East Japan, One Year Since the Earthquake and Tsunami

by Chikashi

One year ago today at 5:46 GMT the first earthquake occurred off the coast of eastern Japan, causing a tsunami that caused profound devastation to the lives, infrastructure and environment.  The unstable national political scene has not been helpful in making as much progress in the last twelve months.  The decontamination efforts will continue for years into the future.

That said the reconstruction progress made to date is nothing short of impressive, and I imagine this to be almost entirely due to the Japanese people’s resolve and courage to regain their lives.

There is still much work to be done, and one must not forget that there are still more than 325,000 people who remain homeless as a direct result of the catastrophe.  I just hope that they will not have to face another winter in the temporary shelters.

The risks of nuclear energy became even more evident.  Our reliance on fossil fuels have increasing economic and environmental costs.  Natural gas is not abundant enough.  Wind turbines are not economically feasible without significant government subsidies.  Whilst a singular solution is very unlikely, it does call to question what the optimal mix of energy sources would be.

To the people of eastern Japan, keep your chin up. Gambatte kudasai.

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