The area around the destroyed nuclear power plant

Posting about the report from Soma city in Fukushima in the Facebook, I was asked by Dan K2YWE if Soma city is representing the area at present. I have investigated about it. The answer is definitely "No".

The destroyed nuclear power plant has made massive contamination expecially northeast-ward. The area around the nuclear power plant is divided into 3 ranks due to the contamination level. The worstly contaminated area named "difficult to return" area had the annual cummulative radiation dose more than 50mSv and was expected to have more than 20mSv in 5 years. According to the standard by IAEA regarding the contamination level, that area is not appropriate for living or even transient visiting of people.

So far as searched, there are 3 towns whose entire land could be categorized as the "difficult to return" area. In addition to them, the most area of a town spreading northeast-ward from the nuclear plant also belongs to this category. About 25000 people won't be able to return home in those areas. It is literally "forever" that they will lose their homes and communities. Adjascent to those towns, there are areas not suitable for living as well, especially for children. Much more people will lose their homeland forever, I am afraid.

These 3 towns in "difficult to return" area face to the Pacific Ocean and suffered much from the tsunami, which caused numbers of victims there.
If there had been no nuclear power plant accident, some of the victims could have been saved.  

There are still 120000 people evacuated from Fukushima. Some of them have given up returning to homeland. They will have lost their folks, communities, jobs and homeland as well.

The "difficult to return" area looks to be purchased by the government and used for the "intermediate" storage of the radio-contaminated materials. The radioactive materials is so massive, that the storage facilites should occupy most of the land in those towns. The storage facilities won't be possibly intermediate but eternal since they could not have any perspective for the eternal storage places in the other area. This means the people of the area would lose their homeland forever. This solution might be inevitable but we should remember there are much bitter tears shed.

We should learn any serious nuclear power plant accident, once it happens, will leave such a tragidic sequel.


Originally a chinese dish, Gyoza, dumpling with minced pork and vegetables stuffing. Vegetables are cabbage and japanese leek. Seaoned with sake, oyster sauce, garlic and ginger etc. It tastes juicy. The only problem for me to cook this menu is that I am inclined to make too much every time. Dozens of gyoza at one time! I will freeze some of the stuffing material.


A report from a city in Fukushima

The Disaster Countermeasures Office of Soma City has sent me a brochure titled the Interim Report. Soma city is a town facing to the Pacific Ocean about 35 miles north of the 1st Fukushima Nuclear Plants destroyed by the big earth quake and the tsunami 3 years ago. I have made a bit of donation to the city immediately after the disaster. They regularly report possibly to all the donators how they have recovered from the disaster at regular interval. This is the 4th report almost 3 years after the disaster.
It is a brochure of about 100 pages with a lot of photos edited with PC by themselves. I am always skeptical about such a brochure issued by any regional governmental office. Because it could have been a propaganda for the politicians there. This one was not such a case. It was emphasized that they had aimed at recovery of the communities in the city. Loss of the community means social death for the people. I am glad the city administrators are making them recovered in the same communiy even if they had to move from the original place to a new one.
Some photos also showed how the town had been getting over the disaster. A page is scanned here. The left side photos show various areas in the city immediately after the disater while the right side ones show them at present. I know they are still in the process to full recovery. But these photos still encourage us letting us know they are making steps forward.


Visiting a friend dentist

Owing to a crown on a teeth coming off, I headed to a dentist in a town nearby yesterday. He has been a friend of mine since the university days. Even though we were not very close each other those days, we talked a bit from time to time. He was a gentle fellow always smiling and a basket ball player.

Years later, when I started my practice near to his office, he and his wife visited me at the clonic bringing a bouquet and a clock for the reception room. Their kindness was impressive to me since I was doing with everything alone. He has taken their children to me at the clinic when they had any health problem. In a sense, it was another support from him to me. When I closed my office almost 3 years ago, I visited him to report that. He has accepted me with the same smile at that time.

His children have grown up and, as a rumor said, have gone to Department of Dentistry at some universities. I thought his daughter in her late twenties of age now might already have taken over his clinic.

He has busily asked what happened to me. I wanted him to make another crown on the teeth. While he was doing the procedure, I asked how his children were doing. I also added that his daughter could have worked at his clinic by now. In low voice, he answered that she had married and got a son. Her son, that is, his grandson had some chronic neurological problem. Seemingly a degenerative disease. She has been occupied with caring for him, so that she could not come to take it over or even to help him at present.

