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“The Earthquake in Japanese Energy Policy” via Japan Focus

More than a week after March 11, when northeastern Japan was hit by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and 7-metre tsunami, the death toll remains unknown. It seems certain to exceed 20,000, as whole sections of some communities were washed out to sea. Search and rescue groups are grimly at work finding bodies alongshore and beneath the rubble and debris.

The human losses are already enormous, and now the slow erosions of humanity threaten: there are sad reports of hundreds of elderly left to die in hospitals and care homes in the stricken areas. And the economic losses are climbing into the stratosphere as stocks fall, foreigners flee, and millions of workers and consumers simply stay at home. All the numbers are huge: half a million people barely getting by in poorly supplied shelters; the iconic bullet-train damaged at 1100 locations that will take “considerable time” to repair; a projection of reconstruction costing upwards of USD 200 billion.

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