Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα japan. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα japan. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τρίτη, Αυγούστου 08, 2017

Δευτέρα, Αυγούστου 07, 2017

US, Japan, Australia Urge Binding Code for South China Sea

South China Sea
The United States, Japan and Australia expressed "serious concerns" Monday over disputes concerning the South China Sea, while calling for a halt to land reclamation and military actions in the area that could increase tensions or cause permanent environmental damage.

Τρίτη, Φεβρουαρίου 17, 2015

Tsunami warning lifted for Japan coast (M6.9 quake hits NE Japan)

The Japan Meteorological Agency said on Tuesday a tsunami warning has been lifted for the country's northeast coast.

The agency had issued the warning earlier after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck off northeastern Japan. 

[jpost.com by Reuters]
17/2/15
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  • A 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit off northeastern Japan on Tuesday, triggering a 1-meter tsunami warning for Iwate Prefecture, Japan's Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

The quake, which occurred at 8:06 a.m. local time (2306 GMT Monday), was centered 210 km in the Pacific Ocean east of Miyagi Prefecture, with a depth of around 10 km. It registered 4 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale in parts of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Akita prefectures.

The JMA has issued an advisory against a 1-meter tsunami for Iwate Prefecture in northeastern Japan.

According to Japanese public broadcaster NHK, Iwate's Miyako port and Kuji port have observed a tidal wave of about 10 cm respectively. The JMA is closely monitoring bigger tsunamis which may hit northeastern coastal areas later.

No death or injuries were reported immediately after the quake.

china.org.cn - Xinhua
17/2/15
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  • Earthquake Magnitude    Mw 6.9
Region    NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
Date time    2015-02-16 23:06:28.9 UTC
Location    40.03 N ; 142.72 E
Depth    10 km
Distances:   
  •  252 km NE of Sendai-shi, Japan / pop: 1,037,562 / local time: 08:06:28.9 2015-02-17
  • 139 km E of Morioka-shi, Japan / pop: 295,172 / local time: 08:06:28.9 2015-02-17
  • 79 km NE of Miyako, Japan / pop: 51,721 / local time: 08:06:28.9 2015-02-17 
 emsc-csem.org
17/2/15
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Τρίτη, Φεβρουαρίου 03, 2015

Japanese town buried under six feet (1.8 metres) of snow

Parts of northern Japan were dug out on Tuesday from nearly six feet (1.8 metres) of snow after a massive winter storm dumped record amounts.

Around 50 troops were pressed into action in Hokkaido to shovel paths to snow-blanketed houses in Rausu on the eastern tip of the island.


The town was the worst-hit part of Japan when a major snowstorm whacked into the country at the weekend.

The meteorological agency which gave the snowfall figure warned of strong winds and further snowfall still to come in the region.

"We are telling our residents to stay home if possible," a town official told AFP by telephone.

"It's quite dangerous to go outside in this storm," the official said, adding that there had been no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The snowfall on Monday forced railway operators to cancel nearly 100 train services, affecting some 4,660 passengers, according to local media.

The severe weather comes as the US city of Boston was suffering with its own record snowfall of 40 centimetres (1.3 feet) on Monday, forcing the postponement of a victory parade for Super Bowl winners the New England Patriots and spelling travel misery.  

AFP
timesofindia.indiatimes.com
3/2/15
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Σάββατο, Ιανουαρίου 31, 2015

Eco Feggos and Ydrofasm Global News (February 2015 - a)

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Japan on Saturday (Jan 17) marked the 20th anniversary of the Kobe earthquake that killed more than 6,400 people with renewed calls for the quake-prone nation to stay vigilant against the next 'Big One'.

More than 14,000 people gathered to commemorate the victims in the western port city of Kobe, where a 7.2-magnitude quake hit at 5.46am on Jan 17, 1995. The quake, which killed 6,434 people, levelled much of the city and sparked a major review of quake preparedness in the island-nation that suffers about one fifth of the world's most powerful tremors.................... Japan marks 20th anniversary of killer quake in Kobe


Τετάρτη, Ιανουαρίου 21, 2015

Abe: Japan in 'Race Against Time' to Free Hostages Held by IS

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his country is in a "race against time" to free two hostages being held by the Islamic State group for a $200 million ransom.
Abe told reporters Wednesday in Tokyo that he has instructed officials to use every possible diplomatic channel to secure the release of Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa. 