I did not know how to respond to him. In a few seconds, I told him he should go on working as a grandpa for a while. I could not see how he looked since I was laid on the dentistry chair. He told his son might come back there soon. His wife, working with him, has greeted to me saying thanks for my visit 3 years ago. A slender beautiful lady with the same smile as a couple of decades ago. It was her who always took their children to my clinic.

Such a thing could happen to a family of good will. A kind of cruelty in life. As a pediatrician having experienced with many cases of those handicapped children and their families, I have learned those family members  could unite each other strongly. The mothers with handicapped children always look bright and positive for life. Of course, there could be various difficulties in life for them. Despite of that, they are always bright and positive as if they were living the happiest lives in the world. It is a mystery but still a fact. I really hope that he and his family get bonded even stronger and would prove another example of that miracle.  


Our government has known the hostage issue in the Middle East since last fall.

Kouji Tsuneoka, an Islam and a journalist, has given press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Japan.

He has been invited to the Islamic court of ISIS for the case of two japanese hostages by them in last Oct. At this time, ISIS has told him that they would judge the case according to the Islamic law and won't require ransom nor kill the hostages. However, the Public Security Bureau of the Police has investigated him regarding the case of a university student who had been told to express his desire to go to Syria in order to join the battle of ISIS. That case was unlikely to be a serious case. On the investigation, the police has seized Tsuneoka's PC and so forth. It has made him unable to get in touch with the head of ISIS.

Since Prime Minister Abe addressed on financial aid to the countries in the Middle East in his recent visit there, which could be taken as an expression of hostility toward ISIS, ISIS has menaced for ransome, in case of no payment of that, murduring both hostages. This has been reported by mass media and has become a serious issue here. The government has finally established the countermeasures headquarters. The time limit was only 3 days, which has already passed now.

This means that the government has known of the hostage problem at least since last Oct. They have disturbed a civilian to get in touch with ISIS. So far, the government or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not asked him to negotiate with ISIS.

Knowing of this situation, Prime Minister Abe might have made that address likelily taken as an attitude hostile to ISIS in his visit to the Middle East recently. I could not help suspecting he might utilize this situation to send JSDF troops to the Middle East according to the right of collective self defence. Or he is not eligible for a leader for foreign affairs. he proves himself to be a stupid politician.

Our mass media won't report this issue yet so far.


The curtain is getting raised

Two hours before sunset, 40m opens to NA pretty well. Very quiet. Less jamming than later hours. Even with a barefoot and simple antenna, signals from NA, mainly the West Coast and the Mid West, come through here as if they were greeting before going to bed. Even with marginal strengthe and deep fading, they are gradually coming up.

I have had a nice chat with Pete AB0WW in Livermore CA. He told me I had been his very 1st JA in our 1st QSO 6 years ago. What an honor! I used to visit K6TS in Livermore in '80s. Pete did not know him since he had moved there from MN only 6 years ago. Livermore was a lovely town where those commuting to SF lived in.

Pete has retired from cardiac pace maker business last year after working in that business for 40 years. Pete has remembered of my profession and told his elder daughter is serving residency in pediatrics in the East Coast. I agreed with him telling me it was not easy to serve residency for her. His 2nd one is a college student holding a Technician ticket. Pete must be very proud of them.

Signals are getting louder as sun is setting here. Dramas are starting from now on the band. The curtain is getting raised now. What stories are waiting for me? We could experience the other people's lives far away from here. I could not help feeling thrilled to listen to them talking on their lives. It is the condition on my beloved band I have enjoyed most since '60s.

Now fully satisfied, starting preparing supper haha.


DXing is a thing of the past for me

This morning, I got up at 5:30, an hour before sunrise. As I always do,  prepared breakfast and a cup of coffee, I went into the shack. Even though it is the Coldest Day throughout a year ,called as Taikan in Japanese, today according to our traditional calendar, it was not too chilly this morning.

The higher bands were still quiet. Looking around 40m, I found a couple of DX getting some pile ups. Though I have left DXing long time ago, I have had nothing to do on the band open only to the Eastern Eu and the Middle East. I would just play with those DX for a while. One was JY5HX, a station in Jordan, who was handling the pile up on the same frequency as he transmitted. A few JAs were calling him but could  not get through the pile up from Europe. I believe those frustrated callers from JA might be using a wire antenna or a vertical. When I used to use a vertical, it was really tough for me to get any Middle East. QRM from the Europe must be so intense. After a few calls, I could get him successfully. I wished him to realize he had been called by JAs.

