The American military is becoming more involved in relief and reconstruction efforts following the devastating March 11th earthquake and tsunami, with more than 12,000 personnel, 20 ships and 140 aircraft supporting Japan’s disaster aftermath.
In Miyagi Prefecture, at the heart of the earthquake on Japan’s central east coast, a prefecture official described the U.S. operations as the largest civil support by U.S. forces since the aftermath of World War II. U.S. troops are involved in everything from safety surveys to direct support to improve the life of survivors and evacuees from the 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
U.S. ships have been transporting fresh water on a pair of large barges from the Onahama Port to the Fukushima area for use in cooling the damaged nuclear reactors at the plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Each barge carries up to 1,000 tons of water.
The Navy, which is aiding the Tohoku recovery efforts, says there’s no concern about radiation on its vessels in the region. Commander Jeff Davis, a Navy spokesman, says radiation on vessels is easily scrubbed off with soap and water. “These are extremely low levels. Even if they weren’t, they still wouldn’t rise to the level where they would cause any harm to human health.” Other Navy units are working with Self Defense Forces to clear ports of debris and to help deliver aid.
Marines with the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Forward) have been moving equipment and personnel into a community center in East Matsushima, where they’re installing shower facilities for residents waiting for heat and water since the March 11th quake. The units are part of the Joint Forces Land Component Command, headed by Major General Mark A. Brilakis, who’s also commanding general of the 3rd Marine Division based in Okinawa. Brilakis and the JFLCC is operating from Yokota Air Base.
A small contingent of 12 Marines and a lone sailor from Marine Air Control ‘Group 18 and Marine Wing Support Group 17, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force from Okinawa, are now supporting air operations and control alongside the Japan Air Self Defense Force at Matsushima Air Base. They’re coordinating operations involving U.S. military aircraft at Matsushima, which can handle a variety of Japanese C-1 and U.S. KC-130 cargo aircraft, as well as CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters and other military aircraft from all services.
On average, four sorties are being flown daily from the base, with Marines helping offload supplies, which range from food, rice, water and diapers to cots, tents and gas pumps. More than 200,000 pounds of supplies have already been distributed to needy Japanese at Ground Self Defense Force distribution centers.
Other III MEF units have been transporting supplies near the city of Sendai for Operation Field Day, a clean-up project led by the Japan Ground Self Defense Force. The plan is to clear debris in order to increase access to damaged structures so civilian agencies can begin the rebuilding process. The Joint Force Land Component Command says nearly 500 sorties have been flown already in support of the foreign humanitarian assistance mission.
Marines from outside Okinawa and Asia have also joined Operation Tomodachi. Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234 from Fort Worth, Texas, have brought their KC-130T aircraft to support III MEF and the JFLCC. They’re flying from Naval Air Station Atsugi and from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. Before returning to the U.S. several days ago, the squadron flew a total of 20 sorties over 44.8 hours, transporting a total of 122,637 pounds of cargo and 208 passengers. http://www.japanupdate.com/?id=11051
Donations for victims of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan have topped ¥115.4 billion, with more pouring in each day as countless charity events and fundraisers take place across Japan.
The president of Softbank Corporation, the cellular giant, personally donated ¥10 billion to support the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. Masayoshi Son’s donation is the single largest donation by an individual todate. He told officials he’d continue to donate his entire pay package from his position with Softbank group from now until his retirement to provide support for children orphaned by the disaster.
The Japanese Red Cross Society and Central Community Chest of Japan, the nation’s two main relief organizations, say no decisions have been made yet on how the money is to be distributed. They suggest there will be a need for committees to make decisions, as already prefectures, towns and cities are quarreling over who should get what amount of relief money from the organizations.
The governor of Miyagi Prefecture, Yoshihiro Murai, tells NHK it is difficult to distribute money fairly. Speaking as the leader of one of the most severely damaged prefectures, Murai says it’s still impossible to determine damages to each family as the fatality toll continues to climb. At the same time, he notes there’s more of a financial need for families, and different assistance than that to childless families and to elderly people in need of medical care.
Four concerts are in the works for Sunday afternoon in Naha, Okinawa and Ginowan Cities to raise funds for victims of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
Artists committed to the fundraising cause include Mongol 800, Diamantes, Erica Sunakawa, Isamu Shimoji, Yukito Ara, D-51, Jimama and Kiroro.The events have been organized by the Commmittee of Ganbare Tohoku and Ganbare Nippon in Okinawa, with Keiichi Inamine the consultant of honor, and Hotaru Higa the chairman of the organizing committee. The Sunday concerts are supported by Okinawa Prefecture, the Okinawa Convention Bureau and Ginowan City.
