Nuclear power plant invevitably ages into fragility

Neutron emission from the nuclear reactor causes the fragility of the wall of the reactor. It is thought to depend on the total amount of emission as well as the emitting speed of the neutron. It means aging of the reactor deteriorates its stuructural integrity. It could cause a serious accident in certain time after its construction. It is inevitable.

Our administrative agency, NISA, which has handled the safety issue of the nuclear power plants since the beginning of nuclear power administration, is reported to investigate the aging problem of the nuclear power plants in Japan. 19 of them are 30 years old or older, even though the nuclear power plants were originally designed to be used for only 16 years. I seriously suspect that they won't be capable of this investigation. For the past years, together with the power companies, they have built up the myth that nuclear power plants are so safe that no accidents could occur. They won't break that safety myth by themselves. This investigation should be executed by researchers which include some on the side having criticized the nuclear power policy.

If serious accidents should occur with this aging process, it would result in much worse damage and nuclear pollution in larger area than that in Fukushima. The risk management capability of the government and the national administration is questioned now.


New vaccines

Nowadays, a few kinds of new vaccines are being introduced into the medical service. The examples are the vaccine for Papilloma viruses responsible for uterine cervical cancer and that for Rotavirus causing gastroenteritis in infancy. They are licensed by our governmental office, the Min. of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan. The vaccines will prevent those infectious illnesses or its related severe diseases. It could become the triumph of the medical science against those illnesses.

There are some problems to use it in practice. One of them is their high costs. The latest one for Rotavirus, monovalent vaccine, costs about 140 USD/vial. The infant should take three of them in early infance. The cost of vaccines, themselves, sums up to 420USD. It seems to be price controlled by the pharmaceutical company and/or the goverenmental agency. This price could be a economical burden to the infant's parents.

These vaccines must be most useful in the developing countries. Cervical cancer is a serious challenge for women in those countries. Gastroenteritis is one of the most common causes of death in infancy there. It is most likely from the experience of the other medicines that the prices in the developing countries are set as high as those in Japan or the other developed countries. This price level should prevent the vaccine from being widely used by the peoples in those countries.

Admitting that it takes the pharmaceutical companies much investment to develop such cutting edge item for medical service, I wonder if this price-setting is fair or not. The market is all over the world. They would be sold in enormous numbers, I guess. In Japan, the cost includes that for examination of the potency by a governmental agency, which is near to the half of the price. I wonder if they are testing all vials. Maybe, no. A few vials should be tested in a lot. The governmental office determines the price, of which another governmental agency is maybe taking much profit.  I am pretty sure both the private and public sector is in a conspiracy to take as much profit as possible from the vaccine sales.

In addition, I should point out each mega pharmaceuticals is getting much profit every year, which results in astronomically big reserve of money, even though I don't know how much this vaccine sales strategy contributes to it. The pharmaceutical companies should be responsible to provide these vaccines at reasonable prices.

Late fall in our garden

At the age of 62 years, I am apt to think of things in the scale of the time left for my life. I still wonder if I have worked enough as a doctor. But there are some more things to do in my life.

One of those things is gardening. This year, the nuclear fallout possibility kept me inactive in gardening. My second son, seeing the garden this summer, has uttered that it was not so neat as usual at all. Yes, he was right. From next year, I would be active in the garden getting things arranged. It is to leave the garden for family who will take it over in the future. It is fun for me as well as a meaningful  project for the next generation.

The photos from above to below;
A maple tree in autumn color. The slightly ashy red color is conspicuous this fall. Maybe due to the sharply dropped temperature. Many weeds on the ground!
A magnolia tree changing colors. My mother used to love this tree.
Blossoms of chrysanthemum. They are lying on the ground without the supporting structures.


An ancient tomb in late fall

It was over ten years ago when I noticed a small hill in a rice paddy along the road I commuted to the office everyday. It has several trees on it. In spring and summer, they are abundant with fresh leaves while they drop in fall. It looked so quiet as if time had stopped around that area. One day, I was so curious to know what the hill was that I stopped by there and searched for it. The explanation at the place told that it was an ancient tomb where a head of this region was buried in the 6th or 7th century.

I learned later that there had been dozens of such tombs in this area. I was a bit impressed there had been so many tombs for so long period. They might have been religious objectives for centuries. As an evidence that it has been respected by the people around this tomb, there was a small shrine on the top of the tomb hill. I suppose the oridinary people have been praying for their ancestors at this place from time to time and have lived their lives from a generation to another for centuries. I felt close to them, the ordinary people, who have passed in that way.

