Critical Assessment of Japan’s Recovery Plans

This NY Times article lays out the conflicts in recovery plans for Japan. November3, 2011.  The title, Japan Revives a Sea Barrier That Failed to Hold, is rather understated in that the lengthy article covers a wide range of reconstructions plans and aspects. Yet another example of the failure to adhere to scientific and objective risk assessments, I am sad to say.

Some quotes from the article:

After the tsunami and the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima, some Japanese leaders vowed that the disasters would give birth to a new Japan, the way the end of World War II had done. A creative reconstruction of the northeast, where Japan would showcase its leadership in dealing with a rapidly aging and shrinking society, was supposed to lead the way.

But as details of the government’s reconstruction spending emerge, signs are growing that Japan has yet to move beyond a postwar model that enriched the country but ultimately left it stagnant for the past two decades. As the story of Kamaishi’s breakwater suggests, the kind of cozy ties between government and industry that contributed to the Fukushima nuclear disaster are driving much of the reconstruction and the fight for a share of the $120 billion budget expected to be approved in a few weeks.

Tsunami wall at Tsu-shi, Japan

Image via Wikipedia

The insistence on rebuilding breakwaters and sea walls reflects a recovery plan out of step with the times, critics say, a waste of money that aims to protect an area of rapidly declining population with technology that is a proven failure.



1 thought on “Critical Assessment of Japan’s Recovery Plans

  1. Japan following the USA model of trying to pretend the destruction of the event needed only to be followed by recovery efforts that ignore modern science and engineering lessons. Leading USA example is NOLA. There [NOLA] the USACOE has despite a several billion dollar effort failed to provide even Category 1 protection when 3-5 will be arriving this century in all probability. The reason is simple–soil subsidence never factored into USACOE thinking. And the peat dissolves over time. And then of course meterology ignored in favor of hydrology. NO factoring in climate change either. MOTHER NATURE DOES NOT GRANT VARIANCES!

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