Saturday, July 7, 2012

#Radioactive, Idiosyncratic Japan: Fukushima People Protest Against Nuke Plant, Miyagi Fish with 3,300 Bq/kg Cesium, PM Noda Wants To Lower Retirement Age to 40

Last post of the day (or night, whatever), a collection of small news pieces that I saw in the past hour or so:

Independent journalist Ryusaku Tanaka tweets he's at Fukushima Prefectural Government Building in Fukushima City. People gathered there are shouting "We don't need nuke plants!" Prime Minister Noda is visiting the governor of Fukushima at his office there today.

Meanwhile, the general manager of the antenna shop in Edogawa-ku, Tokyo that sells agricultural produce from Fukushima says he will drive the sales as hard as he can, paying close attention to quality, according to Jiji Tsushin. Uh huh. The Jiji article did say he asked the wholesalers to conduct the test for radioactive materials last year. No word about this year. And we know how the wholesalers' testing goes.

Miyagi prefectural government announced on July 6, 2012 that 3,300 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was detected from black seabream caught off the coast of Higashi Matsushima City in Miyagi. That is extremely high, even compared to last year. Miyagi's governor continues to ship disaster debris outside the prefecture even when his own Assembly says the debris should stay inside Miyagi, and he continues to support fishermen without spending much or doing much on testing the catch for radiation.

Nikkei Shinbun says the government committee on national strategy (chaired by Prime Minister Noda) has compiled the report on the government's long-term strategy called "Frontier Plan". What's in the "Frontier"? Japan is indeed going where no one has gone before. Noda and his people want to make the retirement age at 40, with the retirement money of 1 to 2 years worth of salary. Why? To make employment more mobile, to compete with developing nations. They want to eliminate the distinction between contract workers and full-time employees - i.e. cutting the benefits for full-time employees. In their mind, this somehow will translate into (hold your breath).... birthrate increase.

How will an extremely insecure employment with the developing country-level wage lead to the increased birthrate? It won't, except in Noda and his experts' minds it will.

Oh, and the baby Panda is male, says NHK.

I can't take it any more for the day. Signing off...


Anonymous said...

Great stuff, I retired at 30, suck on that.

Janick in Tokyo said...

At the current level of birthrate, the last Japanese is supposedly due to be born in about 150 years from now (if my memory is good). By year 2040 (it's around the corner....), the median age of Japanese will be 55, and the population will have shrink to 106 000 000 (against 127 000 000 now). Well.... Who is going to take care of all the senior citizens and pay for their pensions ??? If indeed one day retirement age is put at 40, the country will not only be full of seniors, it will be a nation of POOR seniors with no grandchildren to read them stories at bedtime (ha ha ha - Think of all the Alzheimerians...). However, one very good side of a shrinking population in my view is that Japan won't need much electricity anymore, and that is a splendid argument to stop the nuclear plants forever NOW!
A good link on the shrinking population's topics:

Anonymous said...

"3,300 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was detected from black seabream caught off the coast of Higashi Matsushima City in Miyagi. That is extremely high, even compared to last year."

I would think the high level found is due to bio-concentration in certain animals. With a 30 yr. half-life water soluble Cesium will keep popping up long after people stop paying attention or testing.

So if they lower the retirement age to 40 do they intend on paying people in radioactive waste? Wouldn't outlawing contraception and abortions raise the birthrate?

kintaman said...

Lower the retirement age to 40, what possible sense could this make? I fail to understand the logic of their decisions.

Anonymous said...

saturday snark for the one who can't take anymore-

male panda baby

Wasn't that the reason for the wave of Chinese couples visiting last year?

Go Team XY
The world is our radioactive oyster!

Apolline said...

Fukushima and Chernobyl, myth versus reality : a pro-nuclear video from World Nuclear Association, these accidents have low consequences on health :

Of course, we must believe these people...

m a x l i said...

•Smiling as radiation protection.
•Protecting people from radiation by bringing radiation to the people and bringing people to the radiation.
•Protecting children from radiation by force feeding children radioactive food in school canteens.
•Protecting teenagers from radiation by bringing more teenagers from USA, Canada to Fukushima.
•After the more established reactors, which less or more worked and delivered power for years, nearly cut the country in half, you feel the urge to finish what you have begun by switching them back on. You now even want to unleash the Monju monster, which never worked and is a fail save recipe for even bigger disaster.
•Dealing with an ageing population by setting the retirement age down to 40.