The other was EP6T, seemingly certain isaland in Iran. He was dealing with a bit more callers in split operation. It seemed he was going up and down at regular increment/decrement of frequencies. I tried to call him on the expected spot. But no success. Though he announced only JA and up, there were a lot of callers acting against him mainly from Europe. It took me some 15 minutes to get his coming back. As time went on, I got more and more frustrated. I have remembered that feeling, which drove me for further DXing 2 or 3 decades ago. If one of my neighbors got the call earlier, I would be most frustrated at it, if I was not aware of that or not. Even when I got back the call, I only felt the frustration was calmed but nothing pleasant. Joining in pile ups is just making frustration for myself. When I learned this fact, I remembered, I lost interests in DXing soon.

I still understand it is a big challenge for DXers to chase and get new entities. I won't comment on their way of enjoyment. It was, however, obvious that it was not the area I stayed on any longer. I again realized that and quit the mess of pile ups.

One more thing on DX. If a DX operates in split, there could be police on the DX frequency who tirelessly go on announcing "Up". They must intend to give notice to those calling on the DX frequency. A quite common scene in DXing. But I wonder if their good intention could rewarded. If that caller on the frequency is doing it without being aware of that, he or she won't realize of own mistake even listening the police"s announcement. If it should be an intentional jamming with calling on the same frequency, the jammer won't care for any notice. If you would let the caller on the frequency know of his/her mistake, you should give the particular call of the caller before giving the  notice. Such careless caller may not understand that he/she is given that caution. If your police action won't work once, don't repeat it any longer. Just leave it go on. Or your announcement would cause further mess on the frequency.

Anyway, it was a morning when I realized again DXing is a thing of the past for me.



This was the dinner yesterday. A special meal for our daughter visiting here once 2 weeks. My sister, whose husband is a veteran doctor, sends me good beef in the end of every year. It is a tradition of year end gift in Japan. I cooked that beef for this dish. A little bit oily. We are accoustomed with cheaper beef available at supermarkets. Anyway, we have had good time surrounding this pot last night.


Go against terrorism

What the terrorists in France has aimed is separation and conflict between Islamic people and the others. We should go to the way opposite to them. From that standpoint, Prime Minister Merckel was quite right when she announced that Islamic culture belonged to Germany.

What is going on in Europe or in the Middle East is not, I believe, an issue unrelated to us. For example, the riot in Syria is reported to be partly due to the drought in the farming area in Syria. About one million prople, who could not live in the devasted farming area due to the drought, have gone into big cities, where there had already been the same number of refugees owing to Iraq War. In those too densely populated cities, there happened conflicts and struggles among people due to the poverty, the lack of food, the different races, the different religions/factions or the other problems. The drought is most likely to be due to global warming. We could not be being unrelated with this issue.

With the right of collective self defence permitted against our constitution by the present cabinet, our government is likely to send the JSDF to the Middle East. They say it won't be involved in any war there. Even if their operation is limited to the logistic support to the other country's military, the JSDF must be regarded as an enemy to the opposite side, most likelily some Islamic country or organization. It would be much more probable that JSDF might be involved in war and we would be the target by the terrorists even in our country.

We should behave against the terrorist's aim. There is room for the islamic radicalism infiltrates among the people in the Middle East. It is necessary to disentangle the problems multilayered over there in one by one fashion. In doing so, we need to respect each other in religion, philosophy and political ideas. It is no use to try to destroy the other completely. It would cause the vicious cycle of hatred. I would strongly approve Merckel's announcement and the other movements in various countries to appeal for the integration of the people as the same human being.

In a morning

I came in the shack pretty late this morning. At 01Z, 15m was already dead. On 20m, nothing was heard on CW portion of the band. On 14195KHz, there was the beacon from W7, that is, W2NQ/W7, calling CQ checking the propagation for DX as he announced as usual. Someone was kidding him running the recorded material of his CQ on the same freq. He has NEVER QUIT as he phonetically announces his suffic.

Assured of the path open at least to the West Coast, I called CQ which was answered by N2NA in Maine. He was pretty loud here. No one else than him was heard. We have had a nice chat for half an hour until he was called by his wife. As a matter of fact, the overall activity is ... the rest is omitted since I have already spoke of the same thing many times.

On 40m, JAs are exchanging peculiar numbers as if it were their job. The numbers are of course for various awards. It seems the kinds of the numbers are proliferating. Many hams must have finished the awards already published, so that they might need something new. How many awards would they go on establishing? No, it is not my business.

We might be going through an era when ham radio is losing its fundamental power and activity. One of the origin for ham radio activity was a yearning to know someone far away through the radio. It is being forgotten.


