Monday, March 12, 2012

US Pop Star Joins the Chorus of "Buy Fukushima Products to Support Fukushima"

Cyndi Lauper is urging people and the governments outside Japan to buy products made in Fukushima to support the recovery of Fukushima.

She's been visiting Fukushima on charity events, and meeting children in Fukushima. Instead of speaking out for the safety of children in the contaminated area, she urges foreigners to buy Fukushima goods.

She even expresses her dismay that the disaster debris clearing hasn't progressed.

Perfect spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Labor (food), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (appeal to foreigners), and the Ministry of the Environment (debris distribution).

NHK News reports (3/12/2012; the link won;'t last):


Ms. Cyndi Lauper, world-famous pop star who is in Japan for the one-year anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake/tsunami disaster, held a press conference on March 12 to the foreign media. She said, "Please give economic support by aggressively buying things produced in Fukushima Prefecture and other disaster-affected areas."


Ms. Lauper arrived in Japan last year on the day of the earthquake/tsunami. She remained and gave concerts. She is in Japan again on the 1-year anniversary, and attended the press conference on March 12 for the foreign media stationed in Tokyo.


In the press conference, Ms. Lauper said she was surprised to see the large amount of disaster debris still there undisposed when she visited Ishinomaki City in Miyagi City, and shocked when her friend in Fukushima Prefecture gave her sweets by saying "Don't worry they are not contaminated with radiation".


Then, she appealed to the foreign media by saying "Fukushima and the disaster affected areas are isolated. It is important to revitalize the commerce and the economy of the affected areas. Please buy the products made in Fukushima and other disaster affected areas." She also said she will continue her activities always remembering the disaster affected areas.

I guess she's never heard of the nuclear accident or radioactive cesium. Nor seen the small children with glass badges.

You can still view the video clip of the NHK News segment at the link.

I personally have no idea if she's a world-famous pop star now. The last I heard was "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", and that I think was in 1980s.


Maju said...

According to Wikipedia she's been publishing all the way to present day... but the fact that I could only recall her name and neither her face nor the songs (without listening to them) means that she was a 2nd tier star even back then in the 80s.

Whatever the case her attitude seems that of a heartless vampire who is only into that for the TV time and the money she might make that way.

kintaman said...

Wow, that is rather disappointing to hear. I was very touched when I heard she continued her performances and appearances in Japan after the 3.11 disaster to support people but now with this turn of events it changes my opinion of her 180 degrees.

Very foolish of her to be doing this. I thought she would have known better.

Anonymous said...

2nd tier star? Not quite maju! She was an MTV staple back in the day... Today, not so much, but she still performs and is well respected and connected. it's a shame, regardless. and i doubt it's vindictive. she probably just believes what she is told. a victim of the propaganda and now perpetuating it. as seems to be the case through this whole disaster, kids are the ones who will suffer. Truth campaigning via her facebook might be in order: bombard her facebook comments section

Maju said...

"She was an MTV staple back in the day"...

Bah, she was much less popular than contemporary stuff of the same MTV staple merchandise nature like Prince, Michael Jackson, Withney Houston, U2, Dire Straits, Springsteen, or even ZZ Top, Metallica... She's in the best seller list at Wikipedia but almost at the bottom (between Anne Murray and Black Sabbath - and I have no idea who might be Anne Murray).

Naturally at that time I mostly listened to European punk rock... so her style was not appealing to me anyhow. She doesn't have a catchy name either.

Maju said...

PS- I lived in Virginia in 1985-86 (as exchange student) and people of my entourage listened mostly to Deep Purple, Prince and ZZ Top. When I was back in Europe my conventional (non-punk) friends listened to U2 and the Cure, although Michael Jackson was the hit then. My sister liked Bon Jovi and metal-oriente friends liked Metallica and such... and I also have some notion of German techno band Spandau Ballet but while Lauper surely sounded in the music programs, I never met a fan of her in any circle (and my acquaintances were very varied back then). There must have been some people who bought her records, I guess, but never met one.

henry said...

Another air-head gaijin "celebrity" stooge puppet, a la Gaga

Anonymous said...

Off topic.