Maybe, I belong to one of them.



A post to CWops reflector on Mar 12 2011

For a day after the earth quake, we had the power line outage here. No water supply as well. The lack of the life lines were not so bad as in the disastered area in Fukushima or Miyagi etc. It was, however, a night of fear and anxiety we had to spend. Nothing was foreseeable.

The day after, as soon as we had the power line recovered, I posted the message shown below to the CWops reflector. Even though written in primitive expression, it reflected my mind accurately at that time. For a record, I would put it here in this blog. It took me a week or so before I got out of a kind of apathy or depression. It might have been a mild case of posttraumatic syndrome. I have faced to a drastic change of the paradigm for our lives at that time.

From the reflector of CWops on Mar 12 2011;

Hi all,

We just got out of the power outage right now. No water supply. No foods sold.
But this area, 80km north of Tokyo, has spared real serious damages. Noone was
hurt. Some damages to house items only.

As someone told, in JA7 area, north of here, they have suffered so much
especially due to the Tsunami, which they say over 7m high. A whole town is said
to be destroyed by Tsunami. So far, more than 1000 people were killed or
missing. I am sure much more will be lost.

The melt down of nuclear plant in Fukushima Pref is a real terrible event. I am
afraid our government has been aware of this possibility before. Our prime
minister has mentioned of the nuclear plant problem in his very 1st speech after
the quake occured. I really hope the pollution will be limited to the small area
and no one will be injured.

Personally, my old mother and a brother with his wife are in Sendai city, where
it caused much damage. No contact with them at all. It makes me worried much.

When I opened the e mail box, I found bunches of mails from friends abroad
asking me if I am OK. It touched me a lot. Please keep eyes and ears open to
those severely damaged by this disaster. I appreciate your concern toward me, my

Sorry for such a lengthy post. It may take me some time to set up the gears
which are all fallen down on the floor from the desk. But I will come back on
the air soon.



Happy Thanksgiving to you Gary and Leslie!

Gary, W5ZL, has been in the struggle against advanced stage of his colon cancer for several months. He and his wife, Leslie, have been quite positive for life. I have known him only for a couple of years or so on the air. Knowing his attitude toward life, I feel quite close to him. Of course, we share the same favorite thing, that is, communication through Morse code.

His latest post for the Thanksgiving season in his blog touches me again. He expresses his gratitude toward his medical staff, whom he has been treated with chemo by and has had hard time with. It is an ideal partnership between a patient and his medical staff that is hardly achivable at the scenes in the medical facilities. His sensitivity as well as flexibility to the surrounding people, I believe, makes this relationship possible. As not only a man involved in medical service but also a human with the same pleasure, anxiety and fear for living, I appreciate his attitude to the medical staff.

Here is his post;


Happy Thanksgiving, Gary and Leslie!


A miracle in life

This morning before coming to the office, I have spent an hour on 10m, which was again widely open to North America. I ran into a friend in the west coast, whom I have known for over 30 years. He seemed to have read my mails with the others and already knew on my plan of retirement etc. He, an 87 years old retiree, would like to go on living at the present home for at least 3 years before he comes into the retirement facility. I was almost smiling to hear he would keep his feet in cement there while his wife insists to go into such a facility. I could not help wishing him very good luck in the last phase of his voyage of life.

He has a grandson in the east coast, aged 7 years old. My friend used to tell me of him whenever we talk on the radio. That boy has autism. My friend has a background of psychology and may know of this illness well. He seems to be concerned about the etiology of this illness. He asked me what causes this illness this morning. He believes some environmental factor is responsible for that. My answer, though I am not a specialist of this field at all, was that such factor may be involved especially in the fetal period. But it is essentailly an illness in the gene level, I believe. The text says the concordance rate in the monozygotic twin is pretty high while it remains low in the dizygotic twin. I don't believe such an answer is of help to him at all. He must has been asking himself what has brought this to his loving grandson.

