Skip to comments.Japanís slow tsunami response stirs anger (Japanese government starts to come clean)
Posted on 03/18/2011 4:42:11 PM PDT by Chi-townChief
Unlike victims of earthquakes in Haiti, Indonesia or China, those suffering in Japan expect their government to work and cant understand why a country as affluent as theirs cant keep gasoline, the lifeblood of a modern economy, flowing and why towns across the northeast have been plunged into frigid darkness for five days.
I never expected anything like this in modern Japan. It is like fiction, said Yutaka Iwasawa, a 25-year-old forklift operator. With the first floor of his house under water, he and his family huddle on the second floor. They go to bed as soon as the sun goes down because it is too cold and damp to do anything else.
The military, which has mobilized 100,000 troops for relief work, delivers water in stricken areas, hunts for bodies and has flown risky missions to dump water on a nuclear power plant belching radioactive smoke. In Ishinomaki, soldiers operate from a baseball stadium on dry land.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
It’s not like playing on a computer, it’s an extremely difficult proposition. 5 days after a tsunami? That’s nothing. I was without power for 12 days after a mere ice storm in the midwest. Tsunami is much much worse. Tsunami plus earthquake...........unimaginable.
Typical WaPo ‘journalism’ - probably scoured the countryside for days to find a few people to whine and snivel — and then make them out to be representative of the populace in general....
It is really pretty astonishing that a nation with so much high tech and rigid structure, is almost witless in the face of this.
Did no one war game on this scenario taking place?
But it goes to show that you have to be your own FEMA first and foremost so you can be taken care of and possibly be more of a help and less of a victim
Something does need to be considered here. Because of the tradition of “Losing face”, it is becoming very apparent to the world that Japanese business and culture has a problem owning up to the fact that they make mistakes. Toyota’s recent troubles are making it clear that it can at times cost lives.
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This is what happens when people become over-domesticated. It's not at all different than New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. Liberals are the overly domesticated, yet still feral humans that we self reliant conservatives are forced to deal with. Of course, the lib-media loves to exaggerate the suffering of liberals.
I’ve found the Japanese to be very polite but difficult to work with if that makes any sense - extremely meticulous and efficient but somewhat lacking on the creative side.
I’ve worked with Japanese companies in the auto industry.
They have tremendous strengths, especially in setting up good systems and working those systems faithfully.
But where they are weak is when improvisation is needed.
Then their rigidity is a weakness.
This may be in play here.
Wow - you posted my same sentiments nearly at the exact same time.
People are so clueless (I include myself).
We always think it cant happen to me or it cant happen here.
Complexity and energy are needed to run everything.
We are so dependent on both.
While it makes our lives more cushy, it also makes us soft. We forget we are ultimately responsible for our own basic survival.
When emergency response is slow or non-existant, a glitch here, a glitch there, cascading failures ... the web of our lives unravel faster than we could ever have imagined, faster than we ever wanted to imagine.
Yeah I think to anybody who has worked with them, it’s pretty obvious.
Around 2000, at GM we hired a top guy from Toyota (retired) as a consultant on the engineering org.
He said they have mostly average people in a great system and we had excellent people in a lousy system.
‘probably scoured the countryside for days to find a few people to whine and snivel’—
I for one can’t believe you actually said that, about, tens of thousands of people who were ground in the mud, sand, water, tree limbs, houses, boats, and their loved ones crying, homeless, no food, no clothes, no warmth, everything gone.
If they were to ‘whine and snivel’ as you so remarkably rudely put it, they have earned the right to so.
Tsunami plus earthquake...........unimaginable.Tsunami and multiple earthquakes, the big one being 9.0.
You have to consider how huge that is.
We all saw the difficulties of getting aid into New Orleans after Katrina. Granted, part of that was the State and part the residents. But that’s one city in a big nation who’s industrial capacity was still up and running. This is the entire Northeastern part of Japan and most of the Japanese economy is shut down. Sony, Honda, Toyota and Nissan have stopped production. Add a nuclear disaster that has taken 25% of the entire nation’s power supply offline and prompted partial evacuation of their capital. There is no equivalent in an advanced nation except the end of WWI and WWII in Europe.
The relief effort is going to take a long time. Effective triage will be essential.
