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A Long, Painful Reckoning [in Japan]
Wall Street Journal ^ | March 17, 2011 | Juro Osawa, Daisuke Wakabayashi

Posted on 03/17/2011 3:56:29 PM PDT by La Enchiladita

The number of dead and missing after Japan's twin earthquake and tsunami stood late Wednesday, officially, at 12,920.

In reality, Japanese widely agree, the toll of last week's disaster is likely much higher. In Miyagi, a coastal prefecture that bore some of the tsunami's worst destruction, officials estimate the toll there alone will be in the tens of thousands.

Accounting for the gap between the official and true count are places like Otsuchi, until March 11 a town of about 15,000 people on Japan's northeastern coast.

Japan won't declare someone missing unless they have been reported missing. In Otsuchi, where Friday's tsunami is believed to have swept away entire neighborhoods and families, no one is left in many cases to report names. About 5,000 people were evacuated. Otuchi's dead number 221, officially. Seven are declared missing. That leaves more than 9,000 uncounted.

The effect is repeated in towns up and down the coast in the prefectures including Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima. Survivors in Minamisanriku, a town in Miyagi washed nearly clean of its houses, believe about half of its 17,000 residents are gone.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Japan
KEYWORDS: earthquake; selfishobsession; tragedy; tsunami
Many, many lives forever changed...

Japanese officials say they have always handled disaster tolls this way, with painstakingly precise tallies rather than grand estimates that are honed later.

"We value each and every life," said Noriyuki Shikata, deputy Cabinet secretary for public relations. "Estimates are so rough. We don't take that approach."

1 posted on 03/17/2011 3:56:32 PM PDT by La Enchiladita
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To: La Enchiladita

I’m still waiting for the long, painful reckoning here at home.


2 posted on 03/17/2011 4:04:38 PM PDT by ronnyquest (Barack H. Obama is the Manchurian Candidate. What are you going to do about it?)
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To: ronnyquest
TRENT PEARSALL wrote:

I truly do not know why I even read the comment threads on most article any more. The horrific accounts of the mounting loss of life, the torturous process of sifting through these villages to search for the lost and those that will never be found, and the suffering of those left behind not knowing the ultimate fate of their loved ones. AND what do I continually read...nuclear power plant this, future of nuclear power that, and shots at USA-Japanese historical relations... I utterly weep for humanity, not those suffering in Japan, as much as my heart hurts, but for the rest of us that cannot embrace our fellow beings and direct our concerns\energy toward charity.

3 posted on 03/17/2011 4:16:38 PM PDT by La Enchiladita (Remember, Reflect, Renew: 2011, 10 years since 9/11. Never Forget.)
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To: La Enchiladita

I have always thought we have had decent relations with Japan since WWII. They have been a dependable ally. But I agree that there is more energy being directed towards the situation with the nuclear reactors than helping the people directly affected by the earthquake and tsunami. I think it is simply because it is terra incognita, the scope of the nuclear issue.

There is a lot of hysteria with that, but even so it is a very serious situation. I suppose it is because it is still something that can be mitigated or diminished, where the poor people who were killed can have nothing done for them.

My wife did make an interesting observation-there have been no celebrities (Sandra Bullock excepted, and there may be more) who have been trying to get together support concerts, fundraisers or anything like that.

Think of what we saw for Haiti...and what we see now. Granted, the death toll will not likely get as high as Haiti, but it is going to be very high for a modern, industrialized country.

I pray for those people every day. What a trial they must be experiencing.


4 posted on 03/17/2011 4:50:43 PM PDT by rlmorel (How to relate to Liberals? Take a Conservative, remove all responsibility...logic...)
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To: rlmorel

I’ve been waiting to hear about one of those concerts.

It is a stark contrast to see how a disaster is handled (and responded to) in a thriving first world nation vs. an always-stumbling helpless 3rd world country.

Speaking of allies, Korea is showing a heart for Japan:

“International fuel assistance began taking shape Thursday, when South Korea said it would redirect some of its liquefied natural gas products to its neighbor....S Oil Corp. of South Korea said it would also boost its deliveries of oil products by more than 29 million gallons.”

Rescue efforts are being severely challenged by four major obstacles, including the harsh winter weather and fuel shortages as well as the unimagineable dimensions of devastation. The 4th obstacle is the diversion of attention to the nuclear radiation fears.

Thus far, there are ZERO deaths due to radiation sickness. Compare that to the EQ+tsunami mounting death toll.


5 posted on 03/17/2011 4:57:21 PM PDT by La Enchiladita (Remember, Reflect, Renew: 2011, 10 years since 9/11. Never Forget.)
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To: La Enchiladita

This is going to spark a long and painful reckoning around the globe as the true magnitude of whats happened sinks in. Japan has an incredibly long road ahead of them even without the loss of most of their nuclear power generating capability. Just replacing their labor force is going to be a monumental task.


