Tag Archives: natural disasters

Japan, One of the World’s Safest Nations

Nagano Police - animeIn a country where the April cherry blossoms signify the beginning of the school year, where watermelons are considered a welcome dessert, and where clothing is prohibited at the hot-springs, the Japanese people can enjoy the peace and security that has been cultivated through centuries of history. But just how safe is it really in Japan?

In order to answer this question, we need to parse out the meaning of the word “safety.” First of all, let’s consider what most people are thinking: Crime. Japan has an already very small crime rate, which Nippon.com reports as actually falling in recent years:

Posted in Japan | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Military and Law Enforcement Train for Zombie Apocalypse

It has just been revealed that a controversial new training program has been issued to take place next month in San Diego, California. The security firm HALO Corp. will have its annual Counter-Terrorism Summit – a five-day event with hands-on training, intensive courses and lectures, and realistic demonstrations. In attendance will be military and medical personnel, federal government workers, and law enforcement officials. In other words, this is serious business. America is making sure that they are prepared for what HALO Corp. president Brad Barker has called the “Zombie Apocalypse.”

Posted in Culture, Media | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Predicting Ten Thousand Deaths in the Next Big Tokyo Earthquake

Millions of people in Japan are getting ever more nervous that “The Big One” will come soon – the earthquake that strikes Tokyo, the heart of Japan. This concern is certainly justified, ever since the 2011 earthquake raised the probability so dramatically. The last time I reported, newest research from the Tokyo University’s Earthquake Research Institute (ERI) found that there’s a 70% chance that a magnitude 7 quake will hit by 2016. Though a M7 is not nearly as big as the M9 quake that caused last year’s tsunami, Tokyo is one of the most heavily populated cities in the world, so the death toll will likely be substantial.

Posted in Japan, Media, Science | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How 3/11 Changed the People of Japan – Part 1: Fear, Trust, and Death

The March 11 tsunami left a scar on Japan last year. The confusion was widespread, and depression and suicides were imminent. But not enough people talked about how the tsunami has changed regular Japanese people since the tragedy. A while back, I looked at how Japan kept such strong national unity in the weeks and months after the crisis. However, I didn’t talk about the changes to the everyday Japanese lifestyle, or to the opinions and psychology of the people who were affected. Some of it is certainly surprising.

Posted in Culture, Japan, Media | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tsunami Survival Guide: Japanese Culture is Not Conducive to Staying Alive

If you have Japanese values, you shouldn’t expect to survive a devastating tsunami – let me explain. After Principal Michiko Kishima of Nobiru Elementary School felt the magnitude 9 earthquake on March 11, she immediately started following protocol. She ushered around 350 students and teachers into the gymnasium, located about five kilometres from the Miyagi coast, instead of leading them to higher ground up the hills behind the campus. “We didn’t think about fleeing up the mountain,” she said, in an interview a month after the incident. “We were prepared for aftershocks, not a tsunami.” With internet connections and cellphone networks disrupted, there was no way to know that a tsunami was heading towards them. “We would have gone up the mountain road; but there was no information, so I had to follow official policy.” The thunderous tsunami drowned many, and more froze to death by the end of the night. Could this have been avoided? It’s easy to say yes in hindsight, but the truth is that there are places that had the foresight to prevent such casualties. And surprisingly, such survivors went against everything the Japanese culture stands for.

Posted in Activism, Culture, Japan, Psychology, Science, Social Psych, TED | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Everybody Hates Toby

The current and longstanding governor of Tokyo, who I affectionately call Toby, despite his birth certificate reading “Shintaro Ishihara,” is truly incredible. This controversial 79-year-old governor has publicly expressed his discontent with foreigners, gay people, and pretty much any other minority that overly conservative zealots tend to persecute. For the American audience, he’s quite like the Japanese version of Rick SantorumI wrote about his impressive ability to alienate and discriminate against individuals, but now I’ll take the opportunity to show how he manages to disgust the locals as well.

Posted in Activism, Biographical, Culture, Japan, Legal Issues, Media, Translations | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Toxic Racism Against Japan Since the March 11 Disaster (Part3)

seuss_porp

In Part 1, we looked at how America does not seem to be over the Pearl Harbor attacks. In Part 2, we saw that almost 4 out of 10 Americans agree with the disturbing internet troll known as “Tamtampamela,” who said that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan were a result of God’s intervention. That is an alarmingly high number of idiots. But the U.S. does not exactly have a monopoly on bigotry, and there are many good Americans who fight back against discrimination. So now, let’s look at the fair way to consider the filth that has been spewing outside of America.

Posted in Activism, Culture, Japan, Media | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Toxic Racism Against Japan Since the March 11 Disaster (Part2)

Tamtampamela racist dipshit

I haven’t written as much on any topic as I have on this one; this record of racism against Japan since the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake of last year. But I think it’s important to catalogue many of the things said, because it highlights a number of problems that America has in the way they deal with the past. It also provides an answer to the question “where do they get this reputation from?” In Part 1, we looked at how many Americans don’t seem to be over World War II – namely, the Pearl Harbor attack. Now, we’ll look at the “educated” people, and see how they compare to the public opinion.

Posted in Activism, Culture, Japan, Media, Skepticism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Toxic Racism Against Japan Since the March 11 Disaster (Part1)

Gilbert Godfried twitter racism Japan tsunami apology

After the March 11 disaster in Japan, the world focused its media attention here like never before; but for all the compassionate and good-hearted people wishing Japan well, there was some horrible joke or malicious epithet being slurred by the scum of the internet, or on live television. This article looks at the carelessness and callousness that plagues the public forum online, and catalogues some of the idiocy that helps perpetuate the myth that Americans are all idiotic racists. Is it ever okay to make fun of something so tragic? Where do we draw the line between humorous and hurtful? And why have anti-Japanese sentiments been kept alive for all this time?

Posted in Activism, Culture, Japan, Media, Skepticism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Blizzards in the North – Japan Simply Can’t Catch a Break

Japan just can’t catch a break. After one of the most powerful earthquakes in history plunged the country into darkness, we were getting scorched by record-level heats. While the East coast was busy (and still is) recovering from the devastating tsunami, the region of Kansai, West of Tokyo, was being flooded by the most powerful typhoon Japan has seen in over thirty years. Yesterday was the holiday known as “Setsubun,” which officially marked the transition from winter to spring, but many prefectures are facing another round of hardships that contrast to the debilitating heat. Blizzards have come to remind Japan that there’s still plenty more to be concerned about.

Posted in Japan | Tagged | Leave a comment