Is there a nobel price for insanity? The japanese government looks like an unbeatable frontrunner to win this price.

Actually, the retirement thing could make sense, when you think about it. Maybe the government already knows how the average live expectancy will develop in coming years?

Anonymous said...

Thank for your work !

Anonymous said...

Will the 40+ generation still be required to work until they drop so that those about to take early retirement 50+ can see their children 30+ benefit?

Atomfritz said...

Retirement at 40???
Germany increases retirement age of 65 to 67 to rescue the Euro, and to help keep the Greek govt able to finance the Greeks' retirement age of 55 (50 for women).
And Japan is no less indebted as Greece.
What is the current retirement age in Japan?
Has the Japanese govt gone completely nuts now?

andytron said...

Yeah, sounds like they're going for the full neoliberal straitjacket economics (as in, they belong in a straitjacket).

Really, these politicians and stuff, they live in a world of their own don't they? It's the same in the West - they all think that making us live on a bowl of rice a day will translate into an economic miracle somehow. It's crazy.

But in Japan you've got hundreds of thousands of people protesting on a weekly basis. Mochizuki-san thinks this isn't enough, but I dunno, by Western standards those numbers are unheard of.

Anonymous said...

Logic and sanity went out of the window in Japan long ago, the government are sociopaths and insane in the extreme so all this doesnt surprise me anymore.

Henry said...

Dear Mr/Ms Ex-skf, I know what you mean. Do you laugh or cry? You can only have so many stiff drinks to blot out the insanity. Maybe this little story will make you smile for a second (nothing to do with Fukushima, or anything, really). Today we were moving a piano out of my house in Tokyo. Father-in-law comes round from next door to help (He's 67, a retired alcoholic high school principal, ) "What's this?" he asks. "Er.. its a refrigerator" I reply. "Ah, so-ka..". He shoulda retired at 21. God only knows what his students have grown up like.Another stiff drink please.

goldieluvmj said...

hmnn, I think the radiation got to Noda's brain. Lowering retirement age to 40? What is he tellin' us? ... that many Japanese would be dying young so they can now afford to? I don't blame you for getting headaches Ex-sfk, this is absurd...yes, the news of male panda is very important (sarc)

Anonymous said...

Lowering the mandatory retirement age would be a huge mistake. For decades employment stability has been a social safety net in a country with few safety nets. Removing employment stability is an attack on Japanese families and on the very social infrastructure of Japan - which depends excessively on people being civil to one another. Removing employment stability would lead to increased poverty, increased crime, increased divorce, decreased parenting time as both spouses must work, decreased civility, and less overall social harmony - an eventual end to the Japan that all us foreigners find so charming. Does Noda not understand that becoming "competitive" at the expense of the family will lead to Japan becoming more like America and China?

Do we really want that?

Let's see, would I like to live in America? China? or Japan? If Japan is just a compressed high-priced version of America but with a weak legal system, even higher public debt, plus a TEPCO-provided nuclear hangover, who in their right mind would choose to live in this should-be superfund site!? The young people Noda says he so wants to "help" would simply emigrate to countries where the opportunities are brighter and where at least the legal system can provide some protection against incivility.

Just proves even more that NODA and the DPJ do not understand the difference between JAPAN and JAPAN INC.

Their policies are destructive and outrageous.

NODA and his committee must GO! The DPJ's nuclear war against the Japanese people must stop. The DPJ's economic war against the Japanese family must stop.

Japan's citizens must find a way to take back their government.

Anonymous said...

I read a sentence once that immediately comes to mind here, seeing the comments to this article of all those who - like me - don't get the sense of the retirement age reduction.

"Are you really looking for sanity in a world where the only guarantee against the use of nuclear weapons is their very existence?"

Maybe we are the crazy ones by still thriving to find sense in things.

Anonymous said...

If I got it correctly "retirement at 40" means freedom to fire employees at 40 provided that 1yr worth of salary is paid out. Not clear what happens to your corporate pension. Public pension will of course be paid only after you turn 65, if any money is left after they squandered the consumption tax hike too.

Anonymous said...

It's a ploy to withdraw the benefits of full-time employees, turn everyone into temp, contract workers with no benefits, without a shred of security left in the system. All it will do is to accelerate the population decline, combined with the measures to counter "man-made global warming" that the majority of Japanese still believe in. The country is doing a die-off.

james said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
james said...

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