6 posted on 03/17/2011 5:05:23 PM PDT by Bean Counter (Stout Hearts!I)
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To: La Enchiladita

We donated to Haiti, and just made a donation to Japan.

I admit it, I think the donation we made to Japan will be used more effectively than the donation to Haiti. That has no direct implication to the Haitian people, but more to the leftists who handle the money.

I heard someone ask Rush yesterday, why aren’t the Chinese/Russians/Indians helping?

Hell. Why aren’t WE helping beyond the military? We probably have more nuclear (we do) experience than any other country on earth. When this situation happened, there should have been long teleconferences between the Japanese Prime Minister and the President of the USA, with representatives from the industry taking marching orders and offering suggestions.

We should have had lots of talent flown in there on military aircraft and ferried to the site stat.

None of that happened to my knowledge. It is a failure of leadership. More likely, it is because nobody in the administration has any contacts (useful, friendly or otherwise) in nuclear industry in this country. Matter of fact, those in the administration were probably mortal enemies of the industry.


7 posted on 03/17/2011 5:12:20 PM PDT by rlmorel (How to relate to Liberals? Take a Conservative, remove all responsibility...logic...)
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To: La Enchiladita

Very interesting. And heartbreaking.


8 posted on 03/17/2011 5:20:18 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (70 years ago the Japanese were our mortal enemies. Today, we pray for their nation.)
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To: La Enchiladita

My mother has a friend who is an 84 year old Japanese lady (but I swear she looks like she’s maybe 50...and she just hiked Moab). She was supposed to fly to Osaka this weekend to visit her family. Her niece just called her yesterday and told her to change her trip. She said, “We are fine here, but you would not have a good time. There is just so much sadness here.”


9 posted on 03/17/2011 5:21:56 PM PDT by ponygirl
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To: Bean Counter

I know. There will be so many long term effects. Already, trade is shut off, little or nothing being shipped out of Japan.


10 posted on 03/17/2011 5:24:54 PM PDT by La Enchiladita (Remember, Reflect, Renew: 2011, 10 years since 9/11. Never Forget.)
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To: rlmorel
It is a failure of leadership.

I think you nailed it, and that is an understatement. Very, very sad.

11 posted on 03/17/2011 5:26:36 PM PDT by La Enchiladita (Remember, Reflect, Renew: 2011, 10 years since 9/11. Never Forget.)
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To: rlmorel
Well, there could be the possibility that the Japanese have not asked for help beyond the nuclear situation. Even the Salvation Army has to ask for permission for access. I remember when all those countries were offering to help during Katrina, and we actually turned them down. Of course, was that really help being offered, or just political posturing?

I can't imagine that the US military we already have there isn't being utilized, but I haven't heard anything about that. I am also assuming that the USS Ronald Reagan, which apparently has the capability to turn 400,000 gallons of seawater into potable water per day, isn't being used for that purpose in addition to providing help with the Fukushima plant. But again, I haven't heard anything about it. All I hear or see on the news is "The reactor is going to blow! We're all going to diiiieeeee!!!!!"

12 posted on 03/17/2011 5:28:43 PM PDT by ponygirl
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To: La Enchiladita

yah...it’s my understanding that most everything that was in transit when the quake hit will be arriving at their destinations this week, and what happens after that is anyone’s guess. It’s almost impossible to know who lost what supplier in all of this and I believe it will take months to straighten this all out with spot shortages of different items for a long, long time.


13 posted on 03/17/2011 5:35:11 PM PDT by Bean Counter (Stout Hearts!I)
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To: ponygirl

Agreed. I know the Japanese are kind of unique in such things, but we should have been pushing our assistance, knowing their cultural reticence in such matters.


14 posted on 03/17/2011 5:36:46 PM PDT by rlmorel (How to relate to Liberals? Take a Conservative, remove all responsibility...logic...)
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To: ponygirl; AmericanInTokyo

Yes, I have guessed perhaps the Japanese have a problem ASKING for help...???


15 posted on 03/17/2011 5:36:54 PM PDT by La Enchiladita (Remember, Reflect, Renew: 2011, 10 years since 9/11. Never Forget.)
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To: La Enchiladita

Applause. In the heat of values and principles, we can forget the real people who suffer, through no fault of their own. No true Conservative worthy of respect would make light of their suffering.

