Tag Archives: Japan

Converted 1994 Asia Travel Journal – DONE!

I have FINALLY converted an ancient Dreamweaver coded Travel Journal to WordPress!

Travel Journal to Asia in 1994

It was good to clean up some of the code, and get “it” back to a base standard in html!

Part of the joys over jumping various web platforms over the years…

In re-linking the various jpeg image files, I realize that I do need to go back and re-scan some of the old slides!

So if you are interested, please take a look and let me know what you think!

– Andrew
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Global Marshall Plan?

Future Construction
Future Construction

Is it time for global Marshall plan?

One of the largest earthquakes ever recorded, hit Japan overnight, and here on the East Coast, it was breaking headline news, that we all woke up.

My late-night friends on the West Coast, reported and posted, that they were beginning to see the first videos from Japan.

The social networks have been taxed with the spiked increase in usage.

The 24-hour news channels have been showing videos all day long.

It is just amazing to watch the Tsunami waters rolling over the landscapes of Japan, and people caught on the highways and bridges looking at the water heading towards them with no place to go.

It is still far too early to know what the final death toll and financial cost of this earthquake will be, but it is easy to guess that is going to cost billions.

While witnessing the reporting, it occurred to me, that there is going to be a need for a great deal of human power to resurrect what is left in Japan.

I have already read reports indicating that Japan has activated their lobbyists to get money from the United States.

As a human I know we need to give them the money to help them, that is not a question, but are we going to put any constraints on these funds?

Maybe, we should require them to buy US goods, thereby helping to rebuild our manufacturing base and our economy.

Maybe, we should revisit the Marshall plan of World War II, that helped rebuild Europe, updated, and apply it to Japan.

We could also use unemployed Americans, which were willing to travel to Japan, a decent wage to help rebuild the Japanese country, or offer them tax breaks.

The problem that I see with restarting our manufacturing base is that it has been so gutted over the past few years, that it may take time to start producing materials, but this maybe a possible kick start is needed for our economy and may be the world’s.

It would definitely take a massive amount of money to do this, but why not pay Americans?

Local resources in Asia, will most likely get inundated by the immediate needs of such a large scale recovery, but here again, American factories may be able to contribute in some fashion.

Another thing that should be looked at, is making a concerted effort to invest in renewable energy sources such as solar power. The Japanese culture in general, is far more open to earth friendly designs then we are here in the United States. This could also spur a growth in research and development within our own borders.

Initially there is going to be a great deal of need for just people power to clean up all the debris that this event has beset upon Japan.

We should also explore the possibility, of reusing as much of the debris as possible in some recycled fashion or another. Plastic and the such gathered and re-manufactured into new items.

This may also be a perfect time to revisit the ideas of apprenticeships in a more hands-on fashion.

There are many experienced people available that could be used as teachers and mentors, to introduce a whole new generation interested in a new potential career. During this crisis we do not have the time for formal classroom training, but needed knowledge can be absorbed by doing the tasks in the field.

If the Marshall plan is going to be used as a framework for this endeavor, we should also look at it as a framework for the potential rebuilding of the Middle East.

Who should run such an operation?

From the beginning of this effort it needs to be realized that this is an international effort, but at the same time there are local customs and considerations that need to be taken into account.

The United Nations would be a likely candidate, but at the same time, tends to be too political in a time where efficiency and urgency is needed.

Maybe we consider, combining two different organizations for this effort.

Because of the large amount of material that needs to be moved in a timely fashion, the military could be used for getting supplies from here to there, which they are ready do as part of their daily routines. They also have the benefit of having the infrastructure to already do this.

But once the supplies are on site, who would run the efforts from there?

The organization that runs this part of the operation needs to be very much aware of the local environment. Obvious issues include language and cultural barriers.

There also needs to be concern for the potential corruption of local efforts that have been witnessed in the past. Record-keeping and accountability need to be monitored for any possible anomalies that could occur, and if any rules or regulations are broken, there needs to be swift remediation. If too much politics gets involved, there will be needless losses.

