Posts Tagged Tokyo

58 nanosieverts in Tokyo | Lenz Blog

As measured this morning.  I haven’t done one of these posts in a while, since the figures are rather constantly around 60 now. That compares to about 80 in Munich, my home town in Germany, and is of course perfectly safe. In contrast, CO2 levels are unacceptably high world wide at over 392 ppm and rising.

via 58 nanosieverts in Tokyo | Lenz Blog.

Fear and anxiety over radiation levels, radioactive food sources, accurate measurements, trustworthy sources, etc., often distracts from other dangers. It is important to keep perspective.

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Fukushima scaremongers becoming increasingly desperate • The Register

Not news, but a comment (informed one, it seems) on the Great Tokyo Water Scare by a Western blogger, Lewis Page. In the second half of his article, he gives a textbook example of how the media, with some careless reporting, can give a false impression that is quite enough to sow disquiet, anxiety and fear in a whole lot of people, especially in the matter of radioactivity. Can you spot it? (Key points underlined for your convenience.) Blogger Counting Cats in Zanzibar, which is where I found the link to The Register article, comments, “I expect it’s something to do with the unique way it’s funded. TV news is, as I think I’ve probably said before, inherently tabloid in nature.”

Tokyo tapwater – THE NEW GROUND ZERO!!! Fallout!!! Chernobyl!!!Then theres the matter of the tapwater in Tokyo. Two days ago, levels of radioactive iodine-131 were found in the citys water which were above the safety limit for baby milk calculated on the basis of a years consumption: in other words, if babies drank such water for a year constantly they would have a tiny, minuscule extra risk of thyroid cancer.One should note that iodine-131 has a half-life of 8 days: it disappears almost completely within a matter of weeks. The Fukushima reactors have not been generating any more of it since they scrammed nearly a fortnight ago, and the residual core heating which is causing it to be emitted has plunged to tiny proportions of that seen in the days after the quake

via Fukushima scaremongers becoming increasingly desperate • The Register.

It continues… Read the rest of this entry »

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Updated advice on Japan from Government Chief Scientific Adviser to UK Ambassador

Sir John Beddington, Government Chief Scientific Adviser, spoke to Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Japan David Warren on 25 March with an update on the situation in Japan. Transcript of phone call (16.00 hours local time) 25 March.

[JB] Let me take water first and I will ask Hilary Walker [Health Protection Agency] and JM to comment. First of all, we think that the advice being given by the Japanese authorities is extremely sensible: We would recommend that advice is followed. The other thing I would comment on is that radiation levels that the Japanese use in developing their recommendations are more cautious that the ones we have in the UK or Europe more generally. In terms of the mains water supply as was reported on 23rd March, it is pretty much safe to drink for all age groups for a short period. In terms of consumption of water, babies should avoid it. I think I’ll pass to Hilary for her comments on that.

[Hilary Walker: HW] As John was saying, the Japanese recommendations are much more cautious than ours. You must remember that these levels are based on assumptions of consumption over quite a long period of time.

[JB] Yes, this is just a one-off occasion. An explanation for it will be sought, but at the moment the recommendations from the Japanese seem completely sensible. Just to add to that it is completely safe for washing. You don’t have to go and buy bottled water to bathe your children in.

The other thing I’d like to say in terms of water is around the stable iodine tablets. Read the rest of this entry »

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BBC News – What chance of a big one in Tokyo?

from BBC


So what is the outlook for Japan now, especially for the great city of Tokyo and the Kanto plain on which it sits?…

Kanto sits very close to a tectonic triple junction – a point where vast slabs of the Earth’s surface grind past each other…

“When it comes to Tokyo, things get immensely complicated,” said Dr Stein…

“There seems to be broken pieces of plate that are jammed under Tokyo like a pill that won’t go down your throat. And on top of that we have the two different slabs of plates beneath it, so there’s really a triple stack of faults beneath Tokyo.”…

“our judgement would be that the hazard is either unchanged or higher than it was beforehand.”

But Dr Stein stresses that far more work needs to be done.

via BBC News – What chance of a big one in Tokyo?.

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Fukushima Nuclear Accident – Why I stay in Tokyo « BraveNewClimate

Fukushima Nuclear Accident – Why I stay in Tokyo « BraveNewClimate.

Writes Alex Bieber, a German national who has been a resident of Tokyo since 1998. He runs a small executive search firm and is married to a Japanese:

[This commentary contains footnotes and links that allow you to verify what I am saying.]

Thousands have left Tokyo recently in a panic about the perceived radiation threat. If you ask any one of them to precisely articulate what the threat consists of, they will be unable to do so. This is because they actually don’t know, and because in fact there is no threat justifying departure, at least not from radioactivity (*).They flee because they have somehow heard that there is a threat – from the media, their embassies, their relatives overseas, friends, etc. These sources of information, too, have never supplied a credible explanation for their advisories.

But they have managed to create a mass panic, leading to thousands of people wasting their money on expensive air fares, disrupting their professional lives, their children’s education, and the many other productive activities they were going about. In some cases, foreign executives have abandoned their post in Tokyo, guaranteeing a total loss of respect among those who have stayed behind. Some service providers catering to the foreign community have lost almost their entire income over night. Other providers reversely will lose long-term clientele because they have fled, leaving their remaining customers and clients forced to find new providers. Domestic helpers (especially from the Philippines) have suddenly lost their livelihoods because their “employers” think it’s alright to run away without paying their helpers another penny. Another result of all the hysteria is that attention has been diverted away from the real disaster: the damage done in north-eastern Japan where thousands have died, and many tens of thousands live in dreadful conditions right now, waiting for help.

It includes a link to this informative graphic about radiation levels.

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Book Notes – Liar’s Poker

Michael Lewis, freshly graduated with a Master’s degree in economics from LSU, got a job working for investment bank Salomon Brothers in 1984 (how he got the job is a story to itself; as encouragement to read this witty book, I’ll just tell you it involves the late Queen Mother). Salomon Brothers expanded and created branch offices in Tokyo and London, giving Lewis an opportunity for some cross-cultural comparisons. He wrote about them in Liar’s Poker:

When Gutfreund appeared in any American branch office, the employees put on a show. They affected a casual confidence. Although their stomachs churned and their pants moistened, young Americans jested with the wandering Gutfreund. They said nothing terribly adventuresome, you understand. Jokes about the latest bond issue were in. Jokes about Gutfreund’s wife were out. As long as the ground rules were properly observed, Gutfreund gave it right back.

When Gutfreund visited the Tokyo office, the Japanese employees bowed their heads at their desks and worked the phones furiously, as if playing charades and assigned to communicate: Men At Work… No young Japanese peered skyward to chat with cherubic Gutfreund-san. An American friend of mine happened to be in the Tokyo office on one of Gutfreund’s visits and was taken aside by the boss for a discussion. When my friend returned to the trading floor, he recalls, “All the Japanese were staring at me as if I had just had a personal conversation with God and He had made me a saint.”

In London, Gutfreund was treated, quite simply, like a gauche American tourist. It would only have confirmed many people’s opinion of him if he had turned up wearing psychedelic Bermuda shorts and a T-shirt with a camera round his neck. People laughed behind his back, especially as the firm spiraled into decline. (p. 181-2, paperback edition).

Zemanta (below) points to an article titled, Lewie Ranieri wants to fix the mortgage mess ( If you’ve read Liar’s Poker, you’ll think (after you’ve picked yourself off the floor) that this is like Nero offering to “fix” Rome.

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