I told also that whenever I do with parents with their children of such illnesses, I am always surprised at their admirable attitude to their way of life as well as to their own children. I have noticed this in real situations as a pediatrician for long time. The parents, especially the mothers, are always very eager to live together with their children and to try to do best for them. The families are always united very strongly. It is really a miracle in the ordinary life, even though they are not conscious of that. My friend told me his son and his wife are working on a part-time basis which enables them to care for their son with autism. I could picture the couple have been eagerly living for and by their son. I could understand, with much sympathy, what my friend worries about his grandson. The parents might have had to face much difficulty in actual living for years. But, from the standpoint of viewing through the whole lives, it could be a blessing for them to have a family member with such illness, if I could say without fear to be misunderstood.

May they be blessed with happy holiday season.


Morse code, not a language itself, but a system of simple signs

In a book about the brain science of languages, sign language was described as a kind of natural language. It first attracted my attention since it delivers information for communication with visual signs of facial expression, movements of arms and so forth as Morse code does with auditory stimuli. I was wondering what was going on with Morse code from the standpoint of brain physiology and was expecting analogy or comparability between sign language and Morse code.

But Morse code was not the case of natural language. Because it has no grammer or no wide diversity like sign language does. It is just replacement of alphabets into auditory signs composed of combinations of dit and dash. Morse code reception is just a reflective perception process from auditory stimulus. Just one- to one correspondence.

Another interesting finding is that Morse code is handled by the brain part responsible for reading, as a study of modern brain physiology suggested while sign language is thought to be handled by the  center of sound speech in the brain. Morse code is essentially "read" by brain.

The another question is what Morse code means as one of the simplest signs in human auditory perception. The study in Morse code reception might give insight into the scientific epistemology. I know there are some researchers being engaged in this issue. I would follow what they say with the modern technology of brain science. It might be stimulating to us.


In early '80s

I have come back on the air after over ten year absence in early '80s.  I was serving residency at a med school hospital living in a small dormitory there shown in the picture above. As most residents did, I did not have long vacation then, when I  recalled this hobby of ham radio I used to enjoy in teenage days. I drove an hour to get the brand new TS830 and a vertical. It won't take me long time to set the vertical on the roof and make a space for radio in the bed room. I don't now why my wife has not complained of that. Smiling to some visitors, however, she told them she had become a ham widow. It was the end of the plateau of the solar activity. I could work with a bunch of DX with this humble set up. It was a surprise for me that I had never forgotten the code after that interval.

I ran across with a number of old friends on the air. One of the most remarkable persons was Steve WA6IVN. I used to work with him in contests etc in '60s but had never known him in person. As soon as we knew each other a little bit more than we used to, we got closer. He was a few years older than me and had been suffering from malignant lymphoma, that was classified as a pretty benign type. He seemed to be thirsty for living. He eagerly enjoyed every aspect of life. Maybe I could say he was urged to enjoy his life as if he had had only limited length of life. In my first trip to the bay area a few years later, I visited him in Manteca near San Francisco. He has treated me warmly like an old friend and would show all of his life to me. He was followed up for lymphoma at Stanford University. In a few years, he has developed a second malignancy followed by melanoma, which was fatal to him. I could remember his fist was getting disarranged every QSO. He was really weakened when I met him at the BBQ party at W6CYX. Despite of having metastasis in brain, he drove up to San Jose on his trailer to see me. It was several months later when I heard of his passing away. I won't forget him.

Bob W6CYX, with whom I have worked on CW for more than 1000 times since '60s, is a brilliant and sociable person. His fist always sounds smooth and crisp. We used to work once a day or two in from '80s through '90s. He kindly let me stay at his home twice in my visits in '90s. In my first visit to him, I and my friend, Hide JH0FBH, were impressed at his great location on a slope of the Mt. Hamilton looking down the city of San Jose and the San francisco Bay. What a gorgeous view through the window of his living room in his home at night! He is a man of argument from the standpoint of conservative. I am inclined to be fairly progressive as for every events in politics as well as economy etc. I am afraid that my opinion might make him irritated from time to time. I believe in the good will and ability of the american people but still should point out the very serious problem in the financial system in the US. I hope he would understand me. I wish him many more returns in good health with his kind and beautiful wife there. May many more QSOs with me be added to the record in the future.

