"As applications surge, urban units run short"

Hiroshi Abe, a 74-year-old Sendai resident whose house in Miyagino Ward was destroyed in the March 2011 tsunami, had his heart set on rebuilding his home. But that dream is becoming increasingly likely to end up just that."

"The truth is, I want to rebuild my home," Abe said. "But even if I could get a loan, I'm so old I'd never be able to pay it back."

Like many disaster victims, Abe currently lives in a temporary housing unit, also in Miyagino Ward. Some of his neighbors have started rebuilding their homes, which Abe also planned to do, but he has since given up on the idea due to the cost. Now, he is seeking a space in government-run public "restoration housing."

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Only 60 % Of "Restoration Housing" Units Are To Be Built

"Only 60 percent of public "restoration housing" units for victims of last year's disaster living in temporary housing are expected to be built by the end of fiscal 2014, the time when most temporary units are to be vacated" reports the Yomiuri Shimbun website.

Temporary Housing in Miyagi (source: Japan Times, Aug 11, 2011)

"Construction delays in Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures are due to factors such as a shortage of suitable sites and local government staff to manage the projects, and an increase in applicants for public housing by disaster victims who have given up on rebuilding their homes."

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First Oysters Since 3/11

"The Karakuwa peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture, which was devastated by the tsunami on March 11, 2011, held an oyster-tasting event to celebrate the first oyster harvest in two years."

The Karakuwa Coastline (source:  Wikipedia)

"Many visitors, including those from Sendai and outside the prefecture, enjoyed the taste of fresh oysters at Sunday’s event, Sankei Shimbun reported. A local tourism association spokesman said the visitors’ support gave them hope that the industry could make a full recovery."
(Source:  Japan Today website) 

United Methodist Church official website featured a story on relief activities in the Karakuwa area on March 24, 2011.

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The Yen steadied On Friday After Plunging to a Six-and-a-half Month Low

"The yen steadied on Friday after plunging to a six-and-a-half month low against the dollar in the previous session on expectations a new Japanese government could push the Bank of Japan to adopt interest rates of zero or below." reports the Reuters.

Bank of Japan (source: Wikipedia)

Strategists remained divided over whether the Japanese currency has entered a new weaker phase against its major counterparts, or whether its dramatic drop this week will prove to be an aberration.

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JAXA and MHI Develop Camera To Show Radiation Levels

"Japan's space agency and a leading machinery maker have developed a camera for use at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. The device is designed to help in cleaning up leaked radioactive materials." reports News On Japan website.

(Source:  JAXA website)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industry unveiled a prototype of the camera on Thursday. The device has a sensor for high radiation.

(source: Wikipedia)

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A Plan To Probe Faultlines Beneath Tsuruga NPP

"The Nuclear Regulation Authority is planning to probe faultlines beneath the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture on Dec 1 and Dec 2."reports Japan Today website.

Tsuruga, Fukui Pref., Japan (Source:  mapzone.com)

"The plant will be the second site to be checked following a probe into the faultline beneath the Oi plant last week."

Tsuruga Nuclear Plant (source: wikipedia)

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The Number of Evacuees Has Fallen

"The number of people in evacuation shelters situated outside Fukushima Prefecture has fallen, government figures showed on Wednesday." reports the Japan Today website.

Temporary Housing in Kesen-numa, Miyagi (source: Japan Times)

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"No Imminent Resumption Of Operations At The World’s Biggest Nuclear Plant"

"Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) sees no imminent resumption of operations at the world’s biggest nuclear plant, shut down after last year’s Fukushima disaster, further raising its costs as it spends more on fossil fuels to generate electricity." reports the Japan Today website.

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP (source: World Nuclear News.org)

"A wall to protect the 8,212-megawatt Kashiwazaki-Kariwa station’s seven reactors against tsunamis will not be finished until June next year, said Shiro Arai, deputy site manager."

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"Japan’s nuclear future ... The government’s fudge on its nuclear future remains unconvincing"

"THIS remote north-eastern coastal village in Aomori prefecture would delight a North Korean or Iranian spy. Not because of the rolling countryside, but the uranium-enrichment facility, the plant undergoing testing to make nuclear fuel by reprocessing spent uranium and plutonium, and the stash of a good part of Japan’s stockpiles of more than nine tonnes of separated plutonium—enough, experts say, to make more than 1,000 nuclear warheads."reports the Economist website.

                                             Rokkasho Village, Aomori Pref. (source:   Wikipedia)

Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant (source: Wikipedia)

"The Rokkasho plant seems an anomaly in a country that forswears nuclear weapons and that has shut down all but two of its 54 nuclear reactors. Yet the same government that says it wants to phase out atomic energy by the end of the 2030s also insists that it is committed soon to start reprocessing enough nuclear waste at Rokkasho to provide fuel for Japan’s nuclear-power plants to go flat out into the 2050s. It does not take much prodding for officials to concede a potential contradiction, big enough to render Japan’s nuclear policy almost meaningless."

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"Exposure to Low-level Radiation Can Cause Leukemia"

"Protracted exposure to low-level radiation is associated with a significant increase in the risk of leukemia, according to a long-term study published Thursday in a U.S. research journal."
reports Japan Times/Kyodo.

The abandoned city of Pripyat with Chernobyl plant in the distance (source:  Wikipedia)

"The study released in the monthly Environmental Health Perspectives was based on a 20-year survey of around 110,000 workers who engaged in cleanup work related to the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in 1986."

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10 Trillion Yen For Clean Up

"The cost of the clean-up and compensation after the Fukushima nuclear disaster may double to 10 trillion yen, the plant’s operator said Wednesday." reports the Japan Today website.

Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP (Source;  Daily Mail, Mar 15,2011)

"Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said decontamination of irradiated areas and compensating those whose jobs or home lives have been affected would cost more than the 5 trillion yen it estimated in April."

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Today's Bible Verse 今日の聖句 (11/08/12)

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13)



The next U.S. Senator from Hawai'i- the first Asian-American woman in the U.S. Senate, born in Fukushima, Japan.

"U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono swept to a triumphant victory over former Gov. Linda Lingle tonight in the campaign for U.S. Senate."reports Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Rep. Mazie Hirono (source: Wikipedia)

"Hirono, a Democrat, led Lingle, a Republican, 63 percent to 35.5 percent after early votes were counted in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii. The Associated Press and CNN called the election for the Democrat shortly after the polls were scheduled to close at 6 p.m. but while some voters were still waiting in lines to cast ballots."

"Hirono, 65, is the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate."

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More Errors Found In Nuke Accident Projections

"The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Tuesday it has found more errors in its recently announced projections for the spread of radiation from reactors in the event of a severe accident." reports Japan Times/Kyodo.

"The errors surfaced about a week after the NRA had corrected simulation results for six nuclear power plants and Chairman Shunichi Tanaka had instructed the secretariat staff to make sure they would prevent a recurrence."

Today's Bible Verse 今日の聖句 (11/07/12)

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.  But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
   Then Jesus told them this parable:  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders  and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (Luke15:1-7, NIV)



TEPCO To Set Up HQ In Fukushima

"Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO) will set up a headquarters in Fukushima City specifically to deal with paying compensation to victims of the nuclear crisis." reports Japan Today website."

TEPCO Top Executives (Source:  Telegraph, Nov 6, 2011)

"TEPCO said the headquarters will open in January, TBS reported. The utility has been processing applications and paying compensation from its Tokyo head office, but company officials said the process will function more smoothly with a major office near the front line." 

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Victims' Bodies To Wrong Families

"The bodies of nine victims of last year's earthquake and tsunami disaster were misidentified and handed over to the wrong families, " reports the Yomiuri Shimbun.

(Source:  National Geographic website, Mar 15, 2011)

"The National Police Agency attributed the mistake to the fact that identification was confirmed without sufficient examination of dental and DNA data, out of desire to return the bodies to their relatives as soon as possible."

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Today's Bible Verse 今日の聖句 (11/06/12)

"Who, being in very nature  God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;  rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.   And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself  by becoming obedient to deatheven death on a cross!"       (Philippians 2:6-8)

「キリストは、神の身分でありながら、神と等しいものであることに固執しようとは思わず、かえって自分を無にして、僕の身分になり、人間と同じ者になられました。へりくだって、死に至るまで、それも十字架の死に至るまで従順でした。」(フィリピの信徒への手紙 2章6-8節, 新共同訳)


Today's Bible Verse 今日の聖句 (11/05/12)

"Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.  But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,  and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14;12-14,  NIV)

また、イエスは招いてくれた人にも言われた。「昼食や夕食の会を催すときには、友人も、兄弟も、親類も、近所の金持ちも呼んではならない。その人たちも、あなたを招いてお返しをするかも知れないからである。宴会を催すときには、むしろ、貧しい人、体の不自由な人、足の不自由な人、目の見えない人を招きなさい。そうすれば、その人たちはお返しができないから、あなたは幸いだ。正しい者たちが復活するとき、あなたは報われる。」 (ルカによる福音書14章12-14節、新共同訳)

Young New Orleans Musicians Visiting Tohoku

"At the Narita airport in Japan, the welcome signs were everywhere, when 16 young musicians landed in mid-October, on a mission to bring a bit of New Orleans to the land of the rising sun." reports WWLTV.com

"Eight Tipitina's Foundation interns, led by musician Donald Harrison and 8 members of the O. Perry Walker Chosen Ones marching band, led by Wilbert Rawlins, were there on a cultural exchange trip.

New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (Source: Trinity College website)

"Just getting on the bus to Tokyo it was clear this trip would be about music – New Orleans music. Sounds of the Crescent City, and “When The Saints Go Marching In,” were in the air. "

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"Decision on Oi nuclear plant faultline postponed "

"Experts have postponed a decision on whether a faultline underneath Japan’s only operating nuclear plant is active or what to do with the facility." reports Japan Today Online.

Oi Nuclear Power Plant, Fukui Pref. (Source:  Asahi Shimbun, Oct 29, 2011)
A five-member team commissioned by the Nuclear Regulation Agency inspected the Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture on Friday to examine a suspected faultline there. Two of Oi’s four reactors resumed operation in July for the first time since last year’s nuclear crisis triggered by a quake and tsunami that hit another plant.

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'Quake wall newspapers' preserved at museum

"The Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun, which published handwritten newspapers amid the devastation caused by last year's earthquake and tsunami, opened a facility Thursday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the paper's first publication in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture." reports the Daily Yomiuri Online.

Ishinomaki Port after Tsunami (Source: Wikipedia)

"The first floor of the facility, named "Kizuna no Eki" (Station of interpersonal bonds), is a museum exhibiting newspapers that were pinned up on the walls of evacuation centers and pictures showing the city just after the earthquake and tsunami." 

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Nuke Worker Not Told Of Danger

"The operator of a Japanese nuclear plant that went into a tsunami-triggered meltdown knew the risks from highly radioactive water at the site but sent in crews without adequate protection or warnings, a worker said in a legal complaint" reports the Associated Press."

Fukushima Dai-ichi Plant (source; Reuters, Feb 28,2012)

"The actions by Tokyo Electric Power Co. led to radiation injuries, said the contract worker, who was with a six-member team working at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi plant's Unit 3 reactor in the early days of last year's crisis"

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