A little cryptic title for my long-overdue first post in 2013, but I’ll quickly explain. Having a wisdom tooth removed is not an experience I would wish on many people, yet is something I had to go through this past week. A couple of weeks ago I got a pain at the back of my [...]
You Are Viewing Japan stuff
The Axe Murderer is coming back to Japanese soil! On March 3rd the UFC will be coming back across the Pacific to the shores of Japan for UFC on Fuel TV 8, and they’ve announced a pretty good fight card for it too, as well as releasing the tickets this afternoon.
One year after Benson Henderson won the UFC Lightweight Championship belt at UFC 144 The main event will be Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva vs Brian Stann. Japan is something a little special for both of these fighters. For Silva, it is where he became a legend in the eyes of the Japanese MMA fans. His all-out fighting style won him masses of fans, and the middleweight belt back in the Pride FC days. While his best days are probably behind him, there’s no doubt he’ll be wanting to put on a big show for the people who gave him almost god-like status for a number of years. And Brian Stann, former US Marine, was born on Yokota Air Base in Japan. He’s a solid fighter, and getting top billing on the card should ensure he gets plenty of support from the US military community around Japan.
Mark Hunt is also on the main card and he’s got a big following too in Japan, following his Pride FC days. His fight with Stefan Struve should be a very good one, with an interesting mix of styles and body shapes!
The rest of the card doesn’t shape up too badly either. The card in full at the moment is:
- Wanderlei Silva vs Brian Stann
- Stefan Struve vs Mark Hunt
- Takanori Gomi vs Diego Sanchez
- Dong-Hyun Kim vs Siyar Bahadurzada
- Riki fukuda vs Brad Tavares
- Takeya Mizugaki vs Brian Caraway
- Hyun Gyu Lim vs Marcelo Guimaraes
- Kyung Ho Kang vs Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres
- Kazuki Tokudome vs Christiano Marcello
Am pretty pleased they’re stacking the card with Japanese talent too. They’ve also announced the UFC Fight Club Japan which I’m considering joining too, and seem to be making a strong effort to promote Japanese fighters and the UFC within Japan.
The UFC also released tickets today on the almost impossible to navigate well ticket.tickebo.jp. I think I’ve got myself a pair of tickets but to be honest I’ve no idea and will only find out for sure when I go to the convenience store to pay for them. The much more professional E-Plus site will have tickets available from next Friday, but I like to be first in line to try and get good seats for my money.
Looking forward to the card already, especially as I’ve gone up a rank in seats this time so will be a little closer to the action.
At 9:51 this morning a rocket was fired from northwestern DPRK into the skies, heading south. The rocket flew over southern Japan, namely Okinawa and going right over the island of Ishigaki, with the last pieces of debris falling into the ocean near the Philippines, early reports are saying.
Whether this was actually an attempted satellite launch (unknown yet if it was a success or not) as the DPRK are claiming, or a long-range missile test is up for debate, but it seems to have traveled further than previous attempts, and I think I’ve lost on the sweepstake (my money was on a flight time of 2 minutes).
The launch was followed by the phones at work suddenly going crazy with emails from the Prefectural Office warning everyone of impending doom, and just as they were coming through I heard fighters scramble from Kadena US Air Force base here in Okinawa. And with fair reason, if you look below at this image from BBC News.
The planned launch was due to fly right over Ishigaki, and early reports are saying it stuck to its course pretty well. Now I haven’t got my ruler and measuring tape out, but it certainly looks like it’s gone much further than any previous launches, and the DPRK government, you would expect, would be pleased. If it was a satellite launch, whether the satellite has actually reached an orbit will be determined over the coming hours and days.
But once again the theme from the Japanese government has been, “Lots of rhetoric, no action”. Just days ago, we were told that the Japanese military had been told by the government to shoot down the rocket should any part of it threaten to fall on Japanese territory. If the rocket has stuck to its course then it’s gone right over a Japanese island and through the Okinawan prefecture, with the Japanese government stating no attempt was made to bring it down. Now the only explanations are:
- The Defence Ministry had supreme confidence that the launch was successful and was therefore posing no danger to Japanese people.
- They thought seeing as it was going over Okinawa it wasn’t worth the effort.
Now call me a cynic (probably one of the kinder things I’ve been called) but if that launch had gone over Tokyo (where they’d put PAC 3 launchers on the top of the Defence Ministry building) then there’s no doubt it would have been downed.