Inconsistent policy on the national security

Our government would renew ABM to guard our country, as they say. The former model of ABM, that is, PAC3 has turned out not to be effective  enough. It would cost more than one trillion USD. Since the treaty to ban development of ABM has been abandoned, there have been the endless expansion of armaments going on in the world. Our government would take the side of armament industries.

The reason why our government should introduce the new model of PAC3, as the former Minister of Self Defence, Shigeru Ishiba said, is that we should deal with the missles of north Korea attacking the US Military Base in Guam Island. If the Military base in Guam most likelily equipped with the same ABM is so fragile against North Korean missiles, how could the same system in Japan deal with them?

Another point is that North Korea would attack with their missles to the nuclear power plants in our country, most of which are placed along the Japan Sea facing to North Korea before attacking to the US. PAC3 has not been placed at the nuclear power plants here. If North Korea should start attacking the US, it means they were committing suicide lost common sense. It is most probable such a country could raid the nuclear power plants in our country at first. One of two missiles are good enough to collapse our country if the target is nuclear power plant in operation. Yes, despite of the hypothesizing the attack by North Korea with missiles as a real possibility, our government is going to restart some of the nuclear power plants. We haven't heard of the security policy for them at all. Isn't it an inconsistent policy?


Sasanqua and my mother

Sasanqua has come out quietly on the northern side of the house. I haven't noticed it until when I looked up at the mailbox beside the flower recently. It may not look gorgeous at all possibly due to paucity of sunray there. It also is too familiar as a scene of daily routine. That may be why I haven't noticed it.

Talking of Sasanqua, I have a memory unforgettable in my life. It is the flower I have seen at a service area of the high way to Tohoku area. I was going to see my mother at a nursing facility in Miyagi in Jan of 2010.
My mother, who had been with us for years since she came back from Tokyo in her sixties, turned 94 years of age in 2009. Dementia slowly but steadily progressed on her. While she maintained her personality, she had lost recent memory and could not do daily routines by herself at all. It was almost impossible for us to care for her while working at own practice in full time even with the help of some helpers. We decided to have her moved into a nursing facility near here. However, my younger brother, working as a psychiatrist in Sendai City in Miyagi Pref., wanted to care for her at their home and took her there in April of 2009. He loved her so much. Could we have resisted him to do so?
It was a peaceful spring day. My mother, without knowing it was the last moment at her house where she had spent years with my father and us, was cheerfully saying good bye to us as if she had gone for a trip to my brother's home like she had done for many times. I forgot taking a photo of her leaving here. I took this in a hurry when their car went out of our lot to the road. It was a too quick parting for us. I could not remember of the day without aching of my heart. 

Soon after my brother had taken her there, he knew it was still quite difficult for him and his wife to care for her at home. They have taken her to a nursing facility over there, some 20 or 30km south of Sendai City. I have visited her almost once a month. It was a real pleasure for me to see her smiling at me there.
On the way to the facility, I have taken this photo at a service area of the high way to Tohoku area. It was in Jan of 2010 as wrote above. This bright deep red flower has impressed me a lot. It looked like a sign of early spring to me even though it was still very chilly out there.
It was in Fukushima Pref where I took these photos at that time. The mountains looked grand with gentle foothills. Some snow covered the summits. I was light hearted anticipating meeting old mother.
Unfotunately, in the next year, that big earthquake and tsunami hit Tohoku area. The facility, that my mother was accomodated at that time, was not damaged so badly. But power outage and lack of heating might have injured this old being. She had to spend a few days without those infrastructure. At our last visit to her at a hospital, she was still smiling at us asking how we were doing. As she had done the same way for the past years due to recent memory disturbance, she also repeatedly asked about our father, who had already passed away a few years before. She was weepy as always whenever she wanted to come back here in Tochigi, her mother land. She has passed away quietly in a couple of days after our visit while no one was beside her. It was like a candle gone out, as they said. 
Sorry for my lengthy private story. Sasanqua has reminded me of those things.


Progress may start only with his attitude.

This late afternoon, I have met a couple of guys in the West Coast in a series. On 40m, of course, on CW. They were using decoder. One guy told me that. The other was apparently another decoder user because there was a long pause before he started transmission after reception. One guy delightfully told me it was his very first contact on CW. However, there won't be any conversation going on between us. I told them to quit using decoder and to train themselves to listen codes with their own ears. No other ways that enable them to converse on this mode in the future. Needless to say this but it should be repeated to those people again and again.