Islamic State militants released a video Tuesday saying they would kill the men unless Japan paid the money within 72 hours, linking the threat to what they said was Japan's support for efforts to fight the group.

The prime minister said Wednesday that Japan "will never give in to terrorism." He has pledged $200 million in non-military aid to those countries affected by the Sunni extremists.

Japan is not among the countries directly participating in the coalition battling insurgents in Syria and Iraq.

However, Japanese citizens have previously been killed by Islamic militants - the most notable attack was at an Algerian gas plant in 2013 where ten Japanese died. 
   [VOA News]
   21/1/15
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  • Japan PM says will do utmost to free captives 

Japan will do its utmost to free two of its countrymen believed to be held captive by the Islamic State militant group, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters on Wednesday, adding that Tokyo would never give in to terrorism.

"I have instructed (the government) that we will exhaust all possible measures to have the two freed, using all diplomatic channels, all diplomatic routes we have built so far," Abe said.

"Our country will never give in to terrorism."

Islamic State released an online video on Tuesday purporting to show two Japanese captives and threatening to kill them unless it received $200 million in ransom.

   [jpost.com by Reuters]

  21/1/15

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  • Islamic State likely gave hostage ultimatum knowing difficulty of meeting it...

By giving Tokyo just 72 hours to come up with an eye-popping $200 million ransom for a pair of Japanese hostages it is threatening to kill, the Islamic State group has likely made its demand with the implicit knowledge that it won’t be met.

Instead, the group, which has seized large swaths of Syria and Iraq in its quest to create an Islamic caliphate, is likely using the situation to generate controversy and keep its name in the news, according to leading analysts.
“The Islamic State has specialized in manufacturing attention-grabbing international crises,” Joshua M. Landis, a prominent Syria analyst and the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, told The Japan Times
............http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/01/21/national/politics-diplomacy/islamic-state-likely-gave-hostage-ultimatum-knowing-difficulty-of-meeting-it/#.VL_LTiwYE9Q
 21/1/15

Σάββατο, Ιανουαρίου 17, 2015

Japan marks 20th anniversary of killer quake in Kobe

Japan on Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of the Kobe earthquake that killed more than 6,400 people with renewed calls for the quake-prone nation to stay vigilant against the next "Big One."

More than 14,000 people gathered to commemorate the victims in the western port city of Kobe, where a 7.2-magnitude quake hit at 5:46 am on January 17, 1995.
The quake, which killed 6,434 people, levelled much of the city and sparked a major review of quake preparedness in the island-nation that suffers about one fifth of the world's most powerful tremors.

The warning was brought into reality four years ago when a 9.0 magnitude quake struck in March 2011, triggering a huge tsunami that smashed into the country's northeast coast, killing around 18,000 people and creating the world's worst nuclear emergency in a generation.

Kobe survivors and family members of victims gathered before dawn to lay bouquets and light thousands of candles in a park used as an evacuation centre after the 1995 jolt.

Later in the day, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended a memorial ceremony in the city and offered a one-minute prayer with some 500 other participants.

"By learning lessons from the disaster we will do our best to build a community

where we can live in safety," Eriko Yamatani, state minister for disaster management, told the ceremony.

The quake buried residents in flattened buildings and uprooted highway overpasses and train tracks, while fires raged through collapsed timber houses and acrid smoke darkened the sky.

Heavy damage to the harbour area, where nearly all of the 300 shipping berths were destroyed, dealt a severe blow to the city's economy, sparking a population exodus over the following months and years.

Japanese broadcasters and newspapers reminded citizens of the high probability of another big quake, with geologists saying a major event is overdue.

"We want to speed up preparations for building a strong country against disasters," the Asahi Shimbun said in an editorial.

