Author Topic: Japan Mulls to Move Capital over Disaster Worries  (Read 4082 times)

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Offline Okinawa

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Japan Mulls to Move Capital over Disaster Worries
« on: April 14, 2011, 11:58:42 am »
Japan Mulls to Move Capital over Disaster Worries
http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=127294
World | April 14, 2011, Thursday

As powerful earthquakes continue to jolt Japan and radiation levels near Tokyo are rising, the Asian country's authorities are considering moving the capital to another city.

The most probable location for a new capital are Osaka and Nagoya, according to ITAR-TASS. Both cities are located near international airports.

The main conditions the new capital has to provide are a population over 50 000 and a sufficient capacity to accommodate the parliament, the government, the Emperor's residency and the foreign diplomatic mission.
When we give up learning we have no more troubles. Lao Tzu

Sai On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sai_On

Sai On: Okinawa's Sage Reformer www.amazon.com/Saion-Okinawas-sage-reformer-introduction/dp/B0006CKRU0

Unspeakable Things www.personal.psu.edu/gjs4

Offline Okinawa

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Re: Japan Mulls to Move Capital over Disaster Worries
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2011, 12:04:47 pm »
Japan to Relocate Capital from Tokyo
Dateline: 10/11/99

http://geography.about.com/library/weekly/aa101199.htm

In 1990, the Diet (Japan's parliament) passed a resolution to investigate moving Japan's capital city out of Tokyo. Within a few weeks, a committee will present their choice for the location of a brand-new capital city to the Prime Minister.

The idea for moving the capital in Japan was first proposed and discussed when Tokyo hosted the 1964 Olympic Games. Now, the Diet wants to move the capital out of Tokyo to alleviate the "excessive concentration" of political and economic functions in the world's largest megalopolis of 33 million people. In addition, the possible breakdown of government functions in the event of a major earthquake striking Tokyo further led the Diet to legislate the move.

In 1868, with the Meiji Restoration, the Japanese imperial capital moved from Kyoto to the town of Edo (which had served as a quasi-capital since 1603) and Edo was was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo is the worlds most populous urban area and houses 26% of the country's population. In a recent study, Japanese researchers found that the cost of housing in Tokyo is over four times the cost of similar housing in Paris and well over three times the cost of similar housing in New York City.

Tokyo's civic and prefecture government officials are totally opposed to a relocation of the national capital and feel that power should continue to be centralized in Tokyo.

Kobe's devastating earthquake of 1995 gave impetus to the relocation idea and plans moved into high gear. A committee of the National Land Agency worked to select three final regions for the capital and settled on three regions located on the main island of Honshu:

    * Tokai - a region around Nagoya, west of Tokyo
    * Hokuto - in northeast Japan, near Sendai
    * Mie-kio - northwest of Tokyo

Distant Hokuto, over 200 miles from Tokyo, is the region that is the front runner for the new capital although the committee will select a single site within one of the three regions to present to the Prime Minister later this fall. Communities throughout Japan have purchased television and newspaper advertisements to describe the virtues of their community to sway the committee's decision. New capital locations are being judged on such factors as seismic safety, accessibility, water supply, land availability, and air quality.

Once the site is selected, plans will begin for a brand-new master-planned "Parliament City" of 100,000 people on 5,000 acres (20.25 square kilometers). Once the initial capital city is build, phase two calls for several surrounding satellite communities of 30,000 to 100,000 people each.

Opponents to the plan charge that the cost of the project, US $150-350 billion, would be better invested to make Tokyo and even better capital city and to improve earthquake preparedness. Opponents also claim that Tokyo will loose its prestige as an international financial center should the government move out.

Brazil is the most notable example of a nation that relocated its capital. Brasilia was built from scratch in the interior of the country and replaced Rio de Janeiro as the capital in 1960.
When we give up learning we have no more troubles. Lao Tzu

Sai On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sai_On

Sai On: Okinawa's Sage Reformer www.amazon.com/Saion-Okinawas-sage-reformer-introduction/dp/B0006CKRU0

Unspeakable Things www.personal.psu.edu/gjs4

Offline KazKru

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Re: Japan Mulls to Move Capital over Disaster Worries
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2011, 01:17:09 pm »
what does this tell you about they are not telling you?

Offline Okinawa

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Re: Japan Mulls to Move Capital over Disaster Worries
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2011, 03:01:19 pm »
what does this tell you about they are not telling you?