I was thrilled to find a number of old friends who used to keep a schedule in our sunset hours in '60s. The main guy was Ed K6NB, formerly WA6UNF. That schedule was with Trevor VK2NS on around 7020KHz. There were a lot of guys joining the round table. I can figure such as Kemp K7UQH, Cy K6PA, formerly WB6CFN, Ted K6YN, formerly KH6EFW or Ron VK2DO etc. Most of them have gone silent key or inactive by now, I am afraid. In mid of '80s, Trevor passed away that made Ed inactive on the air. They ran in QRQ and used to fascinate me much into the world ragchewing on CW. I was lucky to have met these old stars before they went silent key. It was a really starry sky on 40m around the sunset here.
Merle Parten K6DC, formerly W6ULS, was also an unforgettalbe ham. In '60s, he used to hold regular QSOs with ZS in our midnight hours. It was very tough for me with a low power and a wire antenna to get any Africa. He used to let me work with such as ZS2MI in Marion Island. What a pleasure for a teenage boy! He used to be in Santa Barbara, where he came back from the bay area when retired in around 1990. In my first visit to the bay area in mid '80s, I drove around the peninsula on a rental car. Driving on the El Camino Real in San Carlos, a 2 elemet Yagi for 40m came into my sight. I could not resist knocking the door of the house with the beam, even though I did not know who it was. Yes, it was Merle's home. Without any appointment of visit, he kindly let me in his shack. He was not very talkative but kind enough to treat me as a friend. He took me to an Italian cuisine for lunch. Later, in my third visit to the US, I have drove down with Eric W6DU from the bay area to Santa Barbara where Merle was settled down on a vast property on a slope of a hill facing to the Pacific ocean. Again, I had a great time with Merle and his wife Marjorie. I could not forget the fellows in Santa Barbara such as John W6GTI or Red W6THN etc as well, all of whom have gone silent key by now to my sorrow. 

I have kept this post card on my desk at the office for years. Before it deteriorates, I have scanned it into the PC. It reminded me of those good old days. Sorry for lengthy story that may not be so interesting to the readers. Still fond and important memories for me. Ham radio has made quite a big part of my life in this way.   


Cs137 contamination occured in the most areas of eastern Japan

A team of researchers of Nagoya University et al has published a data of Cs137 contamination in soil in Japan due to the nuclear plant accident in Mar this year. They have estimated the contamination from the fallout data published by various regional governments etc.

If the contamination is measured up to 5 cm in depth in soil, 1Bq/kg is equal to 100MBq/sq. km. In the case of Chernobyl, highly contaminated area was defined as more than 1Ci (37000MBq/sq.km ), that is, 370Bq/kg of the soil contamination level. From Iwate Pref down to Tochig and Ibaraki Pref, that is, in the areas 200km or so north and south of the accident site, the high contamination seems to have spreaded if this estimation is correct.

We should keep in mind that this estimation is the least level possible since it was based on the fallout data from Mar 20 for one month to the exclusion of the fallout occured by the explosion of the plant around Mar 15. There have been contamination to the ocean going on, if the level is now very low, and the underground water could be also contaminated with the cooling water poured to the plants.

So what should we say? The most important lesson is that the nuclear power plant could give rise to this kind of serious accident. It should leave the devastating contamination over the vast area which  could affect the next generation for the decades. The nuclear power, if it is used for peaceful purposes, should be abondoned immediately so far as it is not controllable by technology.


CW reception training

The morse code reception could be, I believe, an object of perception research. It may open the door for understanding how human brain perceives and understands the meaning of auditory stimuli.
The  morse code is simple in structure which may help to be investigated by modern scientific  approach. On the other hand, the code as a tool of communication reflects or binds the linguistic meaning, that makes it complicated.
Anyway, modern progress in functional study of brain function may give us a horizen in this field. Though I am not a specialist in this field at all, I have found a few, if not many, research papers concerning this subject.
As a CW enthusiast, it is interesting to know how code reception is achieved and how to improve it efficiently in a morse code learner. In the era when morse code was widely used in military as well as commercial facilities, possibly in '50s or '60s, a lot of studies have been made regarding this point as mass studies. The recent researchs with modern technologies might give us much clearer and more definite hints or solutions for those questions.
Here are a couple of paper abstracts related with this subject, even though the methodologies featured are rather traditional.  I would like to introduce more with modern methods later.
The following paper says that the morse code training should be started with easy parts/tasks. It seems they conducted this research with classical psychological method.

                                                             ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
J Exp Psychol Appl. 2001 Jun;7(2):129-42.

Retention and transfer of morse code reception skill by novices: part-whole training.