"We cannot eliminate damage completely, but we can start making efforts any day now to reduce damage," the daily said.
AFP
http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/120502.aspx
17/1/15
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Δευτέρα, Ιανουαρίου 05, 2015

Fukushima rice tests ‘radiation free’ first time since disaster

For the first time since the 2011 disaster, all of the rice harvested in Fukushima Prefecture this year has passed radiation tests and now can be deemed safe for consumption, according to local officials.

Virtually all of the rice harvested in Fukushima in 2014 – or some 360,000 tonnes – has been checked for radiation and met the national standards of less than 100 Becquerel’s per kilogram, Reuters reports.
 
"The fact that the amount of rice that does not pass our checks has steadily reduced in the last three years indicates that we're taking the right steps," said Fukushima official Tsuneaki Oonam, who heads the department that oversees Fukushima rice farming. 
Authorities began testing all rice grown in Fukushima prefecture in 2012, although the amounts harvested over the past years were insignificant. More 190 testing devices are used throughout the prefecture to ensure rice’s safety standards. 
For the last 2 years, some 10 million bags of rice were checked annually. In 2012, 71 bags were found to exceed the safety standards, while in 2013, 28 bags were over the standard, the Asahi Shimbun reports. Rice farmers, according to the newspaper, succeeded in changing the fertilizer used so that radioactive cesium is not absorbed by the rice plant. 
Rice that passes the Food Sanitation Law standards, is labeled as such. Those bags with radiation readings are destroyed. Despite the promise of getting a clean over-all reading, Fukushima prefecture plans to continue the radiation testing program. 
Japan exported its first rice following the disaster last August – a 300-kilogram batch was delivered to Singapore. Fruit exports to Malaysia also resumed last year, according to officials, while in 2012 Fukushima peaches and apples were exported to Thailand. 
 http://rt.com/news/219799-fukushima-rice-radiation-free/
5/1/15-

Fukushima rice tests ‘radiation free’ first time since disaster

For the first time since the 2011 disaster, all of the rice harvested in Fukushima Prefecture this year has passed radiation tests and now can be deemed safe for consumption, according to local officials.

Virtually all of the rice harvested in Fukushima in 2014 – or some 360,000 tonnes – has been checked for radiation and met the national standards of less than 100 Becquerel’s per kilogram, Reuters reports.
 
"The fact that the amount of rice that does not pass our checks has steadily reduced in the last three years indicates that we're taking the right steps," said Fukushima official Tsuneaki Oonam, who heads the department that oversees Fukushima rice farming. 

Authorities began testing all rice grown in Fukushima prefecture in 2012, although the amounts harvested over the past years were insignificant. More 190 testing devices are used throughout the prefecture to ensure rice’s safety standards. 

For the last 2 years, some 10 million bags of rice were checked annually. In 2012, 71 bags were found to exceed the safety standards, while in 2013, 28 bags were over the standard, the Asahi Shimbun reports. Rice farmers, according to the newspaper, succeeded in changing the fertilizer used so that radioactive cesium is not absorbed by the rice plant. 

Rice that passes the Food Sanitation Law standards, is labeled as such. Those bags with radiation readings are destroyed. Despite the promise of getting a clean over-all reading, Fukushima prefecture plans to continue the radiation testing program. 

Japan exported its first rice following the disaster last August – a 300-kilogram batch was delivered to Singapore. Fruit exports to Malaysia also resumed last year, according to officials, while in 2012 Fukushima peaches and apples were exported to Thailand. 
 http://rt.com/news/219799-fukushima-rice-radiation-free/
5/1/15
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Σάββατο, Δεκεμβρίου 20, 2014

First of four Fukushima reactors cleared of nuclear fuel (VIDEO aljazeera)

One of four heavily damaged reactor buildings at Japan's tsunami-battered Fukushima nuclear power plant has been cleared of radioactive fuel rods, the operator said on Saturday (Dec 20).
It was a significant step in the decommissioning efforts, but workers still have three heavily crippled reactors to clean up after they were sent into meltdown in the 2011 quake-tsunami disaster. The overall clean-up work of the Fukushima plant is expected to take decades.

A total of 1,535 fuel rod assemblies have been now taken out of the building after Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO's) year-long operation, a company spokesman said. "Completion of the removal work is a milestone, but the decommission work will continue," plant chief Akira Ono told reporters.

