壹週刊 封面故事: 日食大恐慌

April 13, 2011

Is it this bad in Hong Kong? Please share your comments/feedback.

For the record.

封面故事 – 日食大恐慌 – 2011年04月07日

日本,原是追求「安全食品」的樂土,在核洩的一刻,日食頓然由天堂跌入地獄;岩手縣的鮑魚、新潟的日本米、宮城的士多啤梨及仙台的海產都一一已成過去;令香港人對日本食物產生恐慌,日式料理、日食供應商皆叫苦連天,有些為求自保,慌忙尋找替代品,甚至不惜自揭一直以來並非用日本貨,造成日食訊息大混亂。在核洩仍未解決下,這股日食危機仍揮之不去。
放大圖片

超市以往只會寫產品來自日本,但災後已開始寫明指定的縣市,以解釋產品並非來自災區範圍。(林志謙攝)

位於又一城的超市 TASTE,平日會將日本運到的新鮮蔬果及日本零食放在正門,吸引顧客;現已被韓國蔬果、泰國橙等取代。雖然仍有部分貨架放置了日本生果,但駐足的市民明顯減少,與旁邊韓泰食物相比,更顯得水靜鵝飛。
主打日本貨的一田百貨,為了安撫市民,宣布福島縣三百公里內的日本食品,暫時不會再入貨,加強引入外地及日本南部貨源,如用九州蔬菜,並在價錢牌上列明貨品來自哪個縣市,一田百貨常務董事莊偉忠說:「以往會就咁寫日本士多啤梨、日本番薯,依家會寫明是熊本士多啤梨、鹿兒島番薯。」
不過,仍難以改變市民對日本食物的恐懼,曾是「日食粉絲」的盧先生,坦言對日本食物已起了戒心:「依家一定唔會食日本嘢!就算批發商話來自北海道的食品無事,我都唔會揀,點知運輸時會唔會經過東京!」全職家庭主婦梁太亦言:「啲水流去呢度又流去嗰度,尤其啲海產要小心啲,以前我好鍾意喺超市買特價魚生壽司俾仔女食,依家送俾我都唔食。」 Read the rest of this entry »

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努力加油 – 蔡瀾

March 30, 2011

For the record. 蔡瀾 writes about Japan.

流芳 – 蔡瀾專欄

2011年03月30日

一向寫很多關於日本見聞的我,在大地震和海嘯過後,並未做出任何反應。在《蘋果日報》的專欄也不提及,友人們都問起,在微博上還有網友說是不是我不關心?
不關心是假的,只是對這場災難感到悲痛,又做不了任何事,無助與無奈,說不出話來。但也沉不了氣,非寫一些不可。
我在日本唸書,後來又留下工作,一共住了八年,返港後多次為了合作電影前往。十多年前,我開辦了旅行團,去的也大多數日本。有眾多的友人、同事、餐廳老闆和溫泉旅館的女大將,這些人,無事嗎?
看到了新聞,即刻逐位打電話慰問,多數說只是虛驚一場,但那些東北部的,毫無音訊。
第一個地方想起仙台,我在那裡拍成龍的《霹靂火》,住了好幾個月認識的人多,之後又常去泡溫泉:岩手、宮城、福島茨城等縣到過好幾趟,鄰近的新潟、山形及群馬近來更是多次前往,對那邊的地形非常熟悉。
記得有一年,還專程去氣仙沼,因為有些團友說想去試那邊的魚翅。看電視,房屋一面被洪水沖走,還燃燒起來,像火山噴出的岩漿,着實是人間地獄。
日前的新聞片中,氣仙沼夷為平地,盡是瓦礫、爛車和淤泥。我不喜歡魚翅,在那裡並不認識人,否則一定遭難。

我們這些住慣日本的,地震似吃蛋糕,對它若無其事。最大的也遇過,一次在九州,晚上響聲大作,房間不斷搖晃,大家都從旅館跑到曠地去,我還飲酒作樂,大叫聽天由命吧。
後來看到神戶的地震才覺得害怕,那不是左右搖的,而是高樓被震得斷層,一座七層的大廈,變成了五層,中間的居民,全被壓扁。
即刻死,也算幸福。這回來的,不止是地震和海嘯,而是折磨着活人的核爆危險。天天看電視新聞,每日惡化,名副其實地不知道那顆原子彈什麼時候爆發。
恐慌嗎?當然恐慌,就算日本人每年做過那麼多次的預防練習,家中儲滿了多少防災用品,對這場九級地震,一點用處也沒有。得益的,是國民的鎮定,是不得不鎮定的鎮定,把心中恐懼,完全壓了下來。
第一個傳到的新聞畫面,是東京的幾千人,全部由大廈跑到對面的廣場避難,數小時後,安定下來,大家才開始解散,這時,記錄片拍到的,是地下沒有留下一點點的垃圾。

每個角落都有的便利店外,見有長龍排着隊等買必需品,沒有亂插隊,沒有恐慌搶購,沒有抬高價錢來賣,這家的貨品售盡,也不發牢騷,繼續到別家去排。 Read the rest of this entry »


PEACE @ HKIFF March 28 & 31 (w Filmmaker Soda Q&A)

March 26, 2011

Peace - Pix 01 - cats_confrontation

The wonderful documentary filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda is screening his award winning new documentary PEACE at the 2011 The 35th Hong Kong International Film Festival on March 28th and March 31st and doing Q&As afterward! Check out the film if you have time. Highly recommended.