Department of Psychology, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064, USA. clawson@cua.edu


The training of composite skills requiring differential responding to a large set of stimuli raises issues about how to break down the whole task into parts and which parts should be trained first. Components of Morse code reception skill were identified, separated, and used to test whether initial training on a difficult part was more effective than initial training on an easy part. Initial training on a difficult subset of stimuli and on a difficult subtask both yielded disadvantages rather than the advantage implied by recent findings with different tasks. Incremental training should begin with the part yielding the most effective strategic skills, which appear to depend on characteristics of the task. In both present experiments, easy initial training led to adoption of an effective unitization strategy for representing codes. The hypothesis that procedural reinstatement at delayed testing leads to better retention was supported and extended.

                                                                 ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

This paper relates what amount of training is good in perceptual training. This auditory discrimination tasks are different from learning codes. But the result may parallel with training result of the morse code or may resemble it. Perceptual skills could be transfered from short-term memory to long one daily when the training protocol is within the limit of task specific requirement.
Exp Brain Res. 2007 Jul;180(4):727-36. Epub 2007 Feb 27.

Perceptual learning: how much daily training is enough?


Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208-3350, USA. b-wright@northwestern.edu


The acquisition of many perceptual skills proceeds over a course of days. However, little is known about how much daily training is needed for such learning to occur. Here we investigated this question by examining how varying the number of training trials per day affected learning over multiple days on two auditory discrimination tasks: frequency discrimination and temporal-interval discrimination. For each task, we compared improvements in discrimination thresholds between different groups of listeners who were trained for either 360 or 900 trials per day for 6 days. Improvement on frequency discrimination required >360 trials of training per day while learning on temporal-interval discrimination occurred with 360 training trials per day, and additional daily practice did not increase the amount of improvement. It therefore appears that the accumulation of improvement over days on auditory discrimination tasks may require some critical amount of training per day, that training beyond that critical amount yields no additional learning on the trained condition, and that the critical amount of training needed varies across tasks. These results imply that perceptual skills are transferred from short- to long-term memory (consolidated) daily, but only if a task-specific initiation requirement has been met.


In half a century

I have met a ham from USA on a ship bound for Ohshima, near Tokyo, at a night in summer when I was going to a camp with the amateur ham club members of the college I was attending to. It was in 1960s. I was a teen age boy. The ship heading to the island has had many passengers, maily young peoplen on aboard. Some foreign girls in girl scout uniform also on aboard attracted our eyes. The ship was sailing in the darkness in Tokyo Bay. A quiet evening. I was handling a super generation transceiver in a lunch box for 6 meters. A guy was coming close to me and was asking if it was for ham radio. He was Bernie WA7CBX. I am sure he was leading the girl scout group going for also camping. I don't remember what I have talked to him then. My limited vocabulary in English prevented me from conversing with him freely. But, with a feeling of company sharing the same thing as a hobby, we have enjoyed our meeting there.

After a long interval off the air in 1970s, I came back on the air when I was serving residency at a med school hospital in the beginning of '80s. With 14AVQ on the drom roof and brand new TS830, I was quite active on CW. Again, in a summer of 1980s, I was on 40m, when a guy whom I had not known called me and told Bernie was on the side of him. Later, in his letter to me, Bernie shouted that it was me as soon as he heard my call on 40m. It was in the Field Day in US. They were joining it together somewhere in a mountain. I have corresponded with Bernie for a couple of times but no real QSO with him on the air yet.

A couple of days ago, when I was talking to a friend, Jack WA7HJV, in Oregon, I happened to remember of Bernie, whom I had known in the QRZ.com that he still held his call and was still in Walla Walla Oregon like in '80s. Upon my inquiry if he knew Bernie there, Jack answered he did not know him, 40 miles away from Jack, in person but had ever talked him on the radio in the past. I asked Jack to get Bernie's mail address if he should meet him somewhere.

Jack called me on 40m last night. He has kindly given Bernie a phone call and has talked him for even half an hour. Bernie was fine, as Jack told me, and has lost a Quad that may mean he has not been on the HF at least. Bernie seemed to have remembered of me. He should be 83 or 84 years old by now. It was a really good news to me that he has been getting along OK. We had only a few moment together without any QSO on the air but still share precious time together for the past almost half a century. I am feeling thankful to Jack and amateur ham radio itself for such an experience over the time.