After those frustrating QSOs, I was called by David VE7LE. He was another beginner on CW. What was different from the other two in the case of David is that he won't hesitate asking me to slow down and to repeat anything he could not copy. It is really a simple fact but I have realized that telling he could not copy and asking me to repeat it, he has already achieved conversation with me. Ignoring that fact or pretending to be able to copy is opposite to the real conversation. Asking me to repeat something means that he would converse with me.

The important thing is the attitude toward the others. Progress may start only with his attitude.


Another pleasant QSO with Moz VK3CWB

Around midnight yesterday, 20m was open to the whole north hemisphere at the same time. In the background of the white noise, showed up the fluttery and steady signals from both Eu and NA. It has been the earliest sign of arriving spring. A pleasant event for ham operators. It has not lasted too long, though. I hooked with Wes AC5K for a while.

The bands will, however, stay dead for a while until the spring is stably with us. The path to NA on 15m in our morning hours won't last too long any longer. On that band, already dead for NA, this morning, I heard a weak signal calling CQ. It was Moz VK3CWB. When both of us turned beam to each way, it was easy a 599 QSO.

Several years ago, Moz has given me a mail and let me know of VK3IM. That memory of him has made me call him this morning. He told me he had known Tim for over 30 years, who has been a mentor for  him on radio. That was why Moz has been concerned about him. He already knew Tim had come back on the air. Moz told me to give Tim a phone call very soon.

Moz was a good friend of Rod K5BGB as well. Rod used to sponsor me for FOC in '80s and also to recommend me for A1OP a few years ago. In this New Year season, Don W4ZYT has given me a mail letting me know of his full retirement from urologist profession as well as passing away of our mutual friend Jim W4PRO. Don has mentioned my sponsoring him for FOC years ago, which I have almost forgotten. I was pleased to hear him still remembering of that fact. I still remember of Rod as one of the several sponsors, of whom only two are alive for now. 

Rod has increased his power to 100W with an amplifier added to his K2. When I was gong to call Tim on 40m in the end of last year, Tim was just finishing a QSO with Rod, whose signal was unexpectedly good. Rod's signal always has been pretty weak and rarely copiable for years since he downsized his set up. Starting calling Tim at that time, I might have instantly judged Rod was less rare than Tim on the air. I am pretty sure I would catch Rod somewhere in the near future.

Back to Moz's story. Moz has talked with Rod twice or three times in a month in regular basis. After his regular sked with W5RH, Rod often calls Moz. When I asked Moz if he had "upgraded" his set up, Moz told me it was not upgrading for Rod. As a real QRP lover, he has operated with 40W or so. QRO might has meant a corruption for Rod. Moz has begged Rod to run a bit more power for easier ragchewing. Anyway, I have told Moz how we had known each other and how much I had owed him. I asked Moz to pass my best regards to this old friend of mine.

Telling here this lengthy story of my old friends, Besides the fact the world of CW is small, I just wanted to emphasize such a QSO with Moz was most desirable to me, even though it is rarely given to me. I convinced myself that it would be of no use nor meaning to waste time making so called rubber stamps for now. The Proverb "Ars longa, Vita brevis" is still true in this case. It won't deserve spending long time for radio without such a nice chat.


New Year's Eve

I have met a few old good friends of mine on the radio on New Year's Eve, that is, last night. One of them was Bob W6RGG in Castro Valley. We have met in person at W6DU in late '80s. We have talked about this respectable person. Bob stressed his kind personality. Listening his story, I have remebered he had taken me from the bay area to Santa Barbara in order to see Merle K6DC. I was going there by myself. Despite of his back problem, he kindly proposed to take me to S.B. Bob has had his tower down for repair now. He seemed not to be very active. When he puts up a repaired tower, he might be kicking himself again.

The other was Bill N4AR, who had just retired 5 weeks ago. He said he felt guilty to his patients for his retirement. I share the same feeling as his. But he also added he could not go on working eternally. He should be over 70 years old now. It is the time for him to go forward to retirement for now. He has had most of his antennas damaged by ice storm in the past. He was using a 2 element. He might come back with the big beams again soon. When I mentioned of a photo of the card, which Bob K8IA had uploaded in Facebook, he seemed to hear that. It was a card which the contesters had made signature on at a meeting in Dayton in early '70s. Bill has signed as N4AR ex K4GSU. Finishing his study at Johns Hopkins, he must have just started his career as a doctor those days.

It was the way I spent the New Year's Eve. A relaxing and enjoyable evening even though there was nothing exciting.  Yes, of course, I have had a good dinner with my wife and daughter.