Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

It has been more than 9 months since Japan was hit by  the destructive triple disaster: earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima reactor blow. The large scale destruction had not only a huge impact on the affected regions but also on Japan as a whole.  Ten thousands of people were lost within one day. Some of the villages or cities were completely wiped out. And even after all the survivors were evacuated a new danger was threatening their lives: leaking radioactivity from one of the nuclear reactors. The tourism branch experiences a full blow caused by the fear of contamination. Regional products had to be destroyed, energy in the whole country had to be rationed and the political leadership had to restructure after massive critics about their crisis management.

Not really the best starting point for me to come to Japan! However I arrived more than 3 months ago in Japan and since then I am still alive. I live now in Tokyo, which is quite far away from the disaster site. That is why I am not worried at all about any radiation here. I just recently read a German article that found out that the general radiation levels in Berlin and New York are higher than in Tokyo. Also the energy is nearly completely restored all around the country.  I can however still notice that compared to 4 years ago (when I came the first time to Japan) most things like traffic lights, escalators, freezers etc. don’t speak as much to me as they did before. Also my student dorm and my University are still following energy saving programs and I can discover everywhere stickers that are telling me to switch of the light. (more…)

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by Jan Tzschichhold

The Japanese will probably never forget the 11. March 2011, when one of the strongest earthquakes in history killed thousands of people, destroyed vast areas in the North of Japan and created a nuclear threat that has not be seen since Chernobyl. It will take more than a decade for Japan to fully recover from this tremendous disaster, that represents not only a humanitarian and economical crisis but a crisis of political leadership as well.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan, failed to declare a state of emergency right after the catastrophe and its huge dimensions were unfolded. It was therefore impossible to establish clear lines of authority for handling the many-headed crisis. It took the government for example more than 10 days to address the severe shortage of fuel in northern Japan, even though the oil companies were holding huge supplies for an emergency. The official nuclear energy consultant resigned under tears, after he criticized the government for its poor performance regarding the situation of the power plant in Fukushima. (more…)