Anyway, that’s the excitement from Japan right now. I’m expecting some disappointment from the opposition LDP party, who are expected to come back into power at next week’s election. I am fairly confident they were hoping it would come closer to the mainland, so they could shoot it down and strengthen their claims that Japan’s military (sorry, self-defence forces) should be expanded.
Will update if I hear anything more of real interest.
UPDATE: The Japanese government has made a statement regarding the launch. They have described it as… wait for it… “extremely regrettable”. Almost spat out my coffee when I read that! You just knew that word was going to crop up!
UPDATE 2: The US is now reporting that an object has been put into space by the rocket. So it’s looking like this launch was a clear success.
To say my jaw dropped when I read this story was something of an understatement. Education firm, Pearson, have just released global rankings for the quality of education, which have placed the top 5 countries as:
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
With the UK coming in at 6th and the US in 17th. The test measures test results globally, as well as the proportion of students who go on to university.
Now I’ve racked my brains since reading this and I really have no idea how Japan can rank so highly in education rankings. And I’m not just talking about it from being a cynical English teacher living and working here for the past 8 years. Education standards on the whole seem to be slipping, and especially when viewing comparisons to countries like Hong Kong with it’s tutoring “kings and queens”, and seeing the levels of students in South Korea. The fact that Japan is even above the UK is very surprising to me to be honest. The report talks about the top countries having an understanding of education’s ”underlying moral purpose” which, after seeing a number of students coming out of schools recently, appears to be completely absent. All I can think is that since the data was collected 3-4 years ago, much has changed in Japan for the worse. Or my memory of education in the UK is through very strong rose-tinted glasses.
It then mentions about how in the best countries, that teachers are respected and efforts are made to recruit the best people for teaching through salaries and status. The former definitely isn’t the case for the normal teacher in Japan, and gets even worse as the students get lower. A friend of mine was talking about their job at a kindergarten. She had just started working there, and took a test to be classified as a fully qualified teacher which comes with increased benefits. Six teachers at the school were told to take the test, which they all worked hard for and passed. The school then turned around and told them they were only going to give two of the six the benefits that come with being classed as a fully qualified teacher. The others would continue to be classed and paid as juniors, regardless of their performance. And paying someone a salary of around USD$1300 (£840) a month is not really the way to make someone want to remain in the education profession.
The only possible reasoning I can find is that the rankings are formed in part from test scores achieved by students. I would hope that these are the same type of test conducted all over the world to provide a benchmark for results. But it’s possible that these tests may be done individually on a country, board of education, or even school level. And that is where the distortions start to occur.
I have seen numerous times where a student is going to fail an English exam (usually through lack of effort, as the tests are made simple so any student who works can get a passing grade). In addition, the student has not written anything in their books all year and failed to hand in a single homework. But the teacher needs to make the student pass because the rule is that the student has to pass. So they are given letters or words to copy on paper. This paper is only given to the students who are definitely not going to pass, and then a huge emphasis is placed on this paper, instead of the test (which is the case for the majority of students). What this means is that the student will sleep through the English exam, get maybe 5%, and then get final grades which are not so much lower than the students who worked harder but were graded more harshly as the goalposts were moved. It’s this type of distortion which can easily affect figures like this.
But maybe I’m being far too critical. I have been wrong on a couple of rare occasions, and maybe the Japanese education system is one that the rest of the world should be looking up at. I just have this niggling feeling that if I’d have never handed in any homework and school and then slept in class, I’d have had a blackboard eraser thrown at me by the teacher, and given adequate reward/punishment to motivate me to try and improve my scores.
What do you think?
What the rumours were suggesting was confirmed yesterday by the UFC. After their successful return to Japan for UFC 144 in February of this year, followed by UFC on Fuel TV from Macau this past week, it has been announced that the UFC will be back in Japan early in 2013.
The Saitama Super Arena (see right), venue for so many Pride FC fights in its prime, and where Benson Henderson defeated Fankie Edgar at UFC 144, will once again host the event, scheduled for March 3rd. it will take place on Sunday morning in Japan, which will correspond to Saturday night for US TV audiences. The only other information currently available about this 2013 event is that it’s not going to be a full PPV event, but instead will be UFC on Fuel TV 8.