Yep. All the power lines, power distribution ceters, water pipes, sewage and gas lines will be broken. Many roads are impassable. Bridges are out and thousands of buildings are now just scrap wood. This is MUCH worse than Katrina and it will take weeks just to get to everyone and it may be weeks before electricity is restored to even the undamaged buildings on high ground.
I’ll admit, I expected more.
They live on top of major faults, and built nuclear plants there. After the tsunami in Indonesia, what did they do? Cross their fingers and toes they would never get one?
I understand the breakdown of, say, roads and power and such. But I don’t understand how they didn’t allow for the reactors in this. And if I was in CA, I would be terrified. Because I think Japan is better organized than CA is. In a major earthquake/tsunami there, can you imagine? Half don’t even speak English.
That’s very interesting.
Because that is the American strength, as long as the government doesn’t interfere.
Obviously - however, they shouls have realize the incremental, try and salvage what we can, approach was not the way to go with the old nuclear power plant.
In the electronic industry, we’ve seen Sony in the 70s and 80s, for example, raid Zenith for creative American engineering people - didn’t always work out, though.
Here in the Seattle area they pushed the 3 day prepare thing. I think it is up to 5 or 7 days now. Better, but that is still not enough. So much of the travel in the area is dictated by water, and bridges. Bridges that will be destroyed when the “big one” hits. (Seattle would become a virtual island).
Most main routes of commerce are north-south. The entire NW coast could be affected by a NW Subduction zone EQ. Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, N. California. Worst-case would be in winter with east-west travel over the passes being marginal.
There is a reason why these huge earthquakes, hurricanes, and even severe winter storms are disasters. We CAN’T prepare for them all fully.
(My family could probably last a month or two, assuming the house doesn’t totally collapse, which is a reasonable assumption.)
Japan’s greatest strength is their people. Such discipline, no looting, and being able to keep stoically calm in such horrendous life and death circumstances. I wish America would take in refugees and relocate those wishing to leave who have lost everything...we could use people like that.
I know that they can put into a box what I can never get back in after I've taken it out. LOL!
300 Christmas tree lights in a match box! Give me a break!
The Chinese are definitely adept at copying.
The Japanese do some innovating, and in a world economy, are smart enough to have American design centers for a lot of products. Most all the Japanese (and Korean) cars are styled at facilities in California.
That’s the problem - their procedure-oriented “sheeple” approach to life is great for keeping public order but not so good for out of the box problem solving.
I dare say he's been infected with the American entitlement attitude. He's clueless of reality. The scale of the disaster is unimaginable.
Japan's handling of the nuclear reactors has been a fiasco at best.
I'm sure you'd have done so much better. /s
“Obviously - however, they shouls have realize the incremental, try and salvage what we can, approach was not the way to go with the old nuclear power plant.”
We can’t all be Bruce Willis, with editors to fix the decisions we should have made the other way. I suspect that most of this mess up was just a lot of incremental decisions made under extreme stress that didn’t work the way they hoped. Or maybe there was no way out once the tsunami took out the generators. Or maybe they just should have started encasing it in cement at the git go. But where would they have gotten the cement, given that the whole NE of the country was shut down and there was no power.
Maybe they should have known. Knowing what we know now, they should have thought if there’s a earthquake, we might get a tsunami also and that might wipe out the generators and . . . . Or we could eliminate all power plants—lots of people die in regular power plants.
But there’s no way to eliminate all risk ever, no matter how much you think it out in advance. I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe western civilization really is reaching it’s limits. We need x amount of energy and you can’t generate that much with politically acceptable risks.
Japan's regimented culture minimizes problems like looting. But, it also appears to stifle individual initiative. ("The nail that stands up gets hammered down".)
In the US, by now, some PO'd hardhat guys would have hiked out of the flooded area, commandeered some backhoes, bulldozers and Gradalls -- and started digging ditches to drain those saltwater lakes where there were towns before the tsunami.
Or, just as likely, hardhats from around the nation would have arrived with earthmoving equipment and trailers full of diesel fuel and set to work -- completely without any government instructions or support.
(At least, that's how would have worked here 50 years ago...)
Americans take pride in individuality and imitative.
The Japanese see these as weaknesses.
'Americans take pride in individuality and initiative'
The people here who like to compare the Japanese situation to Katrina to point out the “superior Japanese culture” forget that outside of New Orleans, the response to Katrina in the Gulf region was very good in truly catastrophic circumstances.