“Shoganai” (also “shikataganai”) means “it can’t be helped”, and is used in the face of unavoidable imponderables or acts of God, but also used to refer to acts of man. This phrase is almost guaranteed to bring a snarl of annoyance and contempt from many Westerners, as it smacks of that terrible crime, fatalism. The article below is written (surprise, surprise) by a Westerner.

So as Japan rebounds and rebuilds, one multi-billion-dollar question that must be answered is this: In a society that is totally dependent on electricity and has become wedded to the notion that convenience is the backbone of modernity both now and in the future, how will Japan satisfy its energy needs in the decades to come? U ntil now, about 60 percent of Japans electricity has been generated using fossil fuels, while about 30 percent has come from nuclear power, and about 8 percent from hydro power. Other renewable sources provide only 2 percent.Eager to stabilize and reduce carbon emissions, and because fossil fuels, in particular oil and gas, will inevitably become less abundant and more expensive worldwide as time goes on, Japan has been aiming to raise nuclear power generation to 40 percent of its overall power-supply mix.

via Spare us shoganai as we face an ominous spring | The Japan Times Online.