The Youtube video of the Emperor's speech at the memorial ceremony on March 11 now has over 7,000 views.
While the Emperor was the only one at the ceremony who mentioned radiation contamination and the plight of residents who had to flee the land contaminated with radioactive materials (he even mentioned the workers dealing with the nuclear accident), the Noda administration has been very busy peddling recovery by launching the media blitz around the world with infomercials to tell the world how the disaster areas in Tohoku, particularly Fukushima, have recovered and everything will be just fine from now on.
Nuclear accident? What nuclear accident? Radiation contamination? Oh it's just a baseless rumor.
I hate to think how much they spent to create the commercials, and how much they spent to buy the ad time.
The announcement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (3/8/2012) is as follows:
TV Commercials Transmitting the Attractions of Japan and Tohoku to the World
1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has produced four TV commercials transmitting the attractions of Japan and the Tohoku region to the world for the purpose of mitigating reputational damages generated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and recovering and improving the image of Japan, as follows:
(1) “JAPAN Power of harmony” introduces Japan’s superior technological capabilities in areas such as lacquerware, the research and development of iPS cells, space exploration, and the Shinkansen, through the use of the technique of origami. (60 seconds)
(2) “Colorful emotions TOHOKU” communicates the attractions of sightseeing in the Tohoku region such as the Nebuta Festival, the making of Akabeko (dolls of a red cow), playing in the snow, hot springs, strawberry picking, and the warlords of the Samurai , by showing the excitement and expectation of a family who travels Tohoku from abroad. (60 seconds)
(3) “We believe in FUKUSHIMA” shows the invincible resolve of the people in Fukushima toward the restoration of their daily lives before the Great East Japan Earthquake. It features the people of Fukushima working on strawberry farms, in Fukushima Railway Station, at the E-rosoku (pictured candle) Festival, and at Tsurugajo Castle. (60 seconds)
(4) “Message from Japan “ARIGATOU” (Thank you)” is a commercial to convey appreciation to the world. “Arigatou” is a word to express thanks for heartfelt words, sympathy, and supports sent from the world in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
2. In particular, commercials (2) and (3) were produced thanks to cooperation received from local governments and institutions concerned such as Fukushima Prefecture, Sendai City, and the Tohoku Tourism Promotion Organization.
3. These commercials are currently on the air all across the world through CNN etc. From April onward, the commercials are to be broadcast on NHK World TV (JIB-TV broadcast) through close coordination with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
4. Moreover, these commercials are to be screened in receptions and events held abroad by the local governments and institutions concerned such as diplomatic missions abroad, the Japan Tourism Agency, Fukushima Prefecture, Sendai City, and Tohoku Tourism Promotion Organization, as well as at international conferences held in Japan.
The commercials are posted on the video channel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA channel)
Foreign Minister Genba, when he was the minister in charge of national strategy back in March last year, told the Japanese that they should all be cheering for TEPCO.
Here's one, titled "Colorful emotions, Tohoku" (I absolutely have no idea what that phrase even means), featuring a foreign family (Russian?) visiting Tohoku in winter. The Ministry disallows embed for this particular commercial.
The commercial titled "Japan Power of Harmony" is clearly targeted at the global business communities. The Ministry disallows this embed also. It goes:
Japan, a country of perseverance and spirit of harmony.
Spirit form, from the severe nature of our nation.
And that reality has formed Japan, through endless innovation and cooperation.
"These innovation from my country of Japan will ultimately contribute to the entire health of our society, to the entire advancement of the human race."
Now, more than ever, the world is facing challenge.
And Japan offers our unique experience for everyone.
We know, we learned, power is created from the cooperation of people.
It's the power of harmony.
Together for a better future.
Can anyone tell me what this means? I can see through the original Japanese or original muddled thinking in English, but does this make any sense in English?
Whoever created the original copy in Japanese and whoever translated it into English uncritically should be shot.
These commercials must be the work of either Dentsu or Hakuhodo, two largest PR firms in Japan who have been closely cooperating with the national government since March 11, 2011 on campaigns to sell Tohoku, whether it is a tourist destination or food from Fukushima.
The message I get from these commercials is this: "We're trying our utmost best to ignore the nuclear accident and radiation contamination, and so should you."