The nuclear fuel was removed from a pool used to store the rods - which were mostly spent - in the reactor number 4 building, which was offline for regular check-ups at the time of the March 2011 disaster. 

The tsunami battered the plant's cooling system and sent reactors number 1 to 3 into meltdown, setting off the worst atomic accident in a generation.

TEPCO will remove fuel rod assemblies from the pools of other damaged buildings before extracting the melted fuel from the reactors.

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Πέμπτη, Δεκεμβρίου 18, 2014

Heavy snow kills 3, disrupts travel in Japan

TOKYO: At least three people have died in heavy snow that has blanketed swathes of Japan, reports said Thursday (Dec 18), with up to two metres lying in some places and more forecast.

Two elderly women were killed on the northernmost island of Hokkaido, Kyodo News reported, with one hit by a snow-plough and another buried when a warehouse collapsed under the weight of fallen snow. Police said a man died in a traffic accident on snow-bound roads in Hiroshima.


There was also widespread disruption to travel, with around 100 domestic flights cancelled, adding to the 450 that were grounded on Wednesday, including some international routes, officials and media said. Reports said the famous bullet train network was also struggling to stick to its timetables.

The mountain town of Tsunan, near the Sea of Japan (East Sea) coast, was smothered in 185cm of snow, with parts of Hokkaido getting as much as 70cm in 24 hours, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

The snow is accompanied by strong gusting winds of up to 140km/h, which is causing tidal surges and sparking warnings to stay away from the water's edge.

  • Forecasters said a powerful low pressure system off the eastern coast of Hokkaido was bringing much of the misery, and warned there was more to come. Parts of northern Honshu could expect up to 80cm of snow by breakfast time on Friday, the JMA said.

Παρασκευή, Δεκεμβρίου 05, 2014

Fresh lawsuit filed against planned restart of nuclear reactors in Japan

Nine residents filed for an injunction order on Friday to suspend the planned restart of four nuclear reactors in western Japan, local media reported.

The nine people, who are from Fukui, Kyoto and Osaka prefectures, claimed that there is an "actual and looming risk" of nuclear accidents, and requested the Fukui District Court to call off the planned restart of four reactors at Takahama and Oi nuclear plants.


Takahama and Oi nuclear plants are both located in Fukui Prefecture. Both plants' No. 3 and No. 4 reactors are currently undergoing safety screening of the Nuclear Regulation Authority for resuming operation.

The Fukui District Court ruled in May that the Oi nuclear plant shall not be restarted. But another district court made a contradictory ruling last month, rejecting a demand by citizens seeking suspension of possible resumption of Takahama and Oi plants.

Currently, all nuclear reactors in Japan remain offline. Power utilities are desperate to bring nuclear plants back online due to high costs of thermal power generation, while public concerns over nuclear safety are still strong.

 Source: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
5/12/14
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Παρασκευή, Νοεμβρίου 28, 2014

Japan Cancels Dozens of Flights Following Volcano Eruption: Reports

Dozens of flights have been cancelled across southern Japan following the first eruption in 22 years of the country's largest active volcano, the Japan News reported Friday.

The active volcano Mount Aso in the southwest of Tokyo has been shooting out chunks of magma since Friday morning. It ejected lava debris and plumes of ash a kilometer (3,280 feet) high into the air on Wednesday after tremors began the day before, the newspaper reported.

Flights have been cancelled from the nearest city, Kumamoto, following a warning from the country’s Meteorological Agency to stay away from the volcanic crater. However the country’s observatory does not foresee an escalation in the eruption. Most of the activity occurred one hour within the explosion.

According to the newspaper, some hikers near the summit may have been hit by the flying rocks within a one kilometer radius of the volcano.

Mount Aso is Japan’s largest active volcano. In September, more than 60 people died when another volcano in the country, Mount Ontake, erupted. Mount Ontake's eruption was the worst in Japan for 90 years.
[sputniknews.com]
28/11/14
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Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 27, 2014

Japanese court rejects citizens' demand for suspension of nuclear reactor restart

A Japanese court on Thursday rejected a demand by some western Japan residents seeking suspension of planned restart of nuclear reactors at Takahama and Oi plants, local media reported.