They were planning this a long time ago.
When we give up learning we have no more troubles. Lao Tzu

Sai On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sai_On

Sai On: Okinawa's Sage Reformer www.amazon.com/Saion-Okinawas-sage-reformer-introduction/dp/B0006CKRU0

Unspeakable Things www.personal.psu.edu/gjs4

Offline Okinawa

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Re: Japan Mulls to Move Capital over Disaster Worries
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2011, 03:17:57 pm »
Sunday, April 24, 2011
MEDIA MIX
Decentralizing Tokyo may save the nation
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fd20110424pb.html
By PHILIP BRASOR

The concentration of money and power in Tokyo is to a degree unthinkable in the United States. Edward Seidensticker

A recent issue of the somewhat disreputable Shukan Jitsuwa looked into a "rumor" that said the capital may be moved to the Kansai region due to the continuing threat of radiation in the eastern part of Japan. The exodus will be spearheaded by the private sector it said, mainly foreign companies but also firms that were born in Kansai but which had over time moved their headquarters to Tokyo. Jitsuwa said that Osaka governor Toru Hashimoto is excited about the possibility, hinting at a rivalry between him and Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, who has never taken the idea of relocation seriously.

Because it was published in Jitsuwa, many won't take the article seriously, either. However, the earthquake of March 11 reminded everyone just how vulnerable Tokyo is to disaster. The quake caused little damage in the city, but the disruption of transportation and communications lines led to thousands of pedestrians clogging the sidewalks. Another weekly, Sunday Mainichi, reported that 33 percent of the people who commute to Tokyo for work walked home that night. It was an orderly migration, but nevertheless a worrying one. If this is what happens in Tokyo when a major earthquake strikes hundreds of kilometers away, what would happen if one struck much closer?

The idea of relocating the functions of the central government was first floated in the 1960s for various reasons, not all of them having to do with disaster countermeasures. During the so-called bubble period of the late 1980s, land prices in Tokyo were absurdly high, and it was thought that moving at least some of the government would spread the wealth around, since the theory was that related private sector concerns would follow. When the economy cooled in the 1990s so did talk about relocation, and by the late 2000s the idea was considered dead.

Now it's suddenly back. On April 14, Sankei Shimbun reported on a bipartisan meeting of national politicians in the Diet to set up fukutoshin (auxiliary capitals) that can take over if Tokyo is hit by a major natural disaster or terrorist attack. Some 200 lawmakers attended the meeting and agreed that construction must begin as soon as possible, by the end of the year at the latest. The urgency of such a task was underlined by Kobe University seismologist Katsuhiko Ishibashi, who warned at the meeting that if a major earthquake struck the Tokai region and damaged the Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, Tokyo, which is less than 100 kilometers away, would have to be evacuated.

More than one auxiliary capital is preferable, but among the candidate locations the favorite seems to be Itami Airport in Osaka, a decision that should please Hashimoto, who wants to close Itami, once the region's international airport, in order to boost the fortunes of the newer Kansai International Airport. A bill has been submitted to set up a special economic district for the auxiliary capital so that planning and construction can begin.

But while there is certainly a need to have government functions reproduced somewhere outside of Tokyo, there are some people who believe it is not enough. In an opinion piece in the Asahi Shimbun, Mitsushi Koyama, the president of food company Bansho, says that full-scale decentralization of Tokyo should be the goal. He uses the expected shortage of electricity this summer to show how too much of the nation's resources are used for Tokyo and the surrounding regions. The area covered by Tokyo Electric Power Co. usually needs between 55 and 60 million kilowatts of power in the summer. None of the other nine regional power companies requires more than 20 million kilowatts at any one time.

But even if the government was moved out of Tokyo, Koyama doesn't believe it's enough. As he points out, only 2.8 percent of Tokyo's workers toil in the public sector, and the old theory that private sector companies would follow the government seems less supportable with the advent of the Internet. If the government wants to promote decentralization, it should directly encourage companies to move out of Tokyo. There's no reason for the Internet shopping mall Rakuten to have its headquarters in Roppongi. It can function anywhere. Japan has an excellent nationwide transportation network and high-speed communications system, so businesses can take advantage of regional characteristics.

Even Okinawa has special merits: All Nippon Airways has developed Naha Airport into a cargo hub for all of eastern Asia, so companies that sell parts to that area of the world could reduce costs if they relocated factories or distribution centers to Okinawa. The Mainichi Shimbun suggested Tokyo companies move to the Tohoku region in order to help it recover more quickly.

