Japan caught sleeping

The nuclear meltdown may happen. All systems failed. Human error compounded by a huge earthquake. Did they plan for such a day? They must have. The construction of a nuclear power station must have taken into account all the possibilities of a meltdown and to prevent it from happening. It happened. But what was disappointing is that the 8.9 Richter scale quake did not lead to an immediate evacuation of coastal villages and towns. If it did, it was too slow. The Japanese have been preparing for such eventualities all their lives. They have tsunami drills regularly, more regular than conducting war games with the Americans. How could so many lives be swept away if there was a tsunami warning and evacuation of the coastal people? Caught sleeping? If it is a once in 50 years act of God, maybe excusable. But earthquakes and tsunamis are part and parcel of the Japanese life and they are very well prepared and equipped to deal with them. Japan caught sleeping. The world expects the Japanese to do much better in preventing such disasters. They are very meticulous and systematic people. They have failed their own people this time.


Wally Buffet said...

If press reports are any indication, they are as inept as the Indonesians when the latter had a tsunami not too long ago.

Man proposes, God disposes.

God certainly disposed our idea of the Japanese being meticulous planners with impeccable credentials in civil management and order.

If they had put in the same rigour and aptitude in planning for a disaster like this as they did the lightning raid on Pearl Harbour and thus engaging the US into World War 2, press reports on the aftermath of the earthquake and the resultant tsunami could have been more optimistic.

Now, with the last ditch effort to prevent a meltdown which will unleash a cloud of toxic radioactive gas enveloping a big part of North Eastern Japan, the population better start swallowing Iodine tablets to prevent the cancerous effects of Iodine-131.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Don't be silly redbean -- no one on earth can "account for all possibilities".

Get fucking real, man. You do your best, and then deal with whatever happens.

No one can "triumph" over nature 100% of the time. The earth has had many ice ages already, asteroid has wiped out all life, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods... things will get destroyed, people will die: that's reality man.

At the fundamental level, life is probabilistic -- something which is statistically possible, will occur. when and how, and what the impact will be -- no one can say for sure.

Anonymous said...

'Man proposes, God disposes'


Mankind is trying to predict nature. Nature is beyond prediction.

The Japanese are supposed to be meticulous to a fault, but only once upon a time. We used to assume that things supposedly 'Made in Japan' are guaranteed to be of good quality. I beg to differ, because I have bought true blue labeled 'Made in Japan' products that are just as crappy as those made in China or elsewhere.

Perhaps we have be hoodwinked by the Japanese, with products made elsewhere but given the 'Made in Japan' label.

Wally Buffet said...

Those "Made In Japan" products are assembled, manufactured or made by Bangla foreign talents under the "supervision" of Japanese plant managers.

That Japanese manager, assiduous as he possibly can, cannot watch over every little act done by these foreign "talents". The QC are done by PRC "foreign talents".

This fucking world has gone to the rocks.

The real craftsmen are extinct.

Wally Buffet said...

I suspect that now you guys are beginning to understand why a Louis Vuitton bag or a Rolex watch is so expensive.

These are made by craftsmen whose skills are handed down from generations of exacting perfectionism. Every piece is outstandingly flawless. No third world "talent" would be able to get anywhere near a true craftsman while he is at work.

What you pay is what you get.

Pay peanuts and you get monkeys.

Pay cheap cheap and you get "Made In Japan" but by third world immigrant workers.

Some coffee chains here employ Pinoy workers. They can't speak proper English. They don't clear the tables. They don't smile while serving etc. etc.

Suddenly the Colombian brew tastes very Manila. Sorry.... vanilla.

Hehe. :o)

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Oh dear, Matilah, you are starting to think like silly and complacent Singaporeans. An act of God is not the same as human error or human failures. Let me make it easier for you to understand.

An earthquake or a tsunami is an act of God. Cannot be prevented by ordinary men. No one in his right mind would expect the Japs to stop an earthquake or a tsunami. But they can plan and prepare for it and minimise the wrath of God. That is why they have all kinds of earthquake and tsunami drills and warning systems.

It is the latter that failed. They either did not activate the tsunami warning or acted too late.

A nuclear meltdown is not an act of God. Easy to understand right. And in the building of a nuclear reactor, all the safety measures, engineering safeguards, protection, failsafe procedures, have all been tediously worked out. And this is the part that failed. Human error.

A closer example, monsoon rain is an act of God. Flooding in Orchard Rd is human failure.

I think I have made myself perfectly clear.

Anonymous said...

Lately we seem to have lots of Tsunami warnings after every little quake. In time to come, I think people will grow tired of such warnings and therein lies the danger. They become complacent and got hit when a real Tsunami comes.

This is a lesson for red dot. Wonder why Mas Selamat managed to escape from detention? Wonder why a bus in a camera-monitored depot got sprayed with graffiti? Yes, we are prepared with all the best monitoring equipments money can buy. But nothing is for sure or foolproof, when the human element is involved. You cannot guarantee human failings.