The residents, from Shiga Prefecture, claimed that there are many geological faults around the two plants which might cause earthquakes and tsunamis, and that severe nuclear accidents might occur such as in the 2011 Fukushima crisis.


The Otsu District Court in Shiga Prefecture rejected the residents' demand for suspension of restart of the reactors, and said it is "unlikely" that the safety regulator will make a hasty decision to allow the reactors to restart.

Takahama and Oi nuclear plants are both located in Fukui Prefecture, which lies to the north of Shiga Prefecture. Both plants' No. 3 and No. 4 reactors are currently undergoing safety screening by the Nuclear Regulation Authority for resuming operation.

Kansai Electric Power Co., operator of the two plants, said the court decision is "reasonable" and it will seek to restart the nuclear plants "as soon as possible" after safety confirmed by the regulator.

  • Currently, all nuclear reactors in Japan remain offline. Power utilities are desperate to bring nuclear plants back online as their earnings are deteriorating due to high costs for thermal power generation, while public concerns over nuclear safety are still strong.
Judicial rulings on the nuclear plants' operation have been divided since the Fukushima crisis. In May, another district court in Japan ruled that the Oi nuclear plant shall not be restarted. Kansai Electric has appealed this ruling.
 Sources: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
27/11/14
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Παρασκευή, Νοεμβρίου 07, 2014

China, Japan take steps to bury hatchet after 3 years of dispute

China and Japan have reached an agreement on maintaining peace in the disputed chain of islands in the East China Sea after three years of war mongering. The agreement was reached in Beijing between China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi and the visiting National Security Advisor of Japan, Shotaro Yachi.

The new move may also pave the way for the first ever meeting between Chinese president Xi Jinping and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Cooperation summit next week.


India and other Asian countries are watching the new move closely because it might have an impact on their territorial disputes with China, sources said. They include Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, which are sending their heads of state to the APEC summit.

In Tokyo, Japan's Abe said, "Both Japan and China are coming to the view that it would benefit not just the two countries but regional stability if a summit is held". But China has not yet confirmed that president Xi would meet him.

Under the agreement, the two sides said they would prevent the situation around the disputed Diaoyu Islands, which is called Senkaku in Japan, from aggravating with the use of dialogue and consultation. They will establish crisis management mechanisms to avoid contingencies.

Japan controls the strategically located islands but China claims ownership of it.

They "agreed to gradually resume political, diplomatic and security dialogue through various multilateral and bilateral channels and to make efforts to build political mutual trust".

Beijing has managed Tokyo to accept that it would abide by the spirit of "facing history squarely and looking forward to the future". This is a catch phrase of Chinese officials when they demand that Japan should admit the torture of Chinese people by Japanese soldiers during World War II, and tender an apology.

The two countries have acknowledged that each has a different positions on the disputed islands and some parts of the East China Sea. Commerce ministers of the two countries agreed to meet during the APEC summit next week indicating a slight improvement in the relationship.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/China-Japan-take-steps-to-bury-hatchet-after-3-years-of-dispute/articleshow/45071280.cms
7/11/14
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Japan to restart 2 nuclear reactors despite local opposition, safety concerns

Two nuclear reactors in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima have been cleared to be restarted by Governor Yuichiro Ito and prefectural assembly, making the prefecture the first to gain such approval to restart its idled reactors since new safety regulations were introduced after the 2011 crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Clearance for the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Sendai plant in the prefecture was given Friday by Ito and the assembly, with the governor telling a news conference that while he effectively had "no choice" in the matter, the restart was "essential" and that Japan's nuclear watchdog had approved the reactors' safety standards and compliance.