Nuclear Nationalism and Fukushima

Matthew Penney

Abstract: Despite the description of the March 11, 2011 disaster as "outside safety expectations", there were multiple warnings from Japanese scientists, writers, activists, and international bodies that a large earthquake and tsunami could cripple Japan's nuclear plants. This article examines how assumptions of nuclear safety remained strong in Japan from the 1950s until the 2000s, even after numerous accidents that demonstrated inadequate oversight, and ties these assumptions to technological nationalism at the heart of Japan's conservative political culture.

Anonymous said...

Dementia at the age of 58?
All jokes aside, I wonder what makes her support this campaign. Money? Being brainwashed by Japanese media?
Anyway, most Japanese don't know her anyway and she won't make a difference in the attempts of Japanese govt. and media to brainwash the citizens of Japan. The reality (in the supermarket around my house) is different. Produce from Tohoku, especially Fukushima stays on the shelf. Supermarkets are sourcing their products from different regions now in order to meet customer requirements. I could not find milk from Tanegashima or yoghurt from Miyazaki in the supermarket before the accident. Now I can and appreciate it.

Mike said...

Cyndi Lauper's other hit was the ballad "Time After Time," and still gets airplay now and then on soft-rock oldies stations in the US.

Anonymous said...

You made a good suggestion regarding her Facebook page. She would not be alone in not understanding the depth of the problem. It might be something she would appreciate learning more about.
Girls just want to have fun... not go to school wearing dosimeters.

Anonymous said...

Don't be so cynical, guys. I don't see any other foreign celebrities setting foot in Fukushima. Cyndi Lauper has traveled all over Japan and is very fond of Japan. She is only trying to help. I'm 50 yrs old and to most people of my generation, she is indeed a very famous pop star.

tengaboyz said...

maybe, she really loves japan and that makes her blind. i wanna believe
she haven't been changed by money.

money changes everything is my favorite song.

Anonymous said...

Pop stars are not intellectual giants or critical thinkers or informed.
They are publicity-seekers and media whores, though, and will hug just about anyone or any cause for money or exposure.

Darth3/11 said...

I would like to see Cyndi L RETRACT her statement and replace it with something more informed.

Anonymous said...

I have posted this article at
Here is the post: US Pop Star Joins the Chorus of "Buy Fukushima Products to Support Fukushima" | EXSKF
Submitted 2 mins ago from by user

Anonymous said...

This is beyond me. Shame on her and blood on her hands. As always, I love your commentary and your sarcasm. Keep up the excellent work.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure I understand this reaction. I am quite sure the concerns about children in Fukushima are warranted but in what way does that preclude wanting to help the economy of the prefecture to recover?

Maju said...

To the last Anonymous: the Japanese government seems to be obsessed with keeping all Fukushima prefecture just as if nothing happened. That's not just unrealistic but also criminal. Criminal both against the Fukushima and other most affected citizens and victims, who should be evacuated at the expense of the government and/or TEPCO (but guess it's cheaper to let them die in situ), and against the rest of the World, beginning by Japan itself, which is being demanded to import poisonous stuff "in solidarity".

If you can't see the craze in this, it's because you're blind. Radiation destroyed areas can't be recovered in millennia and they should simply be evacuated, as was done with the area most severely damaged by Chernobyl. In that case, "lenience" (?) was applied to Kiev, which is comparable to Tokyo in its damage.

But you won't recover Tokyo by dumping radioactive debris in it: instead a no-go zone must be declared in most of Fukushima and some nearby areas and the decontamination must go, if possible at all, from the outer rings (Tokyo and such) to the interior, until the effort becomes more costly than the results.

Such a serious policy would also benefit Japan's image as exporter. Right now I'm not buying anything Japanese or even US-American or Canadian because I'm scared of the censorship on information on radiation in these countries: openness can only improve the general trust in your national "brand", manipulation, deceit and lies can only cause widespread distrust, as no official guarantees are deemed credible anymore.

But the Japanese government is only concerned with keeping the highway open, the expenses low and other nonsense. Protecting Japanese citizens, protecting Japan's image worldwide? That they do not care about.

In any case Fukushima can't recover and Japan is already one year late in evacuating its citizens.

Anonymous said...

I would say, given as I live in the shadow of Three Mile Island, and have close friends in Ukraine living not far from Chernobyl that I am not blind but in point of fact a tad more informed then most about the effects of radiation on a local area.

I would concur that government coverup is to be lamented and it is to be stopped. I would agree that both the government and TEPCO need to be responsible and need to be held responsible.

