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Posts Tagged ‘Japan Nuclear Meltdown’

26th March 2011

Those who have been following this blog with any regularity will likely have noticed that the administration has been attempting to follow the developments unfolding throughout the world as a consequence of the recent nuclear crisis in Japan. One way of monitoring the global response to radiation contamination is through following developing regulatory policies regarding the importation of Japanese products by countries outside of Japan.  In a recent posting on this blog the administration noted the fact that the authorities in many member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had imposed restrictions upon imported Japanese foodstuffs. The same could also be said for some member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.  To quote directly from the website FocusTaiwan.tw:

Taipei, March 25 (CNA) Taiwan suspended imports of food products Friday from five Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima, where a nuclear power plant was damaged by a powerful earthquake and subsequent tsunami March 11.

Minister of Health Chiu Wen-ta said all safety inspections of food entering the country from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba — which have all reported widespread radioactive contamination — had been suspended, effectively barring all entry of food from those areas.

The administration of this blog highly recommends that readers click upon the two hyperlinks directly above this citation to read the entire article. As evidence continues to show an increasingly distressing situation in Japan it was also noted that Mainland Chinese officials have implemented new policies regarding food imports from Japan. To quote directly from the website DailyTimes.com.pk:

BEIJING: China banned imports of some Japanese food products on Friday amid fears of radiation contamination, hours after announcing that two Japanese travellers who had flown into an eastern city were found to have radiation levels well above safety limits.[sic]

China joins a growing list of countries that have stopped imports of some foodstuffs from Japan. The ban covers dairy, aquatic and vegetable products as well as fruit from the five Japanese prefectures of Fukushima, Tochigi, Gunma, Ibaraki, Chiba, China’s quality watchdog, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said in a statement…

Readers are highly encouraged to click on the hyperlinks above to read this enlightening piece in full. Clearly Chinese officials are joining their counterparts around the world in a trend of placing increasingly stringent restrictions on Japanese imports. More importantly, it would seem that authorities in China have also reported that two Japanese travelers showed signs of alarming levels of radiation upon arrival from Tokyo.  To quote further from the aforementioned piece:

Separately, the quality watchdog said that two Japanese travellers who flew into China’s eastern city of Wuxi from Tokyo on Wednesday had radiation levels that “seriously exceeded the limit”. [sic]

Clearly, as evidenced by the quotations above, the Chinese authorities are apprised of what appears to be an increasingly serious situation in Japan and are taking appropriate measures.

As the ramifications of this tragedy come into clearer focus concerns mount as to the long term consequences of the Japanese crisis. Meanwhile, concerned people around the world continue to watch as the Japanese people struggle to overcome what could prove to be the most daunting crisis ever to befall a modern nation-state.

For related information please see: business in China or business in Taiwan.

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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.

For related information please see: business in China.

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15th March 2011

For those who are unaware, there has been a tremendous tragedy in Japan which first began with a massive Earthquake which triggered a serious Tsunami. As a result of these events, there has been a series of nuclear disasters at Japanese nuclear facilities. To find up-to-date information on these matters please see any or all of the following links:

The Drudge Report, Infowars, Daily Mail, The Daily Beast, RT, CNN, NHK

As always, readers should take note of the fact that this is a developing situation and therefore reports and updates should be viewed with reasonable skepticism in some instances.

Meanwhile, the Thai government has apparently approved an aid package for the Japanese nation. To quote directly from PeopleDaily.com:

The cabinet on Monday approved a 200 million baht (6.6 million U.S. dollars) budget for providing assistance to victims of the earthquake and subsequent tsunamis that have devastated northeast Japan.

In its weekly meeting, the cabinet resolved to send 10,000 tons of Jasmine rice and 5,000 tons of glutinous rice to Japan, a team of medical personnel and medical supplies.

Those reading this blog are well advised to click on the above hyperlink in order to read this story further. The United States of America also appears to be undertaking efforts to assist in relieving the situation in Japan. To quote directly from the Wall Street Journal’s website WSJ.com:

The U.S. military on Tuesday expanded its earthquake relief efforts in Japan, sending equipment to help firefighting efforts at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant and deploying troops to assist humanitarian relief and search and rescue efforts.

The administration of this blog encourages readers to click on the above link to read the Wall Street Journal’s article further. The United States and Japan have been close allies in Asia for over 50 years and this crisis may prove to be another example of the close American-Japanese relationship.

Concurrently, in the United States there appears to have been a rush to obtain various forms of iodine supplements as some are noting that compound’s possible usage as a preventative for some ailments which could arise as a result of exposure to some radioactive particles. To quote directly from the NBC Bay Area website NBCBayArea.com:

The fear that a nuclear cloud could float from the shores of Japan to the shores of California has some people making a run on iodine tablets. Pharmacists across California report being flooded with requests…

There appears to have been some disagreement regarding the advisability of iodine as a preventative measure, but the article noted above went on to point out that the United States Surgeon General made comments on this issue:

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin was in the Bay Area touring a peninsula hospital. NBC Bay Area reporter Damian Trujillo asked her about the run on tablets and Dr. Benjamin said although she wasn’t aware of people stocking up, she did not think that would be an overreaction. She said it was right to be prepared.

Those reading this blog are encouraged to click on any of the links above to read these articles further and to research further information regarding the developing situation in Japan.

To view the official website of the US Embassy in Japan please click HERE.

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