Further safety inspections will be carried out by Japan's nuclear regulators, but pending final checks the two reactors are scheduled to be brought back online early next year, marking the first restart since the nuclear meltdowns, the worst of their kind since Chernobyl in 1986, at the Fukushima Daiichi complex in the northeast of Japan in March 2011.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the move was a positive step forward in bringing the idled plants back online and the government favors resuming generating nuclear power as fossil fuel imports for thermal generators are weighing heavily on the government's balance sheet.
  • However, not all residents in Satsumasendai city, which host the two reactors, supported the restart, with a solid contingent adamant that the plant remains unsafe and that local prefectural officials should be ashamed of complying so easily to the central government's wishes, instead of prioritizing their own communities.
  • Among some of the arguments voiced is the fact that the Sendai plant is located in a seismically active region with numerous active volcanic sites, and concerns are raised over the eruption of a nearby volcano.
They highlighted, in addition, that Japan's nuclear watchdog, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), must screen all safety requests and check new safety measures implemented by nuclear plant operators to meet the new regulations before greenlighting their restart. But evacuation plans, such as those developed to deal with an unprecedented volcanic eruption, are created by the local communities themselves and are not required to be mandated by the NRA.

While Ito said all evacuation plans and scenarios are "concrete and rational," what is considered "local approval" for the reactors to be restarted has been called into question, as Satsumasendai's neighboring villages and towns have no legal say on the matter.

In September, the NRA initially granted its approval to restart the two reactors at the Sendai plant, stating that the plant was first in line for being restarted, out of the 48 idled reactors nationwide.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been a staunch supporter of bringing the nation's nuclear power stations back online, as a weak yen, punctuated more so since Japan's central bank expanded its monetary easing program last week, forcing the currency to seven-year lows versus its major counterparts, has continued to push up the price of Japan's fuel imports, like liquified natural gas and coal, used to compensate for the lack of atomic energy.
 Source:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
7/11/14
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Japan local assembly okays restart of two reactors

A local assembly in Japan on Friday (Nov 7) approved plans to restart two nuclear reactors, removing a major hurdle to getting atomic power back online more than three years after the Fukushima disaster.

A majority of Kagoshima assembly members voted for the motion to resume operations at the Sendai plant in the southern Japanese prefecture, officials said. The move leaves as an obstacle only the formal approval of Kagoshima's powerful governor, which is expected later in the day, and marks a victory for the pro-nuclear government of Shinzo Abe in its campaign to re-fire atomic plants.


The assembly's approval came after the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) confirmed it believed the two units met toughened safety standards introduced after the Fukushima accident. Television footage showed about a dozen protesters in the public gallery of the assembly hall chanting "We oppose the restart". Governor Yuichiro Ito, who has the final say, is expected to announce his support later on Friday.

The actual restart, however, is likely to be delayed until next year as technical procedures are still under way, including more NRA approvals for remedial work at the site.

Following the tsunami-sparked catastrophe at Fukushima, Japan's entire stable of nuclear reactors were gradually switched off. Two were briefly restarted in 2012 but their power-down last September heralded an entirely nuclear-free Japan. While Prime Minister Abe's government and much of industry is keen to get back to atomic generation - largely because of the soaring costs of dollar denominated fossil fuels to an economy with a plunging currency - the public is unconvinced.

Communities living right next door to nuclear plants, who often enjoy grants from utility companies and depend on the power stations for employment, are frequently sympathetic to restarts. However, there is hostility from those living further afield who enjoy no direct benefits but see themselves as in the firing line in the event of another accident like Fukushima.

Permission from local representatives will be good news for pro-nuclear Abe, who has set his heart on persuading his wary electorate that the world's third largest economy must return to an energy source that once supplied more than a quarter of its power.

Fukushima was the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. It forced tens of thousands of people from their homes, with many of them still displaced amid warnings some areas might have to be abandoned forever.
- AFP/nd

channelnewsasia.com
7/11/14
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Τετάρτη, Οκτωβρίου 29, 2014

Japan to reopen 1st nuclear plant after Fukushima disaster - despite volcano risks

A local council has voted to re-open the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant on the outermost western coast of Japan, despite local opposition and meteorologists’ warnings, following tremors in a nearby volcano.

Nineteen out of 26 members of the city council of Satsumasendai approved the reopening that is scheduled to take place from early 2015. Like all of Japan’s 48 functional reactors, Sendai’s 890 MW generators were mothballed in the months following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Satsumasendai, a town of 100,000 people, relies heavily on state subsidies and jobs, which are dependent on the continuing operation of the plant.
But other towns, located within sight of the plant, do not reap the same benefits, yet say they are being exposed to the same risks. A survey conducted by the local Minami-Nippon Shimbun newspaper earlier this year said that overall, 60 percent of those in the region were in favor of Sendai staying shut. In Ichikikushikino, a 30,000-strong community just 5 kilometers away, more than half of the population signed a petition opposing the restart. Fewer than half of the major businesses in the region reported that they backed a reopening, despite potential economic benefits. 