Anonymous said...

Redbean my Fren;

this time me must say You have over criticized.
Like many of our Ministers, me says that the Japanese have accepted their fates. Remember, our Ministers want us to learn from the Japanese, to be calm and stoic and not blame any authority or agency for the latest disaster.

It is also fair to say that the nuclear plants damages were not caused by any man, it was/is the result of natural disaster. If your argument is to be accepted, then may i say, why the hell did Japan or any country prone to earthquake build nuclear plant? Unless, someone comes up with the ability to build nuclear plant in the air, all countries prone to earthquake should not have been allowed or allow to build nuclear station. The International Nuclear Agency, the Nuclear Controlling Agency is the One to blame, It must have been very lax and compromising in doing its' duty.

Let's us wish the Japanese a fast return to normality and that Nature could be kinder. Mankind too has to take care of the environment and not feel that it has the ability to counter and usurp Nature.


Anonymous said...

The Japs are caught napping this time because they are too busy obeying their colonial master -- US to confront China in the East China Sea issue and therefore have no time to pre-empt against natural calamities. Well, I am afraid the nuclear meltdown may affect the neighbouring countries. The evil Empire US is in a way responsible for this catastrophy and must therefore be held duty bound to contain the meltdown. The US and the Japs must henceforth stop all uncalled for confrontations against China. SG.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The earthquake that hit the nuclear plant is an act of God. The building of the plant is not. The decision to build a nuclear plant in an earthquake prone area is not. The list of stringent measures to prevent an accident and a meltdown is not.

It is a mixed of pure arrogance, that everything can be controlled by man and nothing can go wrong, and irresponsibility, that led to the building of a nuclear plant there.

Don't worry, we are at the verge of committing the same carnal sin of pure arrogance and irresponbility, and to a much greater degree, if ever we build a nuclear plant in our little piece of rock or the smaller rocks around the big rock.

The assumption, again, man is in control and nothing can go wrong. Don't forget the lesson of the graffiti artist at the MRT depot. Don't forget Mas Selamat and his friends.

Unfortunately, the stupid thing about a sabotage or terrorist attack will not come from Mas Selamat, he is too stupid, not the graffiti artist, another idiot.

The people that will blow up a nuclear facility is likely to be a senior staff, a nuclear scientist or someone working inside the nuclear plant. He could be linked to a terrorist cell, a cause or just someone turned cuckoo. The possibility is immense.

Matilah_Singapura said...

> The decision to build a nuclear plant in an earthquake prone area is not.

I don't think it is arrogance. anyway it is impossible to "judge" the emotions/ motivation of people. and the decision to build is decided by more than one party, I assure you.

The problem with nuclear plants, waste processing plants, airports, prisons etc. is that they are all subject to NIMBY - "Not In My Backyard". No one wants these facilities nears their homes.

Human nature bro'.


You are correct: Japan "exports" its factories. Although there are foreign workers in Japan, Jap industry tends to go overseas to build factories.

"You pay peanuts you get monkeys" only applies when there is a healthy high-demand-for-labour market. All labour is subject to market rates -- if you have something the market values, yo get paid accordingly.

It's a shitty reality for some, it is true...but that's just the harsh truth of (natural) economic law. But I look at it this way: ANY JOB is better than NO JOB, and it is certainly better than having to perform cheap BLOW JOBS. (unless of course that is your thing ;-) )

I support the idea of "sweat shops" because for some people the alternative is awful and possibly life-threatening.

Anonymous said...

The Wooden one is telling Singaporeans to be calm like the Japanese.


When Japanese leaders. Government or private, commit mistakes they usually take their own lives. Now that is the kind of calmness that I like, not pushing the blame onto the subordinates and blaming citizens.

Anonymous said...

"..all countries prone to earthquakes should not have been allowed or allow to build nuclear stations"

Logically so. I would say that building skyscrapers in earthquake prone areas is also illogical, but they continue to vie for the highest. Who should decide and be responsible for all this? The responsibility must surely rests with the Government of that country, not anybody else. So, I say the Japanese Government is much to blame.

Pushing the blame to the IAEA may be a tad too far, and may embolden those planning to take the plunge into nuclear energy to go ahead, knowing that in the event of a disaster, they can just push the blame to the IAEA.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Why the Japs built nuclear plant? Short of cheap energy is one thing. Nuclear plant means ability to build nuclear weapons. That is the catch and the most attractive part. The Japanese have never forgotten their military glory and dream of being another super power in times to come. And after their barbaric attack on China and Korea, there is great fear that these two countries would one day take the Japanese to task.

Then there are the Americans wanting to share the nuclear products for weapons. It is not so simple as a need for more energy.

Nuclear weapon is what they are after.

Anonymous said...


think Redbean is right, nuclear weapon......

Now it really becomes weapon except that it is destructing the owner. It is like water and fire, they are useful and they are also destructive at the same time.