Shortly after the earthquake, some companies did move their offices out of the capital, but only temporarily. Under those circumstances, "leaving Tokyo" was seen as a negative thing. Koyama says business groups such as Nippon Keidanren (Japan Federation of Economic Organizations) should promote leaving Tokyo in a positive light. A 47-year-old man who wrote a letter to the Asahi expressed similar ideas but added he didn't think the government could be counted on to make decentralization happen. Despite the concerted push to find an auxiliary capital, the Diet on April 15 passed a bill to give tax breaks to large corporations that plan redevelopment activities in large cities, including Tokyo, where all the large corporations are headquartered.

Ishihara is also an obstacle. During his recent reelection campaign, he supported greater disaster prevention capabilities for the city rather than decentralization. The governor, who has repeatedly said his political vision is national, wants to change Japan from his vantage point of Tokyo, thus indicating Tokyo is the nation. By that logic, if Tokyo falls, so does Japan.

Philip Brasor blogs at philipbrasor.com.
When we give up learning we have no more troubles. Lao Tzu

Sai On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sai_On

Sai On: Okinawa's Sage Reformer www.amazon.com/Saion-Okinawas-sage-reformer-introduction/dp/B0006CKRU0

Unspeakable Things www.personal.psu.edu/gjs4

Offline Okinawa

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Re: Japan Mulls to Move Capital over Disaster Worries
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2011, 04:43:17 pm »
Japan lawmaker: Move parliament to Fukushima
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gY4bDuCNl0e2_DbsYlk1ZBNKLHCA?docId=CNG.64f9c81db558e1943b01871a72b9f9c0.af1
(AFP) 1 day ago

WASHINGTON A Japanese lawmaker said Friday that his country should move its parliament to Fukushima to provide an economic boost and show confidence in a region struck by a nuclear crisis after a massive earthquake.

Yasuhisa Shiozaki, who was the government's number two from 2006 to 2007, acknowledged that some people may find his idea far-fetched, but said that Japan should consider it as part of a broader decentralization from Tokyo.

"I am proposing to move the Japanese Diet to Fukushima, sending the message to the world that we are not running away from this meltdown issue," said Shiozaki, a member of the conservative opposition Liberal Democratic Party.

"Why not choose Fukushima to invigorate this area and economy and also cheer them up," he said at the Stimson Center, a think-tank.


"The side effect is that there won't be any Diet member who comes only because the Diet building is in Tokyo," he said.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Tokyo, suffered damage to its power supply and cooling systems during the March 11 earthquake, leading some 85,000 people to flee due to radiation fears.

Officials and plant operator TEPCO have struggled to address worries over safety at home and abroad, with the government saying that that vast majority of produce coming from Japan remains safe.

Japan has for decades considered shifting parts of its capital either as a stimulus to a struggling provincial region or out of fear that a major earthquake in Tokyo could cripple the world's second-largest developed economy.

The proposals have gained little traction. But Shiozaki said that Japan should be looking at an overall decentralization in light of the earthquake, which forced some companies to suspend production temporarily.

"The disaster especially exposed our vulnerable supply chain and the lack of forethought concerning geographic allocation of industries," Shiozaki said.

The 9.0-magnitude quake, one of the most powerful in recorded history, set off a monster tsunami that together have left some 25,000 people dead or missing.

Copyright 2011 AFP. All rights reserved.



Got to keep the loonies on the path...

Pink Floyd- Brain Damage / "Eclipse: A Piece For Assorted Lunatics." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gJVIhQIxYI

The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
got to keep the loonies on the path

The lunatic is in the hall
the lunatics are in the hall
the paper holds their folded faces to the floor
and every day the paper boy brings more

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
and if there is no room upon the hill
and if your head explodes with dark forbodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon
The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
you raise the blade, you make the change
you rearrange me ' till I'm sane
you lock the door
and throw away the key
there's someone in my head but it's not me

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
you shout and no one seems to hear
and if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon
When we give up learning we have no more troubles. Lao Tzu

Sai On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sai_On

Sai On: Okinawa's Sage Reformer www.amazon.com/Saion-Okinawas-sage-reformer-introduction/dp/B0006CKRU0

Unspeakable Things www.personal.psu.edu/gjs4