Olympus collapsing

Olympus, one of the most famous optical instrument makers in Japan, seems to go into collapse very soon. The management staff has made a big amount of debts due to failure in investment in 1980s. It is reported up to 2 billion USD. The following staff responsible for the finance has done so called "Tobashi" technique in financial affairs in order to hide the debts for the past years. A new president of the company, a foreigner, has noticed that illegal conduct by the former management staff. It has been eventually made public recently.

This is a really shameful crime and should never has occurred by any means. The staff as well as the auditor should be accused and should compensate the loss as much as possible. I often hear from the doctors specializing endoscopy that Olympus personel used to be with aggressive attitude in selling and maintaining their apparatus. They have shared 75 % of the market in Japan. This aggressiveness may have reflected the difficult finance of the company.  The company should be sold to another, which would enable the fair competetion in the market.

I could not help remembering the age of '80s. It was the time when I worked as a young staff in a med school hospital, where my colleague etc used  to boast of the profits gained in their investments. It was really an age of bubble economy. Everyone was behaving at the mercy of the bubble economy even though they thought they had made investments with reason. I believe the management staff of Olymus those days must not has been an exception, even though they have made too much gamble without reason. I bitterly recall tha fact that the bubble economy has never made most of the people happier at all. Again, we are facing to the result of the bubble economy in addition to the serious credit failure in the financial system. Knowing what has been going on in this company falling down, I think we should overcome the bubble economy cycle repeated since '80s by some means.


A diary of a nurse having gone to aid the people in the affected area

The earthquake and the tsunami in Tohoku area Mar 11 were a terrible disaster which we could hardly imagine of. But it also convinced us that we were united and lived together.

I was impressed that so many young people have volunteered to help the affected people there. Here is a dairy of such a young nurse who has gone to the area to help the people immediately after the disaster.

She is so sensitive to the other's pain or anxieties. She expresses it in natural way. This dairy has encouraged me a lot when I got apathic after the event myself.  It has a remarkable value to be remembered.



Chopin's music

My favorite music critic, H. Yoshida, says, I believe, Chopin is a composer of monophony. That could be a reason why I  haven't been so much fascinated by his works. Another reason might be that he has composed, mostly, for piano, though I admit his chamber musics are of much value.

Listening to this performance of C sharp minor nocturn originally for piano solo, arranged by Nathan Milstein for violin and piano, I got sure that his works could fit well to string instruments. Monophonic singing instruments.


Midori Goto, the violinist, sings this music from the bottom of the heart. I felt as if I could not breathe while listening to the long lasting phrase sung by her violin. She starts the music from the darkness in pianissimo and goes on the long phrase of melancholy in gradual crescendo to the peak at the refrain of the beginning theme. Then, the tune declines and vanishes into darkness again. It should not be performed brilliantly like a concerto cadenza as often done by the other players. Midori expressed the melancholy in most suppressed manner that appeals us profoundly.

This must be the tune which was sounding in Chopin's mind, I believe, when he was almost dying.


Welcome to our earth, Jonah

A young prince in the world of CW, Nathan KO6U, has added a new family member together with his wife, Ayako. Jonah Ren is his first child. Congratulations to you, Nathan. I wish him a wonderful life.

I heard the delivery had not been uneventful at all. So far, both Ayako and their son, Jonah, are getting well now.

Jonah might take over the trait of good brass pounder from his father.




The TPP, the Trans  Pacific Partnership Agreement, is finally under much discussion here. It is aimed to lift the whole tariff among the participant countries. Our government insists that the content of the agreement will be discussed by the participants after they determine joining it. The government and the bureaucrats behined them have intended to make this issue appear before the people as late as possible. It seems they are making a bit of success. But the public opinion is clearly divided as for this agreement scheme.

The major participant is undoubtedly the US. Learning the process of negotiations between the US and the other countries like Australia etc in the past, the core of this agreement should be that the major investors/companies, most of them being in the US, would have the previledge to get into the markets in the other participant countries. Of course, the outlook seems an even fair relationship among the participants. But being dominated by the major capitals in the US, the other countries seemed to obey the rule of the globalism, which is one-sided for the former major capitals.

One of the most serious issues is the ISD article, that is, the Investor State Dispute article, which enables the investors bring any case of disadvantage for them in the other countries to the court by an agency under WTO. They say that the court questions only if the investors have any disadvantage by any governmental legislation. No concern or consideration of the advantage for the people in particular country such as ecological issue or public welfare etc. There have been many cases of such suit all over the world since '90s. We should bitterly remember what the investors have brought to the developing countries in the past decades under the propaganda of the globalism.

