Archive for 'Earthquake Information' Category
A new skyscraper of commercial and office complex opened in Kyobashi, a central area so close to Tokyo station and Ginza on Nov.25th. This is “Kyobashi Edogrand” that is 170m high and has 32 floors groend and 3 floors underground, provided with 34 renowned shops of foods and stuff. (http://www.edogrand.tokyo/en)
Kyobashi Edogrand consists of newly built part of the higher rises and old Meijiya Kyobashi Building which has old history. This facility’s building project started 15 years ago as a redevelopping plan of the area led by owners of shops and lands of the area to reinvigorate the old office and shopping streets. The building has the state-of-the-art technology of quakeproof systems to keep things very safe and secure. the new building is expected to draw a lot of attention from people both in Japan and overseas.
The well-known continual public holidays from the end of April to the beginning of May in Japan, the”Golden Week” is the most popular leisure week on a year. This year 2016, the total number of foreign tourists to Japan in April was about 2,081,800, which is an increase by 18 % compared to the number in the same mounth 2015., according to the official report of JNTO released on May 18th. (https://www.jnto.go.jp/jpn/)
In the GW, not only foreigners but also Japanese people take longer holidays and tend to take travels as well. before the week, the total number of travelers furing the period was estimated to reach about 23860,000. Actually, the number of traveller to or in Kyushu, the northwestern part reduced compared to the number last year due to the Kumamoto Earthquakes on April 14,16 and others, still lthe total number keeps so high.
Central, northern,and eastern parts of Kyushu, such as Kumamoto, Ohita, and Fukuoka were hit by series of earthquakes mainly of the one of M6.5 on April 14th and the one of M7.3 on 16th. Some parts have been seriously damaged and temporarily more than 110,000 people evacuated(now the number is about 36,000). Toshihiko Aoyagi, president of JR Kyushu made a remark upon seeing off the first bullet train to complete the total resumption in which he said, “We have now successfully regained our daily landscape again for the first time in two weeks. We hope this resumption of our railroad services will be so helpful for rebuilding Kumamoto.”
JR Hokakido and East Japan launched the Hokkaido Shinkansen(/Hokkaido Bullet Trains) services on this Mar.26. And with this, Alll the four main lands of Japan are now directly connected by the Bullet Train services. (http://hokkaido-shinkansen.com/)(http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/index.html)
The bullet train services between Tokyo and Shin-aomori(/new Aomorri, in Aomori prefecture in Tohoku region in the mainland) launced in 2010, and now the new services between Shin-aomori and Shin-hakodatehokuto started, which finally connected the mainland and Hokkaido island. With this completeion, Tokyo to Shin-hakodatehokuto takes now 4 hours and 2 minutes at fastest (used to take about 5 hours and 30 minutes), and Shin-aomori to Shin-hakodatehokuto one hour and one minute at fastest(used to take about one hour and 50 minutes) . 10 round travels are provided between Tokyo and Shin-hakodatehokuto and one round travel between Sendai and Shin-hakodatehokuto by “Hayabusa”( a nickname of a type of the new trains) a day and one round travel between Morioka and Shin-hakodatehokuto, and one round travel between Shin-aomori and Shin-hakodatehokuto by “Hayate” a day as well.
On this March 11th, a lot of ceremonial events of the East Japan Huge Earthquake Disaster were held nationwide, some of which were hosted by municipalities, some were by private businesses, some were by religious organizations, and so forth. And The Japanese Government hosted the offcial fifth Anniversary ceremony at the National Theater in Tokyo. (http://www8.cao.go.jp/tsuitou/tsuitou.html) (http://www.reconstruction.go.jp/english/)
At the official event, emperor, empress, pm Abe and other governmental representatives participated , and some representatives of bereaved families o the disaster and damaged Tohoku region’s prefectures were invited and shared the occasion. The Emperor and Abe gave remarks of condolences to the victims and the families, and sufferers, and wished a shiny future with good recovery from the tragedy.
