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Posts Tagged ‘Japan Crisis’

25th March 2011

Those following this blog or the many other sources of information available on the World Wide Web may have, no doubt, noticed the impact of the recent tragedy in Japan and the unfolding events springing therefrom. The tragic plight of the Japanese people was further highlighted recently by what appears to be a trend among many nations in their refusal to allow imports of foodstuffs from Japan. To quote directly from the website NAMnewsnetwork.org:

TOKYO, March 24 (NNN-BSS) — Australia, Canada and Singapore joined a list of countries shunning Japanese food imports Thursday as radioactive steam wafted anew from a disaster-struck nuclear plant, straining nerves in Tokyo.

The grim toll of dead and missing from Japan’s monster quake and tsunami on March 11 topped 25,000, as hundreds of thousands remained huddled in evacuation shelters and fears grew in the megacity of Tokyo over water safety.

The damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant from the tectonic calamity and a series of explosions has stoked global anxiety. The United States and Hong Kong have already restricted Japanese food, and France wants the EU to do the same.

The administration of this blog highly encourage readers to click on the above hyperlinks to read further about the situation in Japan. As the situation becomes more dire in Japan it would appear that even Japan’s key allies are unable to allow importation of possibly dangerous food products. The authorities in the Kingdom of Thailand appear to be taking preventative measures regarding importation of possibly tainted food as well. To quote directly from Bloomberg.com:

Thailand will check all fruit and vegetable imports from Japan’s main island, Honshu, before allowing their sale and will randomly screen other products such as fish, Pipat Yingseri, secretary-general of the Thai Food and Drug Administration, told a media conference today. The country hadn’t found any abnormal contamination since checks started in mid-March, he said.

As Thai, Hong Kong, Chinese, American, Australian, Canadian, and Singaporean authorities place restrictions on food imports, speculation abounds as to the response from other countries in the Asia-Pacific region as well as member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In discussions regarding the ramifications of the Japanese Crisis it may be best to remember the human elements which are constantly present in all of these regulatory and policy calculations.

As the situation in Japan continues to have global implications it remains to be seen how the various governments and international organizations around the world will react both politically and economically. One thing is clear, the crisis in Japan has the potential to completely reshape the geopolitical situation in Asia from both an economic as well as political perspective. How this change will impact both Thailand and the ASEAN community will be of increasing interest to the administration of this web log.

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24th March 2011

The tragic situation in Japan (a country recently plagued by Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes, and finally Nuclear Meltdown)  is apparently causing other nations in East Asia and Southeast Asia to rethink their options with regard to the proliferation of nuclear power plants. A recent posting on the website AsiaOne.com discussed some of these issues in some detail. To quote directly from the website AsiaOne.com:

Singapore – Japan’s nuclear crisis is likely to prompt Southeast Asian states to look more carefully at their plans to tap atomic energy for power generation, the head of the regional bloc said Monday.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan said Japan’s struggle to prevent a reactor meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant will have a “psychological” impact on some ASEAN members.

“They will continue to explore, but I think the sense of urgency will certainly be contained a little bit,” Surin told reporters on the sidelines of a regional economic conference in Singapore.

The administration of this blog highly encourages readers to click on the links above to read more of this article.

Clearly, a disaster of the magnitude of the events unfolding in Japan can have a tremendous “psychological” effect around the world, but what is interesting about the above quotation is the fact that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a regional organizations that is becoming increasingly important in geopolitical matters, seems to be uniformly ambivalent towards nuclear power as of the time of this writing. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Thailand, an important member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is rethinking its position on the issue of nuclear power. To quote directly from Eco-Business.com:

Thailand has frozen its plans to build its own nuclear power plants in the wake of the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan following a series of meltdowns at the quake-hit power complex in Fukushima.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban announced yesterday that the government would indefinitely halt all plans to build nuclear facilities in the Kingdom.

Again readers are highly encouraged to click on the links above to read more from this posting.

In this blogger’s personal opinion, this decision to “freeze” plans for a Thai nuclear plant is both prudent and necessary. The decision is prudent because it provides the Thai government and people the opportunity to watch the events in Japan unfold. This will provide the Thais with the opportunity to see the extent of the problem in Japan and this opportunity will allow Thai authorities to take a firsthand look at the possible dangers inherent in constructing and maintaining a nuclear facility. Such measures are necessary because failure to be prudent could be costly later, as evidenced by the situation in Japan. This nuclear disaster in Japan is obviously no one’s “fault,” but perhaps failure to take into consideration the fact that Japan, and the reactors present therein, is situated upon one of the most tectonically active locations on Earth may help to explain the nuclear disaster. At this time, fixing the blame for this tragedy should not be at the forefront of people’s minds as the brave Citizens of Japan struggle to overcome this situation, but evaluating the proliferation of nuclear facilities in the ASEAN with a critical eye may help avoid such tragedies in the Southeast Asia of the future.

As economic activity in the ASEAN region, China, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia expands it stands to reason that energy needs will remain an acute concern for the business community as well as governmental authorities, but such considerations would appear to be being weighed in light of the recent events in Japan, as well they should be.

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21st March 2011

The following was quoted directly from Reuters official website Reuters.com:

The United States is making potassium iodide available to U.S. personnel and their dependents living in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, as a precaution against radiation exposure, the State Department said in a travel warning on Monday.

Those wishing to visit the official website of the United States Embassy in Japan please click HERE.

In a previous posting on this blog it was noted that there was some dispute as to rumors regarding iodine products sold in connection to the unfortunate events transpiring in Japan. The United States Surgeon General also commented upon acquisition of certain iodine related products. It would appear as though reasonable precautions are being taken against what could continue to be a very trying situation.

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