I would even agree that those closet to Fukushima Daiichi should be not only evacuated but should be given full medical care and new livelihoods.

However, hysteria, mass or otherwise, solves nothing.

Luddite mentality solves nothing.

Hype positive or negative solves nothing.

I also have a degree in the sciences and am well aware of the risks (and lack there of in some cases) of radiation exposure. Excessive exposure is certainly a bad thing, and long term exposure low level exposure certainly may increase the risk of certain cancers and other diseases. However, no more so then any of three dozen chemicals people worldwide are exposed to on a near daily basis.

This is similar to the observation in the United States, that as we have become more sterile in our practices, trying to isolate ourselves from exposure to any sort of toxin or microbe, health has not improved it has gotten worse because our immune systems have no exposure and thus no protection to many of the things we have traditionally be exposed to every day.

I will not sterilize my environment. I will continue to apply the five second rule. I will eat fruit straight from the tree without washing it first. I will pull vegetables straight from the garden, without washing them first. I will eat gulf shrimp from the coast of Louisiana even after the deep water horizon disaster. And yes I will eat rice and purchase other products from Fukushima prefecture.

I am however a pragmatist and realist, in no instances will 100% evacuation be achieved.

Even if we obtained a 100% boycott it would not change the government's practices.

I have seen first hand what happens in the face of this sort of boycott. The powerful never change and the weak and impoverished suffer.

Worse I disapprove that the knee jerk reaction to anything that might have long term adverse health risk is to ban it outright. This is a ridiculous position.

The fact is that there will still be countless individuals who cannot afford to go elsewhere, who have no choice but to eke out whatever livelihood they can. It is THOSE individuals I am concerned with.

Yes I WILL put up with some risk to my own health (marginal) for them, as quite frankly I am generally the sort who considers the well being of the many more important than that of an individual.

Respectfully, impugning the motives of all persons who have a differing perspective from oneself, or considering as "blind" all who have a differing opinion from oneself, and implying that oneself has a superior understanding and suggesting that we should badger and bully those public figures whose opinions differ from oneself, is to me far more indicative of blindness than anything else.

You can tell a lot about a person by the tenor of their online communications.

I have a great love for Japan and it's people. It does matter to me their reputation and image, but not more than the lives of the people themselves.

Anonymous said...

It is also interesting that a comparison to USSR's handling of Chernobyl was made as their handling was so abysmal that it effectively lead to Glasnost and the fall of the soviet union.

Maju said...

Chernobyl handling was poor at times, specially in the first days and how the workers were sent to the front line without enough information, but in comparison to Fukushima it was an excellent job: the meltdown was extinguished and contained before it could reach the water table, the worst affected areas were properly evacuated, radiation monitoring is continuous (not only in the former USSR bit all through Europe, as it was a continental-sized disaster, still haunting life as far west as Germany or Scotland).

Whatever criticism it can be made it is dwarfed a zillion times by the ridiculously irresponsible and outrageously criminal mismanagement of the Fukushima catastrophe. In the USSR there was a point of initial secretism beyond which the catastrophe was almost fully recognized in its severity and everything possible was done to contain and counter it, in Japan a year later they are still pretending almost nothing happened.

Japan needs a radical glassnost (transparency) and perestroika (reform), if not outright revolution... assuming that there is any Japan left after this.

Mind you that a symptom of psychological issues is denial. And to effectively counter a problem the first step is to recognize one has a problem and may need help and what not.

The Japanese authorities are in total denial of the reality and eating radioactive food or scattering it around "in solidarity" are just delusions of safety that are not going to solve the problem but actually aggravate it a lot.

I see hysteria nowhere but denial of reality: gross psychotic denial and distortion of reality to accommodate their wishful thinking. That is bad when it happens to a single person but it's catastrophic when happens to a whole nation in the midst of the biggest existential catastrophe they ever had.

"It does matter to me their reputation and image"...

Then tell them (the government and the media specially) to be honest and face the horrible facts.

Denial is not an option, not a viable one.

Anonymous said...

You have my concurrence on that point actually. I wholeheartedly agree that governments need to be pressured for transparency and honesty as does the media.

Unfortunately, I suspect that no matter how much pressure is applied the ones to suffer most are going to be those poor living in Fukushima prefecture who have no other options.

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