Showing posts from October, 2013

Japan: Radiation Education

I believe in education... I remember learning about the Barsebäck nuclear reactors near my home town Malmö back when I was 10 years old, and when I tried to help collect signatures, one posh lady said, "Horrible, the anti-nuke people are using children to promote their opinion" and I remember distinctly how angry I got, "no, I'm not just a child, I am not being used...." It was my future that lady was dismissing. Survival knowledge: Fourth-graders discuss the health effects of radiation exposure at Akagi Elementary School in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, on Feb. 21. | MIZUHO AOKI PHOTOS Children taught radiation studies The Japan Times: Nuke education now compulsory subject in schools in Fukushima A group of elementary school students in Koriyama, about 60 km from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant, may only be 10 years old, but they possibly know more about radiation than fo

TPP: Definition Of "Redact" Highlighted By US Rep. Alan Grayson

From the dictionary Redact: to select or adapt (as by obscuring or removing sensitive information) for publication or release; broadly : edit. 3. : to obscure or remove (text) from a document  ... Over at Consumers Union of Japan we have come across this on several occasions, including our request to get details about Japan's handling of mad cow disease (BSE) and related documents, pertaining to beef imports from certain countries, and GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), and synthetic growth hormones (rBHG), where our experts finally in some cases were able to access data, but not allowed to photo copy it, thus had to endure a long process of writing it all down by hand. POLITICO Pro October 25, 2013 4:13 PM   Lawmakers rail against USTR’s use of the black marker By Adam Behsudi 10/25/13 4:12 PM EDT Rep. Alan Grayson couldn’t believe the response he got when he asked the top U.S. trade official to provide the negotiating positions of the other

Financial Crisis 101

For a long time I felt that the general public - consumers - are kept out of the loop of this financial crisis we are supposedly in. How about your home mortgage, how about buying that car with a loan.... Cardiac arrest of the entire system... Better think twice? Two great films: Inside Job (2010) Inside Job provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. It was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China. Too Big To Fall (2011) A close look behind the scenes, between late March and

Climate Change And Fishing Conditions Up In Hokkaido

If you eat fish, here is news about how climate change may be influencing catches of salmon and amberjack, as seasonal catches seem to be all confused. Add to that the many typhoons this year. Update 1 : The two typhoons on their way this week will be doing the Fujiwara Interaction , probably during the weekend. Watch out... But first, a cool video of the old Big Catch Dance... You do of course understand that all eating of living beings involve that awkward moment of what we call culling or slaughter. Such rather ancient words we have little connection with. But in the video, they quickly make it clear just how you have to "kill" those large, beautiful creatures after pulling them into your boat. I like the honesty... Mostly, today, slaughterhouses ban and forbid filming or photographing of such event, be it for cattle, pigs, chicken. Not fair. Not to you, the consumer, and certainly not fair to the animals/victims. Here is another great dance performance, from Chib

Funkist - Ai No Uta

I was really impressed by Funkist today this afternoon at the Hibiya Park Soil & Peace Festival event that was not cancelled in spite of the 27th typhoon hitting Tokyo: lots of rain as the band played on to a happy crowd. Here is a slow acoustic version of Ai No Uta (Love Song) from back when flutist Yoko Kasugai was still with the band. RIP. (J) has more And here is a fun amateur video (but pls pls pls don't zoom so much back and forth!!) from the 2009 Hibiya Soil & Peace event. Nice version of their hit Shiroi Sekai (White World). And here is a short clip from the 2008 event - note how vocalist Souya Saigo quips that the event uses no nuclear power, all renewables, 3 years before you-know-what happened.


Soil & Peace Festival 2013 There will be a Soil & Peace Festival in Hibiya Park, Tokyo on Sunday October 20, 2013. Starting at 10:00 hundreds of farmers and activists and artists will hold a great event until the evening. A great opportunity to meet your favourite NGOs and learn more about organic food, anti-nuclear campaigns and the future of Japan. Look forward to lots of inspiration! Music by Katou Tokiko and many others throughout the day, starting with a taiko performance by Gocco . Website with more info (J) here   International Film Festival on Organic Farming The 7th organic film festival will be held in Tokyo on November 23-24, 2013. This will be a great opportunity to catch up with recent trends and watch documentaries from Japan and abroad. The theme this year is “Holding on to the Soil” to refelct the hardships many farmers are experiencing, with special focus on Okinawa and Fukushima. Location: Hosei University, Sotobori Campus (

Yet Another Big Typhoon...