Not over the moon with this, and it comes at the end of a huge run of 6 events in 7 weeks for the UFC, starting and ending with PPV shows. There’s a good chance the Japan event might not get the cream of the crop in terms of fighters, but it will give the Japanese fighters a chance to star on a home card. After Takanori Gomi’s (see below) win in Macau, he could possibly get top billing for the fight card. If he does and they can push some Japanese fighters, it will hopefully continue to breathe life into Japanese MMA. And to be honest, I’m happy with any UFC event, PPV or not, coming back to Japan.
No other details have been announced just yet, but as soon as they are I’ll be posting them up here.
Well my student’s progress in the Prince Takamatsu Trophy All Japan Inter-Middle School English Oratorical Contest ended this year at the prefectural level. It was a big disappointment compared to the success of last year when my student was awarded 6th place in the whole of Japan, but didn’t come as a huge surprise due to a few different factors. It is a shame though, as I would have really liked to try a few things with my student to improve their confidence, belief and general impression when they walk to the podium and give their speech. It’s following along the same lines of some things I mentioned back in my article a couple of years ago on preparing SHS students for speech and debate contests; being that your content is only a small part of the impact your speech has. You can have the most interesting content in the world but if your audience isn’t captivated by you and your words, it will quickly be forgotten.
I regularly visit TED.com as they often have some interesting discussions and talking points. One of the latest was a talk by Amy Cuddy, social psychologist from Harvard Business School. The talk was entitled “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”, and focused not only on positive body language affecting those around you, but also having a profound effect on yourself and way of thinking.
It was a very informative talk, and got me thinking about how ideas like that could be used as I prepare my students for future contests. In a speech contest in Japan, students have to stand in front of a large audience, remember a 5 minute speech in a foreign language, get all the pronunciation and intonation of words right, and at the same time appeal to the audience and judges. When you think about it, it’s no surprise that many students will forget their speech, rush through it or come close to freezing up.
I always try to work on mental images with my students as the contests get close. I’ll draw an outline of the venue, ask them to visualize walking onto stage and seeing all the faces looking at them as they take their first big breath and start to talk. It’s had a positive effect on my students in the past, but there’s always the knot in the stomach in the few minutes before you are due to go on stage. This could definitely be a way to instill a little self-belief in yourself before you take to the stage, although possibly without the arms in the air which could be distracting to others!
It almost goes without saying but the other main thing is frame of mind. The student who won the Okinawa contest this year and will go on to the national contest is in that position for a number of reasons. She has good English, yes, but she also worked very hard, devoted time to practice in and out of normal school hours, and had a very strong desire to reach Tokyo and the finals. I was talking to some of the students before the contest and they were saying they hoped they would do ok, or they would try their best. This student had one aim, which was to be in the top 3 and qualify for the Finals. The combination of desire, ability and hard work is always going to reward you with a certain amount of success.
And the last but integral part which I always hark on about is the dedication of the ALT. It will almost always fall to the ALT to get the student and their speech/story ready for the contest, and to be successful they have to take the initiative. And yes, this does mean putting in time before work starts, unpaid overtime, and working during your summer vacation. Times that you’re well within your rights to be off work relaxing, but time that could be spent with your student getting them ready for the contests. This summer I could have taken the entire summer off and lay on a beach for a couple of weeks. Instead I was in work each day, making sure that once the contest was over, neither me nor the student were left feeling there was anything else we could have done to be ready.
Just a few thoughts for you to ponder. But I do believe once your student has the basics of the speech perfected, things like mental preparation are often overlooked and can prove the difference between being 1st and 2nd. And let’s face it: nobody ever should set their goals at 2nd place.
Let me know what you think of the video and my ideas, especially if you employ these things with your own students.
Well 12 months has almost passed so it’s just about time for Japan to elect it’s next annual Prime Minister. If you keep up to date with this site (not difficult given the pitiful number of updates I’ve been producing recently) or with things happening in Japan, you have to laugh at the state of politics here. Well, it’s either laugh or cry with despair. Since the “suntanned lizard” Junichiro Koizumi (also about the only PM in recent history with any sort of personality, see right) left office in 2006, no Premier has lasted longer than 14 months in the job.
The Democratic Party of Japan took over office from the Liberal Democratic Party (different name, same old types and ideas) in 2009 and they didn’t want to break the trend, currently on their third Prime Minster. Elections are meant to be held every 4 years, but that has been unthinkable in the last decade. And it looks like we could be due for one in the next few months.
