A problem of the capitalism

In Japan, the "top 40" of the richest people have the financial asset equivalent to the sum that the lower 52 percent of the people own. Not 40 % but FORTY individuals. GDP won't be increased as much at all. The inequality is increasing under the present government. 

This is what is going on everywhere in the world.

It is not only a problem of fairness but also a problem of stability in the society.

I could not help thinking of the limit of the current capitalism in the world. It won't be sustainable or won't make people happy.


A village next to the devastated nuclear power plants in Fukushima

There is a village named ”Iitate” in Fukushima Prefecture. It used to be a peaceful farming and dairy area located on a highland in Abukuma Mountains. Not very popular at all. It has been assaulted by the radioactive contamination due to the nuclear power plant accident nearby in 2011. This village is located about 20 miles north west of that crippled nuclear power plant and was hit by the radioactive plume caused by the explosions of the reactors. The name of this village is well known in Japan. I have been anxious to know how this village looks like now. Having a chance to visit Fukushima a week ago, I drove through there.

A valley with many slopes. Winding roads were running west to east. Along the street, there have been a number of houses. Some of them seemed vacant while the others had someone living. I have seen only very few people. It was an odd scene that the farms extended along the both sides of the street were not cultivated but were used as the temporary storage places for the decontaminated material. The decontaminated material was packed into black vinyl containers piled on those farms. Of course, the soil must be too much contaminated with radioactive to use for farming. Thousands of containers with it on the farms looked unsuitable for the peaceful countryside. 

I know, even before the accident, it was a sparsely populated area. The statistics of the population data in the web site of the village says the most of the population is still evacuated. The radiation dose in the air seems around 5 to 8 mSv/a year. At some places, it hits over 10. No one would stay there with family, especially, with small children, most sensitive to radiation. 

The web site of the village shows a plan for the recovery of the village from the damage of this accident. However, it is most unlikely to be realized, at least, in a decade or two.

There used to be an event of willful negligence for the people in this area by the authority at the accident. Without having any prediction of radioactive contamination from the government, the people around the nuclear plant is told to have escaped this way at the accident. It was the wrong way. As told before, the radioactive plume has brought contaminated air along the valley to this way. Spending so much money, they had developed, prior to this accidnet, an application to predict where the radioactive substances will fly to. This SPEEDI has clearly predicted the contamination spreading this way. But they have never published it to the people. Some people have moved this way from less contaminated places. The authority should have informed them this area could be badly contaminated or, at least, it was actually contaminated. But no info was given to them. It was a criminal negligence by the authority, wasn't it?

It was a quiet and peaceful countryside if there had been more people working for the farms there. But, due to that accident, it was deformed to be a silent place without liveliness.

On the way back to the inland area where the highway lead to our home, I have run across a couple of young boys dragging their bicycles. They might be on the way home from their school. It was the only young people whom I had met there. Their existence has relieved me a bit. But I could not help asking if they won't be hurted with the radiation. There should be no threshold for carcinogenesis of radiation. Some researchers still insist they should have those young people move to the other places free from radiation. All I could do was to wish them very good luck.


Salmon cooked with root vegetables

Salmon floured with wheat. Root crops, carrot and radish, were added. Seasoned, as always, with sake, sweetened sake and soy sauce. Boiled until the materials, previously fried, were well cooked.


Magnolia blooming

Magnolia is blooming in the garden. Even though we asked a gardener to cut excessive branches of this tree, it has still blooming so luxuriously. It had been my mother's favorite flowers. Looking this flowers coming out, she often uttered as if spoken to herself that magnolia had come out. Not gorgeous but just elegant flowers. As this flowers come out, spring is right up in the air here.


Health insurance should never be handled by private insurance companies

Recently, a district court has given a decision on a case of "malpractice" brought by an insurance company, AIU, that is, one of the global insurance company under AIG.  It was against a medical school hospital staff that had taken care of an emergency case of accident. AIU insisted that they should have stabilized the patient's neck. That was, as AIU said, why the patient had been caused with the palsy of limbs due to cervial spine injury.

The judgement was an unsuccessful litigation of AIU. It sounded quite reasonable to us engaged in medical service. As the judgement said, the emergency staff should concentrate on the life saving procedures. If there had been anything to be done for the neck stabilization in this case, it was the duty of the ambulance staff taking care of the patient at first. No way to be blamed to the emergency staff at the hospital.

Most surprisingly, it was not the patient but the insurance company who ha sued this case. It is quite an unusual case in our country. The insurance companies like AIU seem to be eager to reduce the insurance benefits. There have been rumors that AIU has caused problems of non payment to the inusured people. 

As I have repeatedly told, the economical principles won't be applied to the health issue because life won't be economically valued properly. People would behave in economically reasonable manner when they have serious health issues. That is why profit seeking insurance companies won't be suitable for health insurance insurer.

AIG should have been, not told to be too big to fail, but bankrupted in Lehman Shock. Their behaviour shown in this event would give evil things in the world.