Lots of events related to Hina-matsui (Girls’ Day’s festivals) were held nationwide in Japan on the March 3rd, the Girls’ Day. One of the popular events was the “Hyakudan Hina-matsuri”(/ hina doll decoration event on one hundred stairs ) at Meguro-gajoen in Tokyo (Jan.22-Mar.6).(http://www.megurogajoen.co.jp/event/hinamaturi/)
This year, for the first time traditional Hinadolls from three prefectures in Tohoku region, namely,Iwate,Miyagi,and Fukushima were decorated and exhibited.
“The Sendai Committee UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction” was held Mar.14-18 in Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Pref. ,which is one of the major damaged areas of the Great east Japan earthquake on 3.11 2011. (http://www.bosai-sendai.jp/en/)
The conference resolved a new policy of “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030” to strengthen international cooperation systems. The first (in Yokoham in 1994) and the second conference(in Kobe in 2005) were also held in Japan, which may imply that Japan is a significant “key contry” when it comes to considering disaster-prevention policies in a huge scope of international visions. Sendai is not only the capital of Miyagi but also the economic center of Tohoku region (Aomori, Akita,Iwate,Yamagata,Fukushima,and Miyagi) and one of the three major Tohoku festivals “Tanabata festival”(/Star festival) in held on July 7th every year which is quite popular. At the 3.11 tragedy, Sendai was damaged especially its airport was, but now has miraculously recovered. At the conference the spirit and concept of “Omotenashi in Tohoku” (the warm Japanese style hospitality in the northeast region ) was referred to as well.
On this March 11th the national memorial service to commemorate the Fourth Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake was hosted by the government and the emperor,empress, PM Abe, the chairpersons of the House of the Councillors and the House of the Representatives, the chief judge of the Supreme Court, bereaved families and others were invited at the National Theater in Tokyo.(http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/e-okotoba/01/address/okotoba-h27e.html#0311)
The emperor , prime minister, and bereaved families gave impressive sppeches there. Commemorative ceremonies of the fourth anniverssary of the unforgettable tragedy of the huge disaster were held in many places including the damaged areas all over Japan.
This year we Japanese people commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Great hanshin-Awaji Earthquake on the January 17th. In the damaged areas, municipalities hosted special commemorative ceremonies and private societies also hosted events sush as charity music conserts and so forth. Kobe City, Nishinomiy City, Itami City and others in Hyogo Pref, Osaka, Kyoto and other rigions and areas in the western part of Japan keep helping sufferers and their bereaved families of the victims. ( http://19950117hyogo.jp/other/),(http://www.city.kobe.lg.jp/foreign/index.html)
Children who were born in that year of disaster now have come of age this year. TV shows, dramas, articles and even personal blogs featuring this anniversary and related events are around. Though all the places and areas have miraculously recovered from the damages and rebuilt so well, we still retain the sadness and would keep consoling the souls of the victims and strive for improving the situations for even better.
Two huge international travel marts were held at Tokyo Bigsight in Tokyo. One was “Visit Japan Travel Mart 2014″(Sep.24-26)(http://www.vjtm.jp/) and the other was “JATA Toursim EXPO Japan2014″(Sep.25-28)(http://t-expo.jp/en/index.html).
More than 310 foriegn buyers and about 390 Japanese sellers joined VJTM2014 and had passionate exchanges of information and ideas and hosted busines seccions. Buyers from Asian countries were especially a lot and about the half of the Japanese sellers were municipalities or relating associations of such local governments.
On the other hand, a lot of domestic and foreign sellers and buysers joined JATA Tourism EXPO Japan 2014. Such participants were embassies, tourism bureaus, travel agents, food companies, municipalities, railroads, airlines, hotels. universities, guide associations and so forth. The main targets were end users of travel services and a lot of lay Japanese people visited there and the total number was 157,589. Upon the opening of the event, an ward ceremony of good services and efforts of related promotions was hosted and the Best Tourism Award was given to The Tourism Authority of Thailand and Embassy awards were for Thailand and Mexico, the best transporatation award was for Japan Railways East, the domestic inbound award was for the tourism department of Tokyo Metropolis, the publicity award was for a TV show of CXTV, and the chairperson special award was for Okinawa Convention Bureau. (http://t-expo.jp/en/program/cms.html) I personally visited the two big events and collected a lot of interesting information and exchanged ideas with the participants, some of whom were my friends or those I sometimes work with. I enjoyed the delicious food provided by tourism- related restaurants and local specialities and impressed by the greatly enthusiastic atmosphere of energies of the expos as well.