...over Tokyo, likely to affect Chiba, Ibaraki, Miyagi and Fukushima as well. It should get extremely bad in the morning of Wednesday Oct. 16 from 6am so don't expect trains to be running. If you worry, get a delay certificate * paper slip at your station and show your boss. Since 2012, you can also do it digitally from your mobile phone/iPhone/web. Even better: Stay home, stay safe. Might be over by noon. I kind of like how the heavy rain pounds my roof as I get to sleep. Nature is powerful, we had better remember it. We are one with this planet if we let go of some of our fears. This is one big one, the "largest in 10 years" or so we are told. Here are some safety precaution measures suggested by ANN: Image of delay slips from odcanime , who had JR trouble when studying design back in Osaka. *  電車遅延証明書 densha chien shoumei sho

Invitation to the Global Article 9 Conference in Kansai 2013

If you can make it, do join this important conference in Osaka on Monday, October 14. Via Global Article 9 :  Invitation to the Global Article 9 Conference in Kansai 2013 Article 9 of Japan's Constitution states that Japan renounces both war and military capability. This article has unique value in today's global society. Across the world, more and more countries are adopting pacifist constitutions that not only prohibit war in favor of peaceful resolution of conflicts, but also ban weapons of mass destruction – including nuclear weapons. Having experienced the horrors of World War II, Japan's adoption of Article 9 is one of the earliest manifestations of such a legal norm. The preamble to the Japanese Constitution guarantees the right to live in peace, an important concept that overlaps with the notion of the Human Right to Peace which is currently being debated by the United Nations Human Rights Council. In spite of this, the Japanese Prime Ministe

NHK: Placido Domingo Sings In Japanese ...and he also encourages Japanese people and all of us to overcome hardships resulting from the 2011 disaster with strong will and a belief in human bonds. Domingo is in Japan for his performances to commemorate 400 years of exchanges between the countries. The first Japanese mission left for Spain in 1613. In an interview with NHK on Thursday, the tenor singer said Japan is always on his mind. He said family bonds, and a sense of solidarity felt after the disaster, will help Japanese people tackle their challenges. He said he wants people to go forward with strong will. Domingo performed in Japan one month after the earthquake and the nuclear accident, when many other events featuring overseas artists were being canceled. Oct. 10, 2013 Now, here is a tune I like a lot, I did feature it before on Kurashi. Shirazu shirazu, aruite kita Hosoku nagai kono michi Furikaereba haruka toku furusato ga mieru Dekoboko michi ya magarikunetta michi ch

Nobel Peace Prize for Thich Nhat Than, Finally?

The guy is almost 90, he has done so much good for Vietnam and the world. Martin Luther King (who was awarded the Prize in 1964) wrote and recommended him back in 1967, a year when no one was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize. The Mindfulness Bell: Exiled from Vietnam, he traveled to the U.S. where he made the case for peace to federal and Pentagon officials including Robert McNamara. He may have changed the course of U.S. history when he persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr. to oppose the Vietnam War publicly, and so helped galvanize the peace movement. The following year, King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Subsequently Nhat Hanh led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks.  A lot of water under the bridge since then. When will the Oslo people ever get it right, again? Good interview with super-famous Oprah Winfrey, bless her: January 25, 1967 The Nobel Institute Drammesnsveien 19 Oslo, NORWAY

Climbing Mt. Fuji At Night?

Great photo by Hideki Domoto, who ...set his camera’s exposure time at 15 minutes, enabling the camera to capture the movement of the stars. The photo shows the stars as circles in the night sky with the polar star at the center. At the far left of the mountain, one of shooting stars of the Perseid meteor shower leaves a trace of light. From

Health Care, Your Call, Why TPP Should Matter

Here in Japan, we have a terrific public health care system, that covers everyone. It even covers dental care. No wonder people are concerned here that the TPP, and the current US government shutdown over "Obamacare" may have implications. The TPP negotiators seem to not like anything supported by tax payers. Do sign the petition: In conclusion, we have reviewed this extraordinary agreement, which would ruinously reverse and rewrite the history of humanity with its repeated struggles for democracy, freedoms, human rights, and welfare.  As noted, “the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership process represents a huge assault on the principles and practice of democratic governance.” 33  In translating the AUF’s “ youbousho ” as “petition,” I thought of another word: list of grievances.  One such formal set of letters was “Cahiers de Doléances” written in 1789, the year the French Revolution started.  Similarly