A usual complaint

Fifteen meters was wide open to the whole NA this morning. Checking my signal at various skimmers in the US, it seemed to have reached there with pretty good strength. However, as I always complain of, there was very little activity. I know it might be a complaint of an old timer who have had much fun on the air in the past. The situation is still serious.

I felt I had much less motivated at ham radio recently. I realized it had been because of this lowered activity. Very few do ordinary QSO now. CW has become a mode for contesting and competing in pile ups. It is only a game. We do not know what a person we are talking with at all. We just exchange reports, which are often meaningless 599.

Why not letting me know of what set up they are using? Without knowing that, we could never appreciate the report we get exactly. It depends on the other's set up, especially the antenna. Now we are using various antennas from mobile whip to beams in array. The reports we are exchanging are almost meaningless without the info of the antenna.

Yes, it is my goal or idea to share lives with friends through ham radio, while enjoying the beauty of this mode of CW. But I know it is almost impossible nowadays. They seem to hate to be involved with the others in that way. Shallowest relationship with the others may be most welcomed by them.

What do they think of in the end of their lives seeing a lot of plaques or awards they have got from the game like activities on the radio throughout their lives? Was it worth having lived that way with this hobby spending a lot of time and energy? Yes, it is none of my business. So far, at least, I won't spend my time in that way.

Complaining the same thing as usual, I feel now much better. I just wanted to know how the others felt with our hobby. But it should not be a problem for most of the others. When I feel less motivated, I just should quit. That is all, maybe.



We have a few camellia trees in the garden. Their flowers are coming out now. They bloom obscurely at corners of the garden. Not gorgeous as the others blooming triumphantly in spring or summer. Still modest and elegant. They have, however, strong presence in this season. 

All of them in our garden were planted by my parents. More than 30 years ago. I wonder if they have had the same impression on these flowers at that time. I would tell them the trees have grown up and the flowers are modestly decorating our garden. 


Five years have passed

Five years since the earthquake and the nuclear power plant accident. It has brought to light an abyss just next to us. I was convinced it should not be taken granted that we could live in peace. 

For a few weeks, we had had to live in fear with looming threat of radiation contamination from the destructed nuclear power plant. As written before, I have lost my mother in a month possibly due to the stress she had had in this event. She had to spend several days in chilly darkness at a nursing home in Sendai area even though she had the best care available at that time by the staff. I started considering of retirement in reality after this disaster, which came true in a year.

Considering of the damages and the losses they have had in Pacific Ocean side of Tohoku area, what we have experienced in the disater was not worth discussing here. There are still more than 170,000 people evacuated mainly from Fukushima. More than 21,000 victims including 1000 of death related with the nuclear power plant accident. So many have lost family members and/or their houses. Some of them could not return home forever due to the radiation contamination. Pain, anxiety and distress are still full in the area. I should never forget of that.

The nuclear power plant accident has showed that, in big cities like Tokyo, they have enjoyed the convenience and comfort with the power generated in the countryside like Fukushima. The power was not used for the people in the countryside. The big cities' habitants have lived at the sacrifice of the people in the countryside. Immediately after the accident, they seemed to give up nuclear power generation. In a year or two, after having kept silence, the group of nuclear power concession has rebreathed and made the government decide to start running the other nuclear power plants. The government says they will start them when they have satisfied the strict safety regulations. As soon as the plant of Takahama in Kansai area has started its operation, it has occured a few troubles. Eventually, the local court has ordered them to stop its operation.

The safety regulations the Nationa Regulation Authority requires for restarting nuclear reactor are not perfect at all. They won't require strengthening of the reactor case as in Europe. The reactors are vulnerable to terrorists' attack. They won't question about how to protect the disastered reactor against the flow of underground water in another serious accident. It could cause endless contamination of the ocean as it is going on in Fukushima. Four hundred litter of contaminated water is generated there every day. Any management plan is not questioned in the safety regulations like this contaminated water due to underground water. Most of all, the evacuation of the people adjacent areas is not fully discussed in the regulations. This regulations seem to be based on "the safety myth" the concession group of nuclear power had believed, so that they had been bound to. 

The disaster has not ended yet. A long way to go for full recovery. We could do little against natural disasters but could be ready for that. We should do protest against anything which recurs the man made aspects of the disaster.


Another trip to Takamatsu

We have been to Shikoku seeing the parents in law on Monday through Tuesday this week. It has started my wife had fallen the ticket for a reserved seat and a credit card at a local station. She realized that in Tokyo. All she could do was to purchase another ticket and took the train planned. A kind conductor in the bullet train has taken contact with the lost and found office of JR. He let her know those items had been delivered to the station office where she lost them. We were grateful to him and the person who kindly brought them to the office. I could not blame her at all. It was me who had a difficult time finding the ticket at the station where we exchanged the train bound for Shikoku. We could not help feeling the senility had creeped toward us. Anyway, all's well that ends well as they say.

On a bullet train, a box lunch has welcomed us.

In Takamatsu, there was a remnant of the Castle Tamamo close to the ocean. Only castle wall is left. The moat around it was sea water, that was pretty rare historically. 

