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Why is there no looting in Japan?

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Postby Rock » Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:21 am

Winston wrote:Oh I didn't know that an earthquake caused the nuclear reactor disaster. I don't know any details about this incident. I haven't had time to follow the news.


You gotta be kidding. That's all the news and by extension the general public seems to be talking about in Taiwan at least. Aren't people in PI a bit worried too, at least enough to talk about it sometimes? The American Institute in Taiwan (de-facto US embassy in Taipei) has just shut down, for who knows how long, to send some of its people to Japan to help evacuate American citizens due to the radiation risk. You must at least see the news flashing on some of the websites you pass by.
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Postby Rock » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:03 am

Winston wrote:I don't get something. Why are organizations asking for donations to help the victims of the disaster in Japan? Japan is one of the richest countries in the world. Wouldn't sending donations to Japan be like sending ice to Eskimos?

Also, I thought the Japanese were super efficient? How did this accident happen?


Not everyone in Japan is middle class or better. The cost of living there is extremely high. I would estimate very basic survival there costs at least 2-3x that of Taiwan and of course a much higher percentage of that in PI. The local currency just hit an all time high against the US dollar and some other currencies a couple days ago. In Tokyo, there are a lot of unemployed or underemployed people who live in boxes in certain underground walkway and subway areas. I'm sure the same applies to many other parts of the country. If someone has no work and no savings, its much easier to end-up on the street than in cheaper countries.

Real estate too is extremely expensive relative to the average wage. The equity families slowly build in their homes over time is like a nest egg. I'm not sure what percentage of people insure their homes against natural disasters. But it seems very likely that many families and retired people were wiped-out by this disasters if they were lucky enough to survive.

Japan actually has many major issues. Its public debt to GDP is around 200%, many times higher than the USA. But unlike the US, its funded domestically by Japanese firms and local savers. This debt continues to grow briskly as government annual spending is about twice tax revenue - 90 tn vs. 45 tn Yen - pushing the debt level further up, around 3-5 percentage points of GDP, each year.

But, Japanese savings rate has collapsed, from around 20% of disposable income in 80s to just 2% today - a result of demographics cus number of working age people peaked in early 90s, has fallen 10-15% since then, and will have fallen another 40-50% by 2050. Retirees don't save cus they have no income. Chronic poor economy has made it tougher for workers to save too. Thus, burden has been and will increasingly shift to corporate sector.

Up to now, corporate sector has managed because economic growth has been relatively stagnant for 20 years meaning firms have very little need to invest in growth, they are cash cows. But the extremely strong Yen is forcing them to relocate capacity offshore (Japan is still very export dependent) requiring increasing investment levels and draining cash resources.

Now we have a disaster which has destroyed US$100s of billions worth of infrastructure. A major re-build will follow making for yet another cash demand. Somethings gotta give structurally. And Japan needs outside help.
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Postby Winston » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:22 am

No I don't go to any news websites.

Why would Americans need to be evacuated out of Japan? Can't they just go to the airport and get on a plane?

So is the whole population there affected by the radiation, like what happened in Hiroshima?

I assumed that something blew in the nuclear reactors, kind of like what happened with Chernobyl.
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Postby Rock » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:39 am

Winston wrote:No I don't go to any news websites.

Why would Americans need to be evacuated out of Japan? Can't they just go to the airport and get on a plane?

So is the whole population there affected by the radiation, like what happened in Hiroshima?

I assumed that something blew in the nuclear reactors, kind of like what happened with Chernobyl.


Here is the link to AIT website: http://www.ait.org.tw/en/visas.html . Apparently, they are going to provide support in assisting Americans evacuating from Japan. I believe ome are being temporarily relocated to Taiwan and other countries in the region too.

The plants were not built to withstand such powerful earthquakes. I think maximum limit for them was around 7 reading on Richter Scale. Radiation risk goes up as you get closer to plants. But much of the country is under threat including Tokyo area.

Radiation is a scary thing. Even getting too many CAT scans, MRIs, or X-rays can in too short a period can increase your risk for all kinds of illnesses and physical complications. If you were there, wouldn't you wanna leave too?
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Postby Rock » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:12 pm

Here's more detailed explanation of the problem and risks involved, courtesy of TYT.

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTur ... fp3SfPG2PE

It appears that Japanese workers are sacrificing their lives for their country to contain the problem and avoid worst case melt-down scenario.
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Postby odbo » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:40 am

Winston wrote:I don't get something. Why are organizations asking for donations to help the victims of the disaster in Japan? Japan is one of the richest countries in the world. Wouldn't sending donations to Japan be like sending ice to Eskimos?

Also, I thought the Japanese were super efficient? How did this accident happen?


ya and it's only helping to strengthen the yen, which hurts japanese exports which the country relies on for jobs

most charities are scams and at best simply pay for administration. but often times they line the pockets of the owners
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