Fresh & Hot from Japan, 13 to 20 Apr. 2016

Please enjoy fresh & hot news from Japan with comments by Europe-Japan Dynamics.

13 Apr.  Ever increasing payments by credit cards, E-commerce companies trying to attract consumers by offering interesting gifts

Payments made by credit cards is increasing. While the number of the cards stays almost at the same level, volume of payments per person has been increasing as the use of online sales via the Internet is increasing. Card companies are trying to further increase the payment per person by offering interesting gifts to consumers by means of the usage points.

Comments: This trend might pave a way to an increasing use of the bit coin.

14 Apr. The first litigation against Takahama Nuclear Power Plants of more than 40 years old requesting”disapproval” of the re-operation due to high risks

A group of seventy-six residents in 14 prefectures and cities, including Takahama-cho, Nagoya city, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Shiga, Aichi, Gifu and Mie, has filed an administrative litigation in the Nagoya District Court to request not to authorize the extension of the operation of Takahama Nuclear Power Plant 1 and 2 owned by Kansai Electric Power (presently not in operation for checking-up) that is more than 40 years old. It is the first litigation that focuses on the risk of the old nuclear power plant.

Comments: I see two important points in this action;  first, the action is preventive and the second, it involves the public from wide areas, going beyond the cities and municipalities that would be directly affected in case of an accident.

15 Apr.  Earthquake of Level 7 in Kumamoto 

A strong earthquake of maximum seismic intensity 7 happened in Kumamoto prefecture around 9:26 PM on 14 April. The area that had the strongest eismic intensity 7 was Mashiki-machi, Kumamoto, according to the Meteorological Agency. The Agency also said that the earthquake of seismic intensity 7 is the first in Japan since East Japan great earthquake disaster of 11 March, 2011.

Comments: The danger of the earthquake is that it happens anytime anywhere at any strength. Despite studies be the biologist, the earthquake is still largely unpredictable.

18 Apr. Sendai Nuclear Power Plant (Kyushu) “No problem” even with the move of the seismic center, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a meeting on 18th, and confirmed that there was no irregular phenomenon observed at for the moment in atomic energy facilities in the area of the Kumamoto Earthquake, such as Kyushu Electric Power Sendai Nuclear Power Plant (Satsumasendai-shi, Kagoshima-ken), which is the only nuclear plant in operation in Japan.

Comments: Despite the confirmation of the nuclear authority, a large number of Japanese public wish the Sendai Plan to stop operation as a preventive measure. People know that the Fukushima plants were said to be “Absolutely safe”, before the disaster in 2011.

19 Apr. Beef bowl, baked confectionery, air cushion, etc., companies offering various support to victims of Kumamoto earthquake

Activities of the companies sending supporting supplies are getting into the full swing. The supplies include those products developed taking the lesson from the past disasters including the East Japan great earthquake disaster. That said, the companies must be cautious in moving forward and are watching carefully the status of the affected areas. The the earthquake still continues and the acceptance systems in affected areas are not yet set, having the infrastructure (road, electricity, etc.) cut apart.

Comment: The Japanese learned a lot since the East Japan great earthquake as to the importance of coordination between receivers in disaster areas and donors from other parts of the country.

20 Apr. 97% reopened already, Convenience stores in Kumamoto having taken lessons from the disasters in the past

A number of convenience stores have reopened business in the disaster areas. It is reported that about 97% of the stores are open again in Kumamoto Prefecture as a whole, among the three major convenience storers, Lawson, Seven-Eleven Japan and Family Mart. Taking lessons from the disaster experiences in the past, the stores shipped drinking water and food as a priority and gathered employees from the whole country to support shop operations in the disaster areas.

Comment: Convenience stores are quick to resume business taking lessons from disasters in the past, including the East Japan great earthquake in 2011.

  • All the news items are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and summarized and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. The articles are not an official translation by the Asahi Newspaper.

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