These are just some quick thoughts…

– Andrew
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Major Overnight 8.9 Earthquake Hits Japan

Bronze Statue of Amita Buddha Daibutsu or Great Buddha
Bronze Statue of Amita Buddha Daibutsu or Great Buddha

Update(s)


3/15/2011 – A new group was started on Facebook that I think needs to be highlighted:

I will open my home to a family from Japan

It is a great idea, and if you think you can NOT afford it, remember, they have NOTHING!

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If you are just waking up, there was a major 8.9 earthquake that struck Japan overnight.

This is one of the largest ever recorded, and from early reports, has caused all sorts of damage, including issues at one of the northern nuclear plants. Many after quakes have also been reported, and many of those are 6.0 and above.

On Facebook, I have gotten notice that friends/neighbors that are in China are safe and sound, I can only wait, hope and wonder for those I know on the main island.

Some of my friends and followers on the west coast, have posted that they watched video of some of the Tsunami reaching Hawaii, live.

I had the chance to go to Japan in 1994, just before the big Kobe earthquake several months late, and while I was there, a small 4.3 shook the house that I was in.

If you have never been in an earthquake, it is a very strange sensation, namely because one has no control of what is going on around you.

Needless to say, in the coming hours, days, weeks and months, there will be much sorrow, pain and suffering.

Also, be aware, that in times like this, some people will try and take advantage of donations. Be very aware of which organizations which you pledge your money.

I do not subscribe to any particular religion, but please take a moment today, to just send your thoughts to those that may have lost a great deal.

– Andrew
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Related Sites and Info

Japanese Quake Person Finder
Earthquakes near Japan – earthquake.usgs.gov

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Last Day in Japan

LAST DAY IN JAPAN

Asahi Evening News (English Newspaper)

Macs in their TV commercial

09:30 Pick-up & Over to the Akasu’s

Pictures of the family

Mrs. Akasu’s family scroll

  • She has an Imperial background which is over 1000 yrs. old
  • The original scroll is in a museum

Mrs. Akasu offered to me a bowl and (2) cups made by her great grand father over 150 yrs. ago

Soba lunch with the whole family

We looked at the pictures of my trip

Mr. Akasu & Yuri accompanied/drove me to the Bus terminal

“Normal” traffic for a Sunday

Under the Overpasses, they have set-up areas where people can play baseball, basketball, etc.

At the Airport

The Concierge lounge was as packed as the main terminal

Mailed my Post Cards via a gate person/women

17:55 – UA Flt#801 – Tokyo/Narita->Hong Kong (11H)

On the plane to Hong Kong

Walter ???, sat in the chair to the left of me. (See Bus. card)

Hong Kong the First Night

Stuffed into Buses

Customs

Dad and Brian meet me at the airport

Staying in the Grand Hyatt

Nightcap

The waitress was Filipino and I got her to try and teach me some words

  • Shea Shea – Thank you (Mandarin)
  • Doo Chea – Thank you (Cantonese)
  • Salamack – Thank you (Filipino)

– Andrew
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Tour of Tokyo

Bus tour w/Yuri

Drove past the Emperor’s Place

Edo Period Museum

Beautiful scaled models of Old Tokyo City

  • Scale Model 01
  • Scale Model 02
  • Scaled Model 03 (Boat)

Lunch near Red Gate

Group Lunch

An elderly man tried to speak to me in English

Shopping after lunch

Exchanged money w/Yuri
My “local bank”

Geisha Theater

Daimo de jour!!

Shopping in Harajuku

Bought: Tea pot & T-shirts

Very LARGE dinner at Ikebukuro in downtown Tokyo

Actually a feast!!

Back at Akasu home

Yuri and her brother looked up in dictionaries what the tea set said
Writings of an ancient poet

– Andrew
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