Here is a film trailer

The film has won audience award at Tokyo Filmex and screened at MoMa. You can see my film review and interview with Soda.

Film synopsis (emphasis added)

What is peace? What is coexistence? And what are the bases for them?

PEACE is a visual-essay-like observational documentary, which contemplates these questions by observing the daily lives of people and cats in Okayama city, Japan, where life and death, acceptance and rejection are intermingled.

Three people and stray cats are the main characters. Read the rest of this entry »


Documentary “Nuclear Ginza” by Channel 4, Great Britain, 1995

March 25, 2011

A Japanese documentarian friend recommend checking out the insightful and timely documentary “Nuclear Ginza” (with English subtitles) by Channel 4, Great Britain, 1995. [HT Soda]

 


The 5th interview – Nuclear engineer father explains Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accidents to daughter

March 16, 2011

Have a listen to the 5th daily interview (with transcript) of nuclear engineer Mark Mervine by Evelyn Mervine about Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accidents. Here is an excerpt from the transcript (emphasis added),

“Q: Thank you, Dad. Moving on to another question. I do like this question. “So
imagine if your dad were to interview the top TEPCO officials, or could be a reporter
at a TEPCO press conference. What would his top ten questions be? Or put it
another way, what significant data would most clarify the reactors and the extent of
the damage?”

A: I would- well, first off, I would have more than 10 questions. But I think the
important thing that I would ask to receive is that they need to assume that
the general public is intelligent and they need to provide them with as much
information as possible. I think there’s, at times, a tendency when things happen,
whether it be nuclear or some other event, to filter the information, because we’re
afraid of the reaction, or we’re afraid of panic. But in this case, they’re at the
opposite end of the spectrum, where they’re providing not enough information, and
very little information, that people are starting to get very upset and panic, because
they feel like they’re not being provided with enough information. And I would
agree with those people – not enough information is being provided and y’know,
I would need more than- I’d need more than 10 questions for them, but the main
question I would have would be, “Please tell us exactly what is happening and treat
us as if we’re intelligent and give us as much information as possible.”

For links and some info of the first four daily interviews, see “Nuclear engineer father explains Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accidents to daughter“.


Meltdown looms as errors mount at Fukushima nuclear plant

March 16, 2011

For the record.

Meltdown looms as errors mount at Fukushima nuclear plant
SHAWN MCCARTHY — GLOBAL ENERGY REPORTER
OTTAWA— From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Mar. 15, 2011 7:55PM EDT
Last updated Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2011 9:22AM EDT

The nuclear industry uses a “defence in depth” approach – having backups for your backup systems – but cascading disasters and human error have overwhelmed those safety systems in Japan and pushed the country to the brink of a nuclear meltdown.

Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station was clearly designed to withstand the worst earthquake to hit the country in modern times, but key backup safety systems failed under the resulting blackout and a massive tsunami that inundated the area.

That’s left a razor-thin margin of error for emergency crews working under enormous stress to prevent a meltdown that could spread radiation across their homeland. They’ve survived catastrophic natural disasters and explosions at the plant, but the failure to close a pressure gauge could lose the war.

The see-saw battle to regain mastery of the crippled plants has been hobbled by some design shortcomings at the 40-year-old facility – though the critical containment vessels appear to be intact. And there is a residual lack of trust in its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which has an unfortunate history of hiding trouble from the public.

But the fundamental question is whether the global nuclear industry designs reactors to withstand a “perfect storm” situation, in which multiple calamities and human error conspire together to create what the industry calls a “low-probability, high-consequence event.”

Former nuclear regulator Linda Keen said the industry is often inadequately prepared.

“In my experience, I found the nuclear engineers extremely optimistic,” said Ms. Keen, former head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

“They’re optimistic about everything: how fast they’re going to do things, the cost, the idea of whether you are going to have an accident or not.” Read the rest of this entry »


Japanese PM: “What the hell is going on?” – Livid PM takes personal control of crisis management

March 16, 2011

For the record. I think the Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Co. need to do more and be a lot more transparent in providing timely (close to real time) updates to the Japanese people and the world at large. Emphasis added.

National Post – Peter Goodspeed: Livid Japanese PM takes personal control of crisis management, March 16, 2011

As dangerous levels of radiation leaked from four crippled nuclear reactors in Japan’s earthquake-ravaged northeast Tuesday, Naoto Kan, the Prime Minister, stormed into an executive meeting of Tokyo Electric Power Co. and demanded to know, “What the hell is going on?”

According to the Kyodo news agency, whose reporter overheard the angry exchange, he was livid over hearing of Japan’s latest brush with nuclear catastrophe at the same time a panicked public was being told a third explosion at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant had led to a dangerous leak spreading radioactive clouds as far south as Tokyo.

“The TV reported an explosion. But nothing was said to the Premier’s office for about an hour,” Mr. Kan fumed.

“What the hell is going on?”

Within hours, the Japanese PM had announced he was personally taking control of crisis management at Fukushima. He appointed a committee of government and TEPCO officials to report directly to him; had the transport ministry impose a no-fly zone for 30 kilometres around the badly damaged plant; and ordered Japan’s Self-Defence Forces to shift their attention to relief, instead of rescue. Read the rest of this entry »