Gates open at Ginowan Seaside Park Outdoor Theater and two other stages set up in Ginowan Seaside Park, at noon Sunday, with the music starting at 1 p.m. Concerts at Music Town Sound Market in Goya, Okinawa City, at Sakurazaka Central in Naha City, and at Takara Records on Kokusai Street, also start at 1 p.m.
The simultaneous concerts are titled “What A Wonderful World” as the musicians and others donate their services to raise money for the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Charity. Admission is free to all concerts. Donations will be solicited before, during and after the concerts.
The quake centered in the east of Honshu, Japan, have caused damage to buildings in the country's cherry. No exception offices and factories leading companies. Reuters on Friday (03/11/2011), inventory levels of damage to the companies. Here are the details:
Bridgestone Corp. No major damage throughout the plant
Canon Inc. No damage or casualties in the factory.
Citigroup Japan Holdings No damage-office trading, back to normal after the quake. All employees in the Tokyo head office safe. There has been no confirmation of the employees working in branch offices outside of Tokyo. Do not have an office in Sendai, the region's worst earthquake and tsunami.
Cosmo Oil Co. Large-Fire at oil refinery, near the LPG tank in Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo. All operational activities stopped.
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. Subaru-maker cars and planes. Got the aircraft and automobile manufacturers in the prefecture Tochigo. The company could not be reached for comment.
Fujitsu Ltd. Some of the damaged facilities, but not serious. There were no fatalities.
Honda Motor Co. Worker killed 42-year-old man at the center of the Honda R & D facility in Tochigi prefecture are crushed to a collapsed roof. In several other facilities in Tochigi, injured workers in their 30s hit the roof and walls collapsed.
Production in Sayama, Tochigi, Hamamatsu stopped. Factory in Suzuka was closed but was operated again.
JFE Steel Fires have been reported in iron processing plant in Chiba prefecture. But the company said there was no damage to the market in iron processing.
JSR (maker of synthetic rubber) Factory in Kashima, Ibaraki prefecture, there was no damage but stopped production. Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. Stop production at the zinc processing, in Aomori prefecture.
Nippon Paper Group Factory in Miyagi and Fukushima stop production. The level of damage is unknown.
Nissan Motor Co. Production in 4-car assembly line is stopped, including those located in Tochigi and Fukushima prefecture. Small fire was visible in two places. Two people lightly wounded in Tochigi.
Panasonic Corp. Two-producing plant in Fukushima audio goods and digital cameras, one in Miyagi makes the camera lens.
Sony Corp. Six factories (one in Fukushima, two in Miyagi), discontinued operations and all employees were evacuated. Miyagi factory floor in which to make the chemicals under water and 1,000 workers to evacuate on the 2nd floor.
Sumitomo Metal Industries Stop all operations at its two plants, Ibaraki prefecture. There are no reports of casualties or injuries.
Tohoku Electric Power Co. Smoke came out dai-turbine hall at reactor number 1 Onagawa, Miyagi prefecture.There was no sign of radioactive leaks.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi automatic automatically cease to operate. Reactor cooling system also does not work, but not causing radioactive leaks.
Tokyo Gas Co. Stopping the gas supply to more than 35 thousand customers in the Kanto area, Japan, the eastern part.
Toyota Motor Corp. Subsidiary Central Motor Co.: Miyagi prefecture, near Sendai. Began production in January 2011, making the Yaris sedan. Capacity: 120,000 units per year. Kanto Auto Works subsidiary: in Iwate prefecture. Creating a compact car like sedan Belta, Auris, Blade, etc. A joint venture by Panasonic Corporation. Earth Prime EV Energy, in Miyagi prefecture. make the battery and hybrid cars. Production was delayed. Factory making auto parts. Production stopped, no one was hurt.
Japan hit by 8.8 Richter magnitude earthquake off the northeast coast Friday, which triggered a tsunami as high as 4 meters. The tsunami waves that washed away cars and tearing buildings along the coast near the epicenter.
At various locations along the Japanese coast, flooding television show, with dozens of cars, boats and even buildings are carried by water. A large ship was swept by tsunami waves crashing directly into the breaker in the city of Miyagi Prefecture Kesennuma, according to footage on NHK.
Officials try to assess the damage caused by the earthquake but has no immediate details. The quake which struck at 02:46 was followed by a series of aftershocks, including one 7.4 magnitude earthquake about 30 minutes later. U.S. Geological Survey to update the strength of the first earthquake of magnitude 8.8 SR. Meteorological Agency issued tsunami warnings for the entire Pacific coast of Japan.
NHK warned people near the coast to go to a safer location. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said the tsunami warning applies to Japan, Russia, Northern Marianas Islands, and Marcus. Tsunami warning has been issued for Guam, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia and the U.S. state of Hawaii. The quake struck at a depth of six miles (10 kilometers), about 80 miles (125 kilometers) off the east coast, the agency said. This area is 240 miles (380 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo.
