Proposition 37, and over 4 million voters said "yes" but a few more voted "no." Monsanto, the main biotech corporation that develops GMOs (and patents them) together with BASF and Bayer, as well as Pepsi, Coca Cola and Nestle, spent some USD 50 million in a campaign to oppose GMO labels in California.

Seems consumers in San Francisco and Los Angeles and along the coast voted for. Sigh.

Prop 37 results

Food Democracy Now

Meanwhile, I attended a CCAsia meeting here in Tokyo to discuss all kinds of food standards, as part of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. It was decided that a draft standard for tofu and soymilk products would indeed require labelling in case the…

Akasaka State Guest House In Tokyo

I may be going to this on Sunday...

Rarely open to the public, I always wondered what it was like. A neo-baroque building and gardens from 1909 in the middle of Tokyo.

The Main Entrance is overlooked by a balcony; above runs a patina-green roof adorned on either side by representations of Japanese helmet and armor. In the center right below the roof is an insignia bearing the Imperial chrysanthemum design.

Marble from Italy, France and Norway (!) according to the official website.

Halls are also inspired by themes from Noh theatre, such as the Hagoromo-mo-Ma.

The name Hagoromo-mo-Ma comes from the imposing 300 squre meters painting on the ceiling, which depicts scenes from the Noh play "Hagoromo" (Robe of Heaven). The three chandeliers in this room are the most gorgeous ones in the Palace. Each chandelier is composed by 7,000 pieces, three meters in height and weighting 800 kilograms. The walls are decorated with stucco reli…