Wednesday, December 28, 2011

No. 13: Ongoing and endless discussions on nuclear power generation (December 29, 2011)

In Japan, there are still ongoing and endless discussions on what Japan should do with nuclear power generation. As a matter of fact, Japanese are very fond of discussing an issue that does not have a correct answer. The discussions always end with no consensus, and the only agreement is that lots of more discussions are necessary to find the right solution of the issue. The opponents resort to sentimental argument, while the supporters emphasize the safety and reliability of the technology. It is totally out of the question to focus on sentimental argument in this issue. Doubtlessly, Japanese and people on the earth alike sympathize with the victims of the disaster on March 11, 2011 with no exceptions. However, the fact remains that we cannot go back to the past. The more affluent a society grows, the more energy it needs. It is very simple and clear. A diet member told, “We should ask all the Japanese people on what Japan should do with nuclear generation.” National ballot? What can we learn from the national ballot? A national ballot will create another endless discussion on a nationwide scale. Diet members are representing the opinions of Japanese to avoid endless discussions of this kind, aren’t they?  

Monday, December 5, 2011

No. 12: Yes or No? The answer is between the two (December 6, 2011)

The Japanese government is still unsuccessful in formulating decisive and effective policies on how to get involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). All diet members and Japanese alike share the same opinion that it is necessary to make the domestic agriculture industry stronger. Nonetheless, diet members fail to reach an agreement on Japan’s direction toward the TPP. The turmoil can be attributed to the declaration of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

He declared, “The Japanese government will start negotiations with the countries involved to start discussions toward the participation in the TPP.” This rather unintelligible declaration caused the current stalemate. The Japanese government does not take his declaration as an official decision to participate in the TPP. What on the earth is his attitude, yes or no? The answer is between the two. As is often the case, no breakthrough can be found for this stalemate. A strange equilibrium exits between the supporters and opponents.

Because necessary measures and policies depend on future progress, both parties are very cautious about taking concrete actions. However, the Japanese government should not forget that it formulated only follow-up measures in the Uruguay Round (1986-1993) under the slogan “Do not allow foreign rice to come to the Japanese market” and wasted a 6 billion yen budget. The present Japan’s top leader does not seem to take a risk, as is often the case of a leader with excellent academic records. It should be noted that excellent academic records are merely one of the prerequisites to be a top leader.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

No. 11: Once upon a time in Japan (December 4, 2011)

Роsatom, Russia’s government managed nuclear company, will come to Japan with its nuclear technology. Under the initiative of Prime Minister Putin, the state company wishes to establish business relations with Japanese leading companies in the nuclear business and plans to participate in the operations in the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant. Once upon a time, we Japanese had an easygoing prime minister claiming proudly that Japan should abandon nuclear power generation and focus only on renewable energy. Time passes very fast. While Japan had barren and wasteful discussions on what Japan should do with nuclear generation, other countries are developing nuclear technology very fast. It is necessary to make strenuous efforts for one year to make up for a loss of half a year created by negligence.