1. psychohistorian

    Naoto Matsumura at the end says that he expects the city to be restored. He didn’t give a time frame but his expectations and reality are probably not in the same century. I honor his decision to accept the consequences of his actions like his smoking and like a “quality” of life that he desires. I live on the West Coast, read the worst case scenarios of radiation pollution from Fukushima and wonder if more are going to be faced with this decision in the 2nd year of this disaster.

    Maybe my expectation of a change to our class based social system ran by the global inherited rich is not in the same century either but it won’t stop me from trying to effect such. Fukushima is a prime example of not just bad but potentially extinction threatening social policy based on short term, the world is ours to despoil and the Rapture is coming anyway, development.

    1. LucyLulu

      I’m not able to put his decision to smoke in the same category as his decision to stay in the evacuation zone. The first decision is a voluntary one, the latter was imposed upon him without his consent. I understand why he might have made the choice to stay in what has been most likely the only home he has ever known and being unwilling to leave the animals he obviously loves behind to die. I do wonder if he has any family. I suspect he doesn’t. Granted its a lonely life, but on the plus side, his dogs don’t give him shit. :) I also noticed the milk or juice carton, corn for the cattle, and along with needing to replenish his cigarette supply, presumably he must travel to civilization periodically and spend some time with people.

      The effects of exposure to the levels of radiation in the evacuation zone typically don’t appear for 20 years or longer, and not everybody will suffer effects. At 52, there’s a good chance he could die having never shown any ill effects. Either way, he finds the price of leaving far higher than any price he might pay by staying behind.

  2. Harley Warren

    Outside of the radiation I envy him in some small way.

    I used to live in Tokyo for nearly six years, I love the country, the people and it’s culture. I’m saddened to see such carelessness with Fukushima and dealing with it.

    I have dreams about buying a small home in Nara, Nagano or even Gifu and living a quiet life taking care of a large personal garden and doing zazen.

  3. deeringothamnus

    I won’t go into it, but, there are technologies that could be used to clean this up. As long as we throw so much money away on propping up a zombine financial system, and, for that matter those toilets for people’s pensions called Google, Facebook, Zygna, and publically traded companies whose business plan is M&A, not product development, you won’t see needed solutions put into place.

  4. notjonathon

    All this week, NHK (Japan’s public broadcaster) has been running special programming on the tsunami and Fukushima. Unlike many programs over the past year that have emphasized heartwarming stories of recovery, they have shown the ongoing trauma of victims, the bitterness of the local population and the lack of real progress. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if the final segment tries to end on a note of hope.

    Given the entrenched power of the bureaucracy and its close relationships with the industries it is supposed to govern, I don’t see much hope that Japan as a nation will learn (or will be permitted to learn) the lessons of these disasters. Already, without a plan for recovery, individuals are rebuilding in the tsunami zone (it’s hard to blame them, for real government assistance is not reaching them); bureaucracy and industry, unable to think beyond the boundaries of the status quo, are already pressing for a return to the old plan for reliance on nuclear power; inadequate response to radiation danger means that the “Chernobyl necklace” may well be replaced in the nomenclature by the “Fukushima necklace.”

  5. Up the Ante

    It should not be forgotten that TEPCO dumped large quantities of highly contaminated water in the eastern ocean after the meltdowns.

    This article deserves some credit as it gives some description of the reactors as still leaking, but the true picture is quite a bit more dire,


    Check out this site for FOIA’d NRC emails after the tsunami,
    scroll down to find them, plural

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