And on a brighter note:

TOKYO (Nikkei)–Lighting for some 870,000 beverage vending machines will soon be turned back on at night in areas served by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) and Tohoku Electric Power Co. (9506).

With the summer’s demand for electricity having passed its peak, the Japan Soft Drink Association concluded that its members no longer need to voluntarily reduce their energy consumption.

via 2011/09/02 03:49 – Vending Machines To Light Up The Night Once More.

The ubiquitous vending machines were one of the first things I noticed about Japan. They are everywhere, and you can find ones selling rice and eggs. Unlike vending machines in Britain, they all work!