Regional governor Yuichiro Ito has waved away the objections, insisting that only the city in which the plant is located is entitled to make the decision.
While most fears have centered around a lack of transparency and inadequate evacuation plans, Sendai is also located near the volcanically active Kirishima mountain range. Mount Ioyama, located just 65 kilometers away from the plant, has been experiencing tremors in recent weeks, prompting the Meteorological Agency to issue a warning. The government’s nuclear agency has dismissed volcanic risks over Sendai’s lifetime as “negligible,” however.................http://rt.com/news/200175-sendai-fukushima-nuclear-volcano/
28/10/14
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Δευτέρα, Οκτωβρίου 13, 2014

Cyclone Hudhud Hits India, Typhoon Vongfong Ravishes Japan

 - At least eight people have been killed, mostly due to collapsing walls and falling trees, and up to 400,000 have been evacuated in eastern India as powerful cyclone Hudhud raged through the country on Sunday, according to AP reports.

Officials say that at least two people were killed in the coastal state of Andhra Pradesh in southeast India: a man who was hit by a falling tree and a woman who was crushed by a collapsing wall, according to A. R. Sukumar, the state’s disaster management commissioner.

Three more people were reported killed in Odisha. On Saturday, an overloaded government evacuation boat capsized in Andhra Pradesh after it hit a tree trunk, drowning a 6-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy, according to P. K. Mohapatra, the state’s special relief commissioner. A fisherman was killed while rescuing his boat at midnight on Saturday.

The cyclone brought heavy showers and strong gusts of wind, uprooting trees, disrupting electricity and bringing considerable damage to buildings and crops in the coastal districts. Rescue workers used helicopters, aircraft and ships to carry out relief operations and set up hundreds of shelters to house those who were evacuated.
On Monday, the storm was downgraded to a tropical depression, with wind speeds slowing to 70 kilometers per hour, considerably slower than on Sunday.


Another natural disaster lashed Asia over the weekend. At least 37 people were injured and 150,000 were told to evacuate when Typhoon Vongfong raged through Japan, hitting the island of Kyushu after battering the southern island of Okinawa.

The typhoon toppled trees, flooded streets and cut power to more than 60,000 homes. The Japanese Meteorological Agency said the typhoon could reach the Tokyo area by Tuesday, predicting that it would gradually lose strength and be downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves up the archipelago.
(RIA Novosti)

13/10/14
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Τετάρτη, Οκτωβρίου 08, 2014

Super Typhoon Vongfong, World's Strongest Cyclone of 2014; Dangerous Threat to Okinawa, Japan This Weekend (FORECAST)

As of 12 a.m. Japanese time Thursday (11 a.m. EDT Wednesday in the U.S.), the eye of Vongfong was just under 600 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, moving northwest at 8 mph.

Maximum sustained winds had tailed off a bit, but were still an estimated 165 mph, solidly the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, according to the U.S. military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center.


With low vertical wind shear (change in wind speed and/or direction with height), impressive outflow (winds in the upper levels spreading apart from the center, favoring upward motion and thunderstorms) and warm western Pacific water, Vongfong intensified explosively.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, Vongfong surpassed Genevieve for the most intense western Pacific typhoon of 2014 by estimated central pressure (900 millibars). On the JMA typhoon intensity scale, Vongfong is the third "violent typhoon" of 2014, following Genevieve and Halong.

"It's safe to say Vongfong was the strongest storm on earth since Haiyan last year," said Michael Lowry, storm specialist for The Weather Channel. Haiyan killed over 6,000 people when it slammed into the Philippines in November 2013 with maximum sustained winds estimated at 195 mph by JTWC.............http://www.weather.com/news/weather-hurricanes/typhoon-vongfong-japan-threat-20141006

8/10/14
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