In downtown Tokyo, large buildings shook hard and the workers ran into the street to look for survivors. Television footage showed a large building fire in Tokyo's Odaiba district. In central Tokyo, trains stopped and the passengers walked along the tracks. NHK recording from their offices, Sendai, showed the employee who tripped and the books and papers littered the table. Several earthquakes have hit the same area in recent days, including one measuring 7.3 magnitude on Wednesday.
Thirty minutes after the quake, tall buildings are still swayed in Tokyo and mobile phone networks do not work. Japan Coast Guard has established a task force and officials are preparing an emergency contingency plan, Coast Guard officials said Yosuke Oi.
Japan has a long history with the first humans arriving around 35,000 B.C.. The position of Japan relative to the Asian mainland had played a significant role in the country's development. Although the archipelago is situated near the mainland, there is still a considerable amount of open sea, which separates the two landmasses. Throughout most of Japan's history, it has been closed to the outside world refusing to open its borders to foreigners. The sakoku policy, literal translation "locked country", enacted in 1633 by the Tokugawa Shogunate prevented foreigners from entering Japan on penalty of death. The same policy also prevented Japanese from leaving Japan.
The first historical documents mentioning Japan date to around the 5th century. Japanese myth holds that Emperor Jimmu was the first emperor of an imperial line that is still in place today. However, archaeological evidence gathered by a number of researchers place the imperial rule starting later around the third to seventh centuries AD, during the Kofun period. The following Asuka regime during the mid 8th century is noted for a more centralized Japan in which Chinese culture significantly influenced Japanese traditions.
Nara was the first centralized capital of the nation established in the late 8th century. The layout of the capital city was influenced by Chang’an, the capital of China during that time. The Nara period was the last time that political power was held by the emperor. The following Heian period was characterized by an affluent aristocracy with eccentric social customs, and the moving of the capital from Nara to Kyoto. The capital city of Kyoto became the residence of Japan’s emperors until the late 19th century. Toward the end of the Heian period, the aristocracy lost their power and the Kamakura period marked the beginning of military rule. Regional warlords became powerful and often rose to become Shogun, a position that sometimes wielded more power than the Emperor. During this period, a caste system developed with the Shogun at the top. The Shogun controlled large areas of land and would divide it up and delegate responsibility to a Daimyo, or regional warlord. The Daimyo ruled with an army of Samarai who protected the land and its people. Feudal Japan did not allow for social mobility and marrying outside one’s own caste was prohibited.
After a succession of powerful Shogun, Japan fell into a state of near-anarchy as provinces declared war upon one another during the 15th century. In 1600 during the Azuchi-Momoyama period, Tokugawa Ieyasu moved to reunify the country and successfully established the Tokugawa Shogunate. Under the Tokugawa Shogunate the feudalist system was re-established. During his reign, Tokugawa ruled from Edo, the location of present day Tokyo. Under the Tokugawa Shogunate the Edo period was a time of stability for the Japanese people, but there was little or no development when compared to other nations in the rest of the world during the same period. From 1852-1854, Commodore Matthew Perry negotiated a trade agreement between Japan and the United States. The government at Tokyo was forced to agree to the demands of the United States as they were intimidated by the technologically advanced and heavily armed fleet of steam frigates under the command of Commodore Perry. The ships in Perry's fleet are now known in Japan as the "Black Ships" and have come to symbolize the threat imposed by western technology.
In 1867, the Tokugawa Shogunate collapsed, and gave way to the Meiji Restoration. The imperial capital was moved from Kyoto to Tokyo, renamed from Edo to Tokyo (Eastern Capital). Japan then directed their efforts toward industrialization and modernization. During World War I the United States and Japan fought on the same side although relations were not favorable between the two nations due to policy disagreements over China and competition for power in the Pacific. After World War I Japan's economy began to decline and hit a low point during the Showa recession in 1926. The negative impact of the recession combined with domestic political turmoil (assassination attempts on the emperor, coups d'etat attempts, terrorist violence) ultimately contributed to the increased militarism in Japan during the late 1920's and 1930's.
Japanese imperialist policy aimed to dominate China to acquire its vast material reserves and natural resources. In the early 1930's there were many small-scale military engagements in so-called "incidents" between the two sides. This culminated into a full-scale war in 1937. Western powers were reluctant to provide support to the Chinese who they thought would eventually lose the war. The United States entered the war in 1942 after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces. In 1945, atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Japan surrendered soon afterward. After surrendering Japan was occupied by the Allied Forces marking the first time in the nation's history it had been occupied by a foreign power. After the occupation ended in 1951, Japan's government shifted from imperial and military rule to a parliamentary democracy.
Today, despite suffering massive losses during World War II and possessing very little natural resources, Japan has become an economic and technological powerhouse.