The ruling party, “led” by Yoshihiko Noda (see left) has been wanting to raise the level of consumption tax from it’s current 5% level up to 10%. They are claiming it is needed for the rebuilding of northern Japan after the 2011 earthquake & tsunami, coupled with the “man-made disaster” at Fukushima. Of course they couldn’t hold TEPCO responsible as they are a big company and line the pockets of many, so they had to get money somehow to rebuild the pachinko parlours (Japan’s most popular way of getting around its laws against gambling) that were lost. Although it is also very possible that they decided Noda’s popularity wasn’t dropping as quickly as it should do, and so had to take drastic action. Well, maybe not “very possible” but definitely within the realms of possibility. A consumption tax would also be more preferable to an income-based tax rise, as the latter would most likely affect the higher earners more. Couldn’t have that, so the consumption tax will affect all equally.
When the DPJ propsed this raising of consumption tax, the LDP fought against it. Mainly because it was an idea from the opposition. I did hear some arguments mentioned by LDP members, but to anyone that dabbles in logic they weren’t really substantiated. This lack of support from the opposition upset Noda and so he tried pushing harder against the LDP to get them to agree to this rise. They didn’t budge and the stalemate continued. Eventually the PM came up with an ingenious ultimatum. “If you opposition don’t support me, I’ll be forced to dissolve parliament and have a general election!”. The noise that followed was that of 307 palms slapping against their foreheads in disbelief at what had just been said. “OK. Do it” was the general opposition response. Unbelievably, Noda hadn’t been expecting this!
Since then there have been fractures in the ruling party, with a former leader leaving the DPJ along with 49 other members, and Noda’s popularity is dropping faster than Andy Murray’s chance of ever winning a Grand Slam event. Am fully expecting an election come September, and the the prospect of yet another prime minister until late 2013. And then it will all start again…
Busy times at work. For the past few weeks the time after after my regular classes has been filled (am now the teacher with the dubious honour of having the most classes in their weekly schedule, and I strongly suspect, the lowest salary!). I’ve been working with a student towards our local area’s English Storytelling contest. Last year in the first year I had been involved in JHS competitions, my student was in the top 5, but just got pipped at being placed. And this year on my desk in plain view to everyone is listed my contest goals for this year, including a top-3 place in this contest.
And actually the pressure was a little higher for me for a couple of other reasons. In the other main English contest (the national All-Japan Inter-Middle School English Oratorical Contest), I had coached a very hard-working student to 2nd place in the local area. This was followed by placing 3rd in the whole of Okinawa and qualifying for the finals in Tokyo. There, she placed 2nd in the Kyushu region semi-final, which got her into the grand final in front of over 1,000 people and pitted her against 26 of the best students in the country. She put in a faultless performance, giving her a 6th placing and I couldn’t have been prouder. We had a very good combination of a gifted student, a well-written and thought out speech, and a little bit of assistance & guidance from your author. But now that has set the benchmark and the pressure is on (mainly from myself) to do the same or better this year, and have similar successes in all of the contests.
And secondly, because of the very healthy rivalry I’ve got going with the other junior high school in the town. We are good friends, but both desperately want our students to be the best. He is one of the hardest working foreign teachers in Okinawa, and has had numerous successes in these contests, including winning the aforementioned Oratorical Contest at the national level. This success doesn’t just happen by chance; it happens because of a very hard working teacher/coach with good methods. So I know that whatever student he is coaching in the contest is going to be very good and up there when the results are read. Which means that I’ve got to work even harder to give him as much competition as I can.
So, for the past 6 weeks I’ve been meeting on an almost daily basis with my chosen student (who was picked after auditioning the 12 students who applied for this contest; record numbers of applications for all English contests this year). An appropriate story was chosen (this year, an edited version of Marsupial Sue’s The Runaway Pancake) and practice began in earnest. We’ve been working on memorization, natural gestures, delivery, pronunciation, and the right mental frame of mind for a contest. To take part in the contest and perform reasonably, you only need the first of those, but I really believe to have the best chance of winning you need the latter.
