Corrente

If you have "no place to go," come here!

"Minna no kimochi de."

So much of interest going on in the world, I often feel myself, with a US perspective, quite the provincial:

If I were to have a wish granted on this subject, it would not be for Japan to precisely ape our Western culture and system as so many policy wonks and journalists seem to want it to. I am not sure how such a thing would be what the Japanese would find remotely comfortable. But surely, in the ability to be so other directed, to empathize deeply with the needs of others and to act with minna no kimochi, there must be some way of being that can inspire the Japanese to live with renewed and enviable purpose. Thirty-seven-year-old Mayumi, a mother like me, wrote this in an email: "This nuclear power plant disaster is not just a problem for Japan, but a problem for the rest of the world ... If what happened in Japan happened in America, would you think it was OK to live your life with nuclear power? Think if you want to leave this kind of nuclear power for your children."

Earlier this week, Japan surprised the world by reversing its commitment to nuclear power and stating it would build no new plants. Looks like heroism to me.

Missed this entirely. You'd think that Japan building no new nuclear plants would be headline new, but no. It would also be interesting to know how such a decision was taken. Readers?

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letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

I got this too.

Submitted by lambert on

But I have pop-ups turned off.

Jessica Yogini's picture
Submitted by Jessica Yogini on

"It would also be interesting to know how such a decision was taken."

Shakily and under enormous pressure from popular opinion. Consider it the moral equivalent of a campaign promise. Maybe a Johnson or Nixon one, not an Obama one.

From limited contacts with old friends in Japan, I get the impression that Fukushima dragging on and on is having a strong impact. The current government was weak and unpopular anyway and scrapping the nuclear expansion plans is their way to try to get back in the good graces of the voters.
The government also pretty much forced the power company for the Nagoya area to close one of its nuclear plants for a couple of years to harden it to withstand a tsunami. (It was the winner in the "Most likely to go Fukushima" contest.) That closure is in some ways even more interesting because it spreads the pain from the northeast into the core of Toyota's production area.
The big (open) question is how people will feel if and when they finally get Fukushima under control on the one hand and when folks spend a summer without air conditioning and the industrial heartland has to deal with restrictions on electrical consumption. (A normal Japanese summer without air conditioning could be a lot like the European heat wave of recent years that killed large numbers of mostly elderly people.)

I too was surprised how little play this got. If, and it is still an if, Japan actually sticks with this, they will be forced to put a lot of effort into renewables and conservation. Then we will find out what is and isn't technologically doable.

Submitted by lambert on

Even leaving aside shutting down nukes, this:

If, and it is still an if, Japan actually sticks with this, they will be forced to put a lot of effort into renewables and conservation. Then we will find out what is and isn't technologically doable.

Of course, the United States used to be able to do work like this. That was before our bankster elite decided to force us into being an extractive, second- or third-world economy.

So, it would be excellent if, should you happen to have more contact with your old friends on this topic, you shared what you felt about to share...