I was describing to an American friend about what's been happening at an accelerating pace in Japan after the now-infamous "cold shutdown state and end of Fukushima accident" declaration by the hapless Prime Minister Noda, who now wants to bring pandas to Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture to cheer children.
He said, "Dr. Demento Show!"
Things are indeed getting more hilarious by the hour.
This is one of the most hilarious from yesterday's news: Fuku-I accident "docu-drama"
Nippon Television, the close affiliate of Yomiuri Shinbun which has been pro-nuke ever since Matsutaro Shoriki bought the paper in xxxx, will air a "docu-drama" of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident on December 23 Friday from 6:45PM to 8:55PM Japan Time, titled "87 Hours when Japan was on the verge of destruction", using popular actors to play the part of PM Kan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano, TEPCO's Fuku-I plant manager Yoshida, etc.
Comments on the news from Japanese twitterers:
See how they take us for fools
The title of the drama cannot get more demented.
So the nuke accident is just one form of entertainment. Great.
Controversial dam construction (Yanba Dam) in Gunma Prefecture given green light, benefiting TEPCO, again:
Yanba Dam has been in the works ever since 1950s, but the project was suspended two years ago when the Democratic Party of Japan took power. It was in the DPJ's party "manifest" to stop the project. Now, under the same DPJ but led by PM Noda, it has been formally declared that it is good to go. The local politicians and interest parties in the small town of Naganohara are ecstatic. They greeted the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport with three cheers (banzai) yesterday (Yomiuri Shinbun 12/23/2011).
Well, it turns out that TEPCO has been diverting water from upstream to run its hydroelectric power stations along the Agatsuma River. If the dam is built, TEPCO cannot draw as much water as it likes for these power stations and therefore has to be compensated. To the tune of 1.7 billion yen per year.
From what I've read, it doesn't make any sense geologically and economically, other than to benefit certain parties connected to construction work with taxpayers' money. I once drove through the area. It was deep in the mountains, rapid river. An excellent and ancient (first discovered in 1193) hot spring town along the river, which will be lost under water if the dam is built.
Money speaks, it always has been, and always will in the "dango" Japan. The government always wins by wearing the small citizens out.
Radioactive ash disposal in Chiba Prefecture in the middle of rice paddies:
Meanwhile in Chiba, where northwestern corner of the prefecture is highly contaminated with radioactive materials, the prefectural government wants to move those highly radioactive ashes from incinerators in Kashiwa City whose radioactive material density far exceeds the national provisional safety limit for ashes (8000 becquerels/kg) to a final waste disposal facility in Teganuma, west of Kashiwa City. (Mainichi Shinbun 12/22/2011)
Looking at the satellite photo of Google, the facility is right on the Tega River, which feeds water to the rice paddies surrounding the final waste disposal facility. The Tega River flows to the Tone River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean.
Smart move, Chiba.
And about the Panda loan from China to Sendai City:
Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture wants to "borrow" pandas from China to cheer children in the city. So the vice mayor of Sendai visited PM Noda on December 22 with two TV celebrities to press Noda to ask for panda loan when he visits China on December 25. Sure, says Noda.
The celebrities, Masahiko Kondo and Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, vow they will support the city by providing money for panda housing and protection, which is estimated to be 1 billion yen over 5 years. Kondo says the money comes from donations that his office has collected from citizens for the people in disaster-affected areas. (Yomiuri Shinbun Miyagi local version 12/23/2011)
Kuroyanagi is one of the actors who scolded Japanese people who don't want to buy produce from Fukushima for fear of internal radiation exposure as selfish and unpatriotic.
1 billion yen would buy many, many dosimeters or stoves for people in temporary housing that lacks insulation for the cold winter. But building a brand-new, state-of-the-art panda house in the city's zoo will bring more business to building contractors favored by the city.
In the meantime, ex-PM Kan is blasting TEPCO's management as basically a "fool on the hill" (Yomiuri Shinbun 12/22/2011). The gall of him to say that.