I try to get the student thinking about the contest and imagining it from the offset. I’ll draw the hall layout on the board, telling them where they and everyone else will be seated; I’ll impersonate the MC calling their name during practices; I’ll have them visualize the hall and everyone looking at them before they start talking (often, a student’s biggest fear). Basically I’ll do everything I can to ensure the student isn’t taken aback when they first enter the hall on contest day. They won’t have the nerves that some might have, because they’ll have a mental image of the hall and what will happen during the event right burnt into their mind. Even very gifted students can have attacks of nerves (it’s only natural) so I try to make sure they stay as relaxed as possible. It might not work for every student, but I am comfortable with that style and the students I coach seem to be too. And it could be the tiny difference between winning and losing.
So my student worked hard and got their speech nailed down, and under the 5 minute limit with 15 seconds to go each time. I thought he might have a chance if he didn’t make any mistakes on the day. Unfortunately, the day before the contest we were told that out of 36 students mine would be placed 30th. While there are good and bad sides to a number like this, I’m really not a fan. It means they’ve got around 2 hours of sitting in one place to do, listening to speech after speech and doing nothing, before they perform. If the student can switch off and go into their own world for a couple of hours then they are fine; if they start to listen to speeches and hear good speech after good speech it can make them very nervous.
And then contest day came around yesterday. And the first thing my student said on arrival at the contest venue was just what I wanted to hear. “It’s not as big as you were saying”. Perfect! It meant that the size and scale of the event and venue was not as big in his imagination, which reduced a potentially huge cause of stress for a student. We got there in plenty of time so nobody is rushing about, and had a relaxed lunch. After that it was time for one practice outside, and one simple practice walking on and of the stage. And then it was time for the contest to start.
My student had a few nerves, but just the usual pre-contest type. I was much worse! Mainly because I knew that if he performed as well as he had in his last couple of practices, he had a good chance of being placed. Speech after speech went by; some good, some not so good. In fact, to be honest the average wasn’t so great. I know some schools don’t have foreign teachers working at all, or if they do they may only have them there once a week. But these contests should be the times when the foreign teachers put in the extra effort, especially the teachers assigned to a single school. Take the English Oratorical Contest in September as a prime example. Practice for my student starts in July and I’ll be coming into school almost every day during the summer holiday, voluntarily and completely unpaid, to practice with my student. The reason I’ll be doing it is because I want my student to be successful, and they want success too. And you can be sure that my friend at the other JHS in my town will be doing the same too, which is why both of us will be very unhappy if our students are among the top when the contest results are read out. It would be very easy, and understandable, to say, “I’m not getting paid for working these hours/these days, so I’m not going to come”, but doing that will always give you the “What if…” questions if you’re not successful.
After over 2 hours of speeches it came to my student’s turn, and as he started I pushed the button and my stopwatch started to tick over. His speech was going pretty well, with no mistakes or hesitation. But then I looked at the stopwatch and at the 2-minute mark he was about a line behind where he should have been. At the 3-minute mark this had doubled and with one minute to go he was almost 3 lines behind where he should have been. In the end his speech was 3 seconds over the 5-minute time limit: an automatic one point deduction depending on how strict the judges and timekeepers are feeling. To say I was gutted was an understatement. There were a few really good quality speeches and he needed every point he could get to stand a chance of winning. The remaining students read their stories and I tried to figure out where I’d gone wrong with my student, and why his story was 20 seconds longer than normal.
After an age waiting for the judges to choose the top 3, they returned and went to the stage for the announcement. 3rd place went to a school in a neighbouring town, who I’d actually thought was the best speaker. 2nd place was read out, and I had to double-take when they announced the name of my student! Couldn’t believe it but even going over his allocated time slightly he still had done enough for 2nd place. And first place went to… my good friend and rival from the other school in my town. So once again 2 of the top 3 prizes available in the are went to our town, and both of our students will be taking part in the Okinawa-wide contest in 2 weeks’ time.
We need to work on the timing, but I do like the attitude of my student. “If I’d been under time, do you think maybe I’d have won?” I told him I didn’t know for sure, but we’ll make sure that he’s not asking the same question next time.
Onwards to hopefully some more success!
In news that is not really going to shock anyone with more than a couple of brain cells to rub together, this morning’s rocket/satellite/missile launch by DPRK has appeared to have ended in abject failure. The Tongchang-dong launched at 7:39 local time and was up for a… well, for a minute. Which makes it marginally more successful than when Richard Hammond & James May attempted to put a Reliant Robin into space and use it as the new space shuttle (see below).