In the latter Septemeber, “pacific saury festivals”(/Sanma matsuri) are held in a lot of areas nationwide. For example,6000 sauries were supplied for one of those festivals hosted in Tokyo near Tokyo Sky Tree from Oofunado city in Iwate pref. which is one of the damaged areas of 3.11 tsunami disaster in 2011. In addition, such a festival was held in Niiza City which received gifts of about 6,400 sauries from Ishinomaki City in Miyagi pref. which was one of the major damaged areas and is rebuilding its industry rapidly. A lot of people visited the festival and enjoyed the delicious sauries with a lot of fat in season. The facilitators also hosted charity raising and a lot of visitors there donated money which would be used for rebuilding and saving the victims of the tragedy. Sanma (pacific sauries) are quite popular food in Japan especially in autumn when they become ripe for the taking with a lot of fat.
NHK, the semi-official TV station hosts special disaster-prevention TV program for children called “BOSAI School” for their summer break this month. (http://www.nhk.or.jp/sougou/bosai/)
Seiko Ooki, a meteorologist and her students of Keio Universty are in charge of the program and expained children who joined the program how to defend themselves in case of an emergency such as an earthquake and demonstrated the way to hide, how to move through special dances or gymnastic practices.
National Stadium in Tokyo(http://www.jpnsport.go.jp/corp/english/tabid/382/Default.aspx) was closed at the end of this May and its seats, tables and some other attached equipment were donated to 12 municipalities.
Out of those municipalities, Kitakami City in Iwate(http://www.city.kitakami.iwate.jp/), which is one of damaged areas of 3.11 disaster in 2011, was given the highest number of seats of 6,500 from the facility on Jun.29. One that day, 600 volunteers were dedicated to labor of removing those items such as seats there. The city mayer Toshihiko Takahashi said, “We would like to give a confirmation of our successful reconstruction from the disaster to people.” Those donated seats to the city will be used for a new city stadium under construction there that is to be a venue of the National Sports Festival in Iwate in 2016(http://www.iwate2016.jp/kokutai/venue).
National Stadium,on the other hand, is to be partially demolished in this July and a new one is to begin to be rebuild in October 2015 for a part of the preparation for sport events in 2019 and upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.
UNESCO decided to add “Washoku”, the Japanese traditional cuisine to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list at its Intergovenmental Committee held in Baku on Dec.4. (http://en.unesco.org/)
The spiritual tradition of respecting nature associsted with washoku was a good reason for this designation according to the announcement. The Japanese government, washoku chefs and Japanese culture apologists have strongly insisted it should be designated in order to protect the tradition from fear of its dying out as time passes by through generations. With this shiny designation, Japanese people also expect to increase exports of agricultural and fishery produces wiping away the bad images caused by the earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2011 as well. Japanese traditional food is quite popular as healthy food all over the world.
Award ceremony of “Tokyo Drama Award 2013” was held in Tokyo on Oct.22nd. The condiditon of candidacy is a drama aired between last September and this June.(http://www.j-ba.or.jp/drafes/english/index.html)
“Amachan”(a naive one) which was a quite a popular TV drama aired by NHK this April-September received Grand Prix and totally seven awards. The drama is about stories describing a young girl from the northeast region which damaged by the earthquake and tsunami becoming a fisher-girl, and an idol in showbiz being supported by many good people including her family, friends, showbiz guys, and others. Some parts of the the plot were parody anecdotes of current situations of real young female idol groups such as AKB48. The actor who played the main part was Rena Nohnen, who has suddenly become remarkably popular nation wide due to the drama, won the best actress award. Some of songs sung in the drama by her or other characters have now been really released in styles of CDs and stuff as if those characters really existed and singing in the entertainment world.