For dinner, we wanted to take something gorgeous like a full course of French. But the restaurant we went for that was closed. It seemed that the restaurant was for a meeting of the members of a juridical person, which worked to distribute funds to medical facilities. They are ”pocketing" a portion of the medical fee that should has been paid to the medical institutions. It sucked me a lot! 

In stead of that planned gorgeous meal, we took a popular noodle for supper at a restaurant in downtown. Noodle is famous there. My wife told me how she had enjoyed it in her young days. Even noodle without any toppings was a feast for her those days. 

The father in law, 91 years old. Pretty well for his age. He has had a variety of illnesses but has only hearing difficulty of an ear now. He said he had been to walk in morning every 2 or 3 days. He reads much and watches TV a lot, especially drama of old days before Meiji era. The mother progressively ill with Alzheimer could hardly even open her eyes. Father told she took meals well. Otherwise, she seemed to be asleep. I felt living safe everyday itself had been their work now. We have had lunch at a restaurant nearby together with a sister in law. Even though it was only for a limited time, it was a fun to talk about something trivial and old. Father has had a half glass of beer. He looked more cheerful and happy. He has told on old days when he had meeting having sake with his folks and the neighbors. Later, when we got back home, he told my wife on the phone it was one of the happiest times for him having that lunch with us. It has made me even happier.   

It was worth visiting them.

What the decline of Toshiba means

One of the major electrical companies, Toshiba, is at risk of bankruptcy. Its capital adequacy ratio has fallen down to 8% for now. They have not shown what caused it in detail yet. However, the big deficit due to purchasing Westing House Corp. , which has forced the management team to publish the window dressed accounts in a large scale, must be one of the reason. In such a financial crisis, there seem to have been battles among the management team for years in this company, as some sources say. It is amazing a serious economical crime has been committed by the management staff of such a big company.

Taizo Nishimuro, the present president of Japan Post, has lead this company in 2000s. He was, while managing Toshiba, the head of an economical council for the government those days. That council has published a report in 2008 that medical doctors should be compulsorily assigned to remote isolated places where they needed medical services. I felt it was not fair for the authority to force us that way. I have sent a mail of protest to him. He seemed to have received a number of protests from doctors, so that he replied to me in a printed mail excusing that it had not been his own opinion but a conclusion of that public council and it had not had any relationship with his company. He might be right that it had been plotted by the government/bureaucrats at that time.

I was surprised to know such a management top had cooperated with the authority as for publishing a policy regarding medical system etc through the council. They must have done the same thing as for the policy of nuclear power engineering industry. That has failed and has left a big amount of red which a company like Toshiba could not deal with.

We should learn that such hidden cooperation between the private sector and the public authority won't work at all. The management tops in both sides should be punished. The investment to WH Corp. and related criminal behaviour as for its account should be made public. The cooperation of private public sectors for nuclear power industry is out of date. The nuclear power industry won't be a growing field any longer.


H minor Mass by J.S. Bach

Bach's H minor Mass is one of the monumental works in classical music. However, I haven't listened to it so often, honestly speaking. Especially compared with St. Matthew's Passion. The ritual words in Latin have prevented me from getting familiar with it. It sounded a kind of formalism to me. The question why he has composed in the style of Mass for Roman Catholic despite of his standpoint as an eager Protestant also made me stand before the gate of this great music.

The book "Johann Sebastian Bach Messe in H Moll" by Christopf Wolff has taught me that the church music had still been in the influence of the old mass in Latin those days. The reformation by Luther has given a discontinuity from the orthodox Roman Catholic in Christianity doctrine. Actually, Bach has been educated in the school of Latin. Even the service at the Lutheran church has taken the form of mass those days even though it had undergone changes. Anyway, mass, as a genre of music, seems to have been not strange to Bach at all.

In the end of his life, Bach seemed to intend to make grand sum of his music activity in his life. One of them was the Art of the Fugue. The other was this mass. He seemed to realize the music in German won't live long due to the changes in doctrine. Wolff has pointed out that was why he did it with the style of mass in Latin. Because of the playing time for longer than 1.5 hours of this music, it was not practical to perform it as a actual mass at church. It must have been of concern to him while composing this music what he has achieved in polyphonic vocal music in eternal phase. Latin and the traditional style of mass must have been suitable for his purpose. 

One of the ritual words, Kyrie Eleison, in mass is thought to be as old as that in pre-christianity establishment era. This mass as the other masses, starts with this ritual in forte unison. It seems to express the entire character of this music in its size, objective and style. It impresses me a lot that it startes with such strong yearn for mercy on us. It has been the main concern to human since such ancient time. It has given birth to such an art as this mass. You won't forget this Kyrie once you listen to it.    

The source I always listen to is the performance of Muenchen Bach Ensemble conducted by karl Richter. In the internet, the following one is also quite moving. English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.  


As I have introduced about it elsewhere in this blog, Carmel Bach Festival will be held again in Carmel California this summer. Bob, W6CYX, has kindly sent me the pamphlet of that festival. The main program is this music. Owing to various reasons, I could not attend it with him this year. I just would share this music in mind with him. That is a reason why I have been listening to it repeatedly.