Whether it was a rocket, a satellite launch or a missile test is by the by; the fact is that it was quite an impressive, but understandable failure. You’ve got to admire them sticking to the task, but their people don’t have the skills and technology together to make it successful. It’s like me going out and saying I’m going to build a house. I might be able to put something together that looks like a house, and make people believe that it’s a house, but it’ll all fall apart once the wind blows against it. Compounded by the fact that it was Friday 13th, it was never going to be a success. They should have really left it until Sunday 15th (Kim Il Sung’s birthday) for the launch. Am going to guess the DPRK State Media will report a successful launch, or just give no report at all to its people about it.
The Japanese government and media will probably be some of the most disappointed, as they were really trying to use this to play the victim card and show its people how scary the DPRK is and how we should be in constant fear of them. And they’ve done a good job of that over the past few weeks, culminating in my school (under orders from the city) distributing some flyer of some sort to each student yesterday, warning them to take care, and presumably offering advice on what to do should they find a missile impaling them to the ground. With all the stuff going on in Japan domestically, is this the most important thing to be advising students about?
But it’s passed, so now Japan will continue its inevitable push to a new “Prime Minister for a year” in August or September (Noda’s latest approval ratings have reached a record low, at 25% according to the Daily Yomiuri). Had the test been a success, no doubt it could have been used by the incumbent party as something to try and rally people around (‘Forget about how bad we are… look at the scary North Koreans”). And the Okinawan media will britruipng it’s focus back from projecting North Korea as the enemy to projecting the US military as public enemy number 1. The status quo has been restored.
This little story also gives me the chance to remind you of my travelogue with plenty of pictures and stories from my trip to North Korea in 2005. Take a look here.
If you read my post last Thursday, you’ll know that according to a Okinawa base-wide email that was sent a couple of days previous, the Ministry for the Environment has stated that no radioactive debris will be sent out of the Fukushima area. I stated then that the information being given out was contrary to what a number of sources were saying. And it also appears to be contrary to what Mr. Goshi Hosono is saying. “Who is he?” you may ask. The Minister for the Environment!
According to this article and accompanying video, he was in Kyoto on Saturday trying to drum up support for disposal of (radioactive debris). His trip included meeting with the governor of Kyoto and a plan to give out pamphlets and make an appeal for public support outside Kyoto station. As you can see from the article, it didn’t go to plan as people in Kyoto, like people in Okinawa, don’t really want radioactive waste storing in their backyard. Below is the front page of the pamphlet that was being handed out.
In my last post I did ask you to question everything and make your own decisions, so I will offer a slightly different viewpoint on this. The article and source does concur with the statement made to SOFA members in Okinawa about Iwate and Miyagi being the only prefectures officially accepting debris from Fukushima, but it did not state that their Ministry for the Environment is actively campaigning for more prefectures and cities to accept this waste. Also, my Japanglish isn’t good enough to fully understand those videos, although I get a gist of it. If someone can post a full translation in the comments below, it would be awesome and would help us all understand things a little easier.
Another interesting note about the storage and disposal of waste is that it has already been removed from the vast majority of areas affected by the earthquake and Tsunami from March 11th, 2011. You can see these from the many before/after photos that are being published. So the debris is being stored somewhere right now. Let’s assume for a second that all of this debris has been tested for radiation and is coming back as negative. Would it not just be easier to keep the debris stored in its current location as it awaits incineration or disposal?
The last point worth noting is that if the Minister of the Environment is appealing for non-radioactive debris to be disposed in other prefectures around Japan (which is what Prime Minister Noda is urging, and relaxing laws to make it easier), then you have to wonder what exactly the government is classing as radioactive. Some of you might know of the story from May last year when the government decided to raise the amount of radiation that was safe for children, so that schools in the fallout area could reopen (source). While immense public outrage and international coverage of this story caused a U-turn (I expect the latter being a bigger factor than the former), the initial plan was to raise the safe radioactive level to 20 times what it was previously. So with that in mind, it is very possible that the government will just raise the level required for them to declare something is radioactive. Given what you’ve just read, is it that much beyond the realms of possibility?
Anyway, those are my thoughts for now. Any comments or thoughts are always appreciated. If you disagree or have a different view on it, let me know. I’m more than happy to hear thoughts from all sides. Is anyone in favour of Okinawa taking non-radioactive debris, at all?