Posts Tagged pensioners

Japan retired nuclear workers ready for duty – Yahoo! News

“Skilled Veterans Corps”. Good name. It took a politician to call them (publicly) a “suicide corps”. Way to go, Hosono! Diplomatic, eh?

This article has more details than the one Mike Rogers linked to yesterday.

More than 160 engineers, including many former atomic plant workers, aged 60 or older say they want to set up a “Skilled Veterans Corps” to help restore the cooling systems crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

via Japan retired nuclear workers ready for duty – Yahoo! News.

“We need to bring the participants’ voices to parliament as well as to the government,” said Hiroe Makiyama, an upper house member of the centre-left Democratic Party of Japan.

What the heck for? To make it look like the parliament and the government are actually doing something? As the man who came up with the idea, Yamada, said,

“A functioning cooling system is indispensable,” he pointed out. “But who is supposed to build it? Only people can do it”

Only people. And not politicians, but people who actually know what they are doing. As Masahiro Ueda, 69, a former nuclear power plant worker with more than four decades of expertise on water pumps of cooling systems, put it:

“Someone should take action. You can’t work properly at nuclear plants without specialist knowledge.”

“We will also consider the necessary legislation to back the project.”… said Hiroe Makiyama, an upper house member of the centre-left Democratic Party of Japan.

Why is legislation necessary?

“We are very thankful and want to accept their feeling of devoted action,” said Goshi Hosono, the special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan in charge of addressing the ongoing crisis, according to local media.

“But our principle is that we should stick to procedures that will not require such a ‘suicide corps’,” Hosono said.

Translation: we’d rather Tepco paid minimum wages to inexperienced sub-contractor workers who don’t know what they’re getting into, than nuclear industry veterans who know exactly what they’re doing and what the risks are, and are more than likely to criticize Tepco and the government’s strategies. Who needs that, sheesh! We’re in charge, and we don’t want anyone throwing doubts on our competence, duh!

And anyway, initiative is a dirty word. It upsets solidarity and harmony, the pillars that uphold Japanese society, doncha know.

March 5th 2008 - Everyone should give themselves a slap on the wrist sometimes

"Slap on the wrist" (for initiative). Photo by Stephen Poff on Flickr (click photo to visit)



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Marketing Japan: Fighting Radioactivity? Pensioners to the Rescue!

Mike Rogers has a news story that has not yet surfaced in Japanese mainstream news, as far as I can tell. Is this yet another example of news that only becomes news in Japan after the foreigners talk about it? I’ll be looking for confirmation of this story in other, local, media. If any Japanese resident can confirm this story with links to Japanese-language sources, please leave a comment, thanks.


Sometimes the Japanese just blow my mind. The entire fabric of society here and how people work as a team and believe in doing their utmost for the betterment of all is just amazing. The spirit of self-sacrifice that these wonderful people show to each other is awe inspiring.Here is a jaw-dropping story about how 60 ~ 70+-year old senior citizens Japanese are banding together to work at the crippled nuclear power plants at Fukushima.

via Marketing Japan: Fighting Radioactivity? Pensioners to the Rescue!.

Jaw-dropping is right, tho I’m not so excited about the Our project should be part of a long-term plan under state control bit. Still, it’s an inspiring example of initiative.

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