Saturday, February 15, 2014

(UPDATED) (OT) Tokyo and Wider Kanto Area Are Snowed Under, New Tokyo Governor Says "What's the Big Deal? It Will Be Over in One Day."

(UPDATE) The national government finally had a teleconference with the Yamanashi prefectural government, in which the governor of Yamanashi asked for the national disaster response assistance, including sending personnel from Ministry of Land and Infrastructure who have expertise in dealing with heavy snow, according to a local Yamanashi newspaper.

Minister Furuya in charge of disaster prevention in the Abe administration instructed the ministries/agencies involved to collect detailed information using social networking websites.

...... (Who needs a national government for that?)


The snow storm on February 14 and 15 seems to have been even more severe than the one the week earlier in Kanto. For a while, residents in prefectures that regularly have heavy snow falls were smiling and bemused at residents in Kanto, particularly in Tokyo, for making a huge fuss about the snow fall that was about 30 centimeters in Tokyo, until everyone started to realize that these large and small cities in Tokyo and wider Kanto area are not designed to expect a snow fall more than 20 centimeters at most.

Particularly hard-hit seems to be Yamanashi Prefecture, located west of Tokyo. Judging from tweets from residents there, the prefectural and municipal governments in Yamanashi are taking the weekend off.

A tweet below by a high school teacher tweeting information he gets from his student says "The road in front of my house [student's house] hasn't been snowplowed. Can't even walk."

The high school teacher also tweets, "There is no emergency response headquarters in the village, no information as to the plans by the government. Here's our situation and we need help."

Yoichi Masuzoe, the newly elected governor of Tokyo thanks to the organized votes from LDP/Komei/Soka Gakkai and hardly anything else, seems to be taking the weekend off also. His last twitter is on February 13. And if this screenshot is true...

Announcer (Seiji Miyane): "Speaking of disaster preparedness, this heavy snow [probably about the one a week ago] can be considered a disaster, don't you think?"
Masuzoe: "This is not a big deal at all. It will be over in a day."

"You should be over in a day" is the comment on the tweet.

If you recall, disaster preparedness was one of the supposedly main issues (unlike nuclear power policies) of the gubernatorial election held on February 9. Modus operandi of Masuzoe seems to be the same as the Kan administration in March 2011, particularly that of then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio "There is no immediate effect" Edano.

Close your eyes, and it doesn't exist any more.

And the national government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe? The twitter account of Prime Minister's Official Residence Emergency Response Information, which has nearly one million followers, made the last update on February 15, announcing the "Disaster Response Volunteer Week" event.


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