Having finally solved the grand monetary policy puzzle, Japan has now moved on to other crucial societal problems, like getting people to feel comfortable using public toilets.
At least, that was the thinking behind Tokyo’s new transparent public toilets: to help ease “toilet anxiety”, according to Forbes.
In Japan, where public toilets are held to a higher standard of cleanliness than most other place around the world, the country’s residents still “harbor a fear that public toilets are dark, dirty, smelly and scary.”
That’s why the non-profit Nippon Foundation has now launched “The Tokyo Toilet Project”, which has asked 16 well known architects to renovate 17 public toilets located in one of the busiest areas of Tokyo, the public parks of Shibuya.
The idea was to apply a design that would make public bathrooms comfortable and accessible to everyone. The Nippon Foundation has a goal “that people will feel comfortable using these public toilets and to foster a spirit of hospitality for the next person.”
Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban is the brain-child behind the transparent restrooms. The smartglass they are built with turns opaque when someone is in them. The Nippon Foundation commented: “There are two concerns with public toilets, especially those located in parks. The first is whether it is clean inside, and the second is that no one is secretly waiting inside.”
“At night, they light up the parks like a beautiful lantern,” the Foundation concluded.
For forty minutes these five UFOs appeared to hover over Tokyo on Christmas day. It happened at 4pm and you can see Mount Fuji in the distance. The source leads you to a news article in Japan where the writer…a news reporter heard about the UFOs and ran out to his balcony to view it and record it for himself. The UFOs all are in the same position…meaning they are almost horizontal but their left side tiles up about 20-30 degrees. This exact positioning of all the UFOs tells us they are piloted by intelligent beings. Perhaps even coming from a cloaked exit in the volcano Mount Fuji. SCW
Earthquake below the greater Tokyo area, Japan – 首都圏、日本下の地震
Near The South Coast Of Honshu, Japan
Nov 24 08:59 AM
Based on an increasing number of visitors joining us from Japan, we believe that an earthquake was felt. Update : The hypocenter of this earthquake was at an intermediate depth but the epicenter was very close to Tokyo. As the earthquake was so close to Tokyo, the capital had almost no warning as the P wave arrived almost at the same time than the S wave. Update 09:31 UTC : JMA Japan reports a Magnitude of (only) M4.9 at a depth of 80 km. Harmless but well felt by the population. The max. intensity was 4 JM. ER considers 5+ as a potentially dangerous level.
Based on the number of people visiting our site from Japan and compared to other events during the last couple of weeks, people were very anxious to see where the epicenter was. Update 09:39 UTC : This earthquake proves that earthquakes also happen almost below the city itself and that Tokyo citizens will not always be warned of an upcoming wave as the P and S waves are arriving at almost the same moment.
Moderate earthquake close to Tokyo
A moderete M5.1 earthquake has struck close to Tokyo. Max. shaking was a 3 JMA while Earthquake-Report.com uses 5+ as a minimum to be dangerous for damage.
The earthquake occurred at 20:42 Japanese time.
Strong earthquake at a safe distance from Tokyo. A 6.3Mw (Japan Meteorological Agency) earthquake struck 158km away from Tokyo, altough it was strong the distance and the depth (20km) only made a Max. felt intensity of 3 on a scale of 7, we at earthquake report consider a 5+ scale as dangerous. The earthquake was probably felt by many people on the region.
Magnitude : M5.7 (USGS), M6.1 (JMA)
UTC Time : Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 12:05:05 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 21:05:05 LT
Depth (Hypocenter) : 16.9km (USGS), 10km (JMA)
Geo-location(s) : 76 km (47 miles) SSE of Mito, Honshu, Japan
90 km (55 miles) E of TOKYO, Japan
A dangerous earthquake has struck close to Tokyo (90km). It had a M5.7 and was shallow in depth. The earthquake will be as strongly felt in some parts of Japan as the M9.0 earthquake from March 11th, 2011.
UPDATE: – No damage has as yet been reported from Chiba and Ibaraki – this is good news considering the shaking. FDMA is reporting no injuries or emergencies as yet.
Intensities from JMA – www.jma.go.jp
Expected intensities from JMA (courtesy JMA – jma.go.jp)
The towns of Asahi and Hasaki can expect some damage. Minor liquefaction may occur in some locations in Chiba.
JMA is expecting an intensity 5+ (approx. MMI 7-8) in the provinces close to the epicenter.
The fire and department agency has not yet released any details.
The epicenter was east of the coast off of Chiba Prefecture. Intensity 5 upper – Kamisu, Ibaraki Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture and Choshi
Intensity 5 lower – Hitachi City, Ibaraki Prefecture and Asahi City, Chiba Prefecture
Intensity 4 – Chuo-ku, Chiba and Mito, Moka, Tochigi Prefecture, the town Miyashiro, Saitama Prefecture, Tokyo.
Intensity 3 – Tamagawa, Fukushima Prefecture Besides, Shinagawa and Chuo-ku, Tokyo (some), Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa, Minamiuonuma, Niigata Prefecture.
M 5.8 2012/02/29 14:32 Depth 20.0 km JAPAN
local time 23:32 – Epicenter location see below in list
70 km SE Choshi (pop 75,650) and 108 km SE Narita (pop 100,641) (Narita is one of the Tokyo airports)
Earlier report we wrote when we found out the earthquake occurred Preliminary data are talking about a strong earthquake 20 km out in the sea near Tokyo
We are estimating that the epicenter is about 50 km out in the sea. Certainly NOT strong enough to generate a tsunami.
JMA Japan reports a magnitude of 5.8 at a depth of 20 km. Max. registered intensity by JMA : 4 at Isumi-shi Misakicho-choja* – Earthquake-Report.com considers 5+ as dangerous for eventual damage
Conclusion Earthquake-Report.com : NOT dangerous for damage or injuries
Tokyo sees high quake probability, scientists warn
By Elizabeth Yuan, CNN
updated 7:17 AM EST, Tue January 24, 2012
Japan’s highest mountain, Mount Fuji, rises behind Tokyo’s skyscraper skyline, as the sun sets in this photo last year.
Forty-two million people live in Tokyo metropolitan area
University researchers cited findings on increase in small tremors
Government put 70% probability of magnitude-7 quake in region within 30 years
March 11 quake and tsunami left more than 15,700 dead, government says
(CNN) — Tokyo faces the possibility of being hit by a massive earthquake within the next four years, according to Japanese researchers.
The University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute predicts there is a 70% probability that the capital’s metropolitan area will experience a magnitude-7 quake within four years and a 98% probability within the next 30 years.
Nearly one year ago, a magnitude 9.0 quake struck off Japan’s central Pacific coast, triggering a devastating tsunami and aftershocks that left more than 15,700 dead, according to a government report in December on Japan’s recovery from the catastrophe. About 4,500 were listed as missing.
Nearly 700 aftershocks registering magnitude 5 or greater followed last year’s quake, the government report said.
The March 11 earthquake — dubbed “Tohoku” after the region in which it occurred — also damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station, where three reactors experienced full meltdowns, creating a nuclear crisis for a country already grappling with disaster.
Quake, tsunami debris threaten coastlines
The research institute cited for its findings the Gutenberg Richter Law, which states that an increase in small tremors will likely increase the number of larger earthquakes. According to another paper published in September, the institute concluded that the quake ruptured a fault area nearly 500 kilometers in length and 200 kilometers wide offshore.
The fourth strongest quake recorded in history, Tohoku caused abrupt stress changes in the upper plate