They say the major insurance companies in the US intend to find their ways into the medical insurance market in Japan. The public insurance system in Japan should be a big barrier for those insurance capitals to get into the market. The TPP will break through this barrier by some means. There are some omens for that here. Our public insurance system is in danger for collapse due to the increased number of the senior citizen and the economic recession. It will be completely destroyed once the foreign major insurance capitals get into the market here. I don't believe this americanization of the health insurance system is not advantageous to the people here.

I won't approve the TPP in this scheme at present.


A pleasant and relaxing trip to Fukushima

As planned before, we have been to the lake of Inawashiro in Fukushima. It was a quiet hot spa resort. The grand view of Mt. Bandai and the lake Inawashiro has welcomed us. There were very few tourists around there even though it was the season of beautiful trees. The owner of the hotel we stayed told us there was 20 or 30 % decrease in the visitor numbers after the disaster in the coast area of Fukushima. They haven't been damaged by them at all. We had a great time with the hospitality of the hotel owner etc and the scenary.  On Sunday, we met and had lunch together with our son studying medicine overthere. We would return there for trekking around the foothill of the mountain with many ponds very soon.

The picture abover shows Mt. Bandai seen from the hotel room. There was a pond just before the hotel. The next picture shows the lake shore early in evening. So quiet water surface. The gradation of the sunray from the setting sun was being reflected on it.

An old trick of the bureaucrats in Japan

In Japan, the medical system has been managed like that in the planned economy in the past communism countries. It has enabled the people to access to the most modern medicine, if not the best, at very reasonable costs since 1960s. Since the period of continuing growth of the economy has ended and the number of the senior citizen is increasing rapidly, this system seems on the way to collapse right now. The government and the bureaucrats are trying to cut the budget for the medical services by various means. Of course, cutting the income of the private practioners is one of the easiest ways. It also prevents the doctors working at hospitals from leaving there and owning their own practice. It may be beneficial to hospital owners who comprise of the most of the doctor's association in Japan.

The latest news told "the private practioners" had been earning 2.3 times of those working at hospitals. This data came from a committee of the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare discussing about the costs and the expenditures for the medical services. This is a terribly biased data given by the bureaucrats who intend to lessen the expenditure to the whole private practioners. The category of "the private practioners" the committee took up is only a part of the whole practioners, that is, the founders of the juridical person in medicine services. Those founders always manage larger facilities with larger gross income than the other doctor categories including those working at hospitals. The former is always experienced in medicine. They have made much investment to their facilities. They won't have any previledge in public pension etc. On the other hand, the latter is always young and less experienced without any investment to their work. They are given social securities. It is not rational to make comparison between these two categories of doctors.

In order to lead the people erroneously believe that lessening the payment to the private practioners is an inevitable and only strategy to get out of the present crisis, they have made such irrational comparison between those two categories. This has been one of their old tricks. It won't work out, I believe, because the expenditure for the private practioners is relatively small in the total budget for medical services. The expenditure for medical services is paid for the most cutting edge and expensive medical procedures and/or the medical apparatus etc. It won't take so long before the people get aware of this old trick.

It may result in that the people will lose this system most advantageous for them ever in the history of medical services in the world.

This is one reason why I quit my job earlier than the average retiree of the doctors in Japan. I feel fed up with the old trick by the bureaucrats.


The possibility of re-criticality at the 2nd nuclear reactor

They have reported that two Xenons, both of which have short half life spans, were possibly found in the 2nd nuclear reactor in the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima. This means that it could goes critical recently.

As told in the previous post, the 3 reactors underwent the melt-through down to the secondary containment. The authority had triumphantly insisted, with "the evidence of measurement of lowered temp at the reactor", they had achieved the cooling arrest of the nuclear reactors some time ago. If there was really Xenons detected there, this statement turns out to be false. On the whole, we don't know what has been going on with these reactors in the melt through.

They announce that there is no substantial change of the radiation around the reactor. No date as for the neutron emission from the reactor area, though. The raw data of the measurement of the neutron in elapse is mandatory. We should claim them to show all the data available.

They have already poured Boron to stop the possible criticality into the nuclear reactor. So far, it is not likely that the reactor has gone critical yet. But this event has taught us the nuclear power plant accident has never been out of danger yet. The technology of nuclear reaction is not controllable yet.