TRENT PEARSALL wrote:
I truly do not know why I even read the comment threads on most article any more. The horrific accounts of the mounting loss of life, the torturous process of sifting through these villages to search for the lost and those that will never be found, and the suffering of those left behind not knowing the ultimate fate of their loved ones. AND what do I continually read...nuclear power plant this, future of nuclear power that, and shots at USA-Japanese historical relations... I utterly weep for humanity, not those suffering in Japan, as much as my heart hurts, but for the rest of us that cannot embrace our fellow beings and direct our concerns\energy toward charity.


16 posted on 03/17/2011 7:42:50 PM PDT by saltus (God's Will be done)
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To: rlmorel

The Salvation Army is the only organization I’ll donate to these days.

And yes, there’s a serious lack of leadership in this country. It is hard to fathom why large military generators weren’t brought in by any means necessary immediately after the reports of the disabled generators on site.


17 posted on 03/17/2011 8:17:21 PM PDT by DB
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To: rlmorel

This is how I have felt about this. We’re not doing near what we could be doing. In times past, we’d be offering enormous aid.

I blame it on the Disco King in chief. Entirely HIS to blame ...hell, they blamed everything that went wrong w/ Katrina on Bush. They’ll likely blame THIS on Bush as well.


18 posted on 03/17/2011 8:46:22 PM PDT by LibsRJerks
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To: LibsRJerks

If America was still the America i grew up in, our leaders would be sending every available jetliner, troop transport, helicopter, ship and emergency response person to Japan to rescue these folks and take them to a place of safety, even if it were back to the mainland US. Our leaders would be leading by example and encouraging other nations throughout the world to do the same. It would be a massive humanitarian effort the likes of which the world has never seen before. Unfortunately America no longer has leaders.
***************

I found this posted on the Daily UK Mail. It echoes my thoughts and feelings exactly.


19 posted on 03/17/2011 9:08:19 PM PDT by LibsRJerks
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To: LibsRJerks

or money, for that matter.


20 posted on 03/18/2011 2:20:30 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (And yes, as a matter of fact, I am IN Japan. ;-))
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To: DB

‘_________I’ll donate to these days.

Salvation Army is tremendous.

Read about and consider Franklin Graham’s ‘Samaritan’s Purse.’

Also consider ‘Operation Blessing.’
It scores exceptionally high on ‘Charity Navigator,’ think it’s called. The vehicle that rates charities, and how much of the dollar actually goes to the disaster.


21 posted on 03/18/2011 3:12:00 AM PDT by USARightSide (At last! I'm actually here, after reading FR for 6 years! Pardon any fumbles - -)
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To: ponygirl

I heard that if you are within 12,500 miles of Japan, you’ll DIE when the reactors go!!!

:-P

Bonus points if you can figure out the significance of that number...


22 posted on 03/18/2011 7:10:55 AM PDT by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: gogogodzilla

Distance to Rio?


23 posted on 03/18/2011 7:23:38 AM PDT by 11Bush
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To: gogogodzilla
"Bonus points if you can figure out the significance of that number..."

We're all going to die!!!!!!

24 posted on 03/18/2011 7:48:46 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: La Enchiladita
Already, trade is shut off, little or nothing being shipped out of Japan.

Not true. I'm in the business of importing from Japan. We are having to reroute and delay some shipments, but we are running very close to on schedule performance as normal.

Our key suppliers are making the necessary adjustments to keep things functional in these very trying times. Their hard work and motivation is nothing short of inspirational.

25 posted on 03/18/2011 8:58:50 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: La Enchiladita
Yes, I have guessed perhaps the Japanese have a problem ASKING for help...???

Think of your typical New Orleans Katrina victim with a 180 degrees change in personality.

26 posted on 03/18/2011 9:01:09 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Vigilanteman
Not true. I'm in the business of importing from Japan. We are having to reroute and delay some shipments, but we are running very close to on schedule performance as normal.

Thank you. There is nothing like first-hand information. That is why I like FR: sometimes, this is the only place I get the real deal at a time like this. It's good to know that not all has failed. Even though we have failed Japan, they carry on.

27 posted on 03/18/2011 1:05:29 PM PDT by La Enchiladita (Remember, Reflect, Renew: 2011, 10 years since 9/11. Never Forget.)
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To: LibsRJerks
Actually, bushido is to blame.
28 posted on 03/18/2011 1:08:51 PM PDT by La Enchiladita (Remember, Reflect, Renew: 2011, 10 years since 9/11. Never Forget.)
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To: gogogodzilla

12,500 miles (give or take) = half the circumference of earth.


29 posted on 03/19/2011 8:20:54 PM PDT by backslacker ("Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man")
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To: backslacker

Bingo!

Which means we’re ALL GUNNA DIE!!111!!1!!!11!1

:-P


30 posted on 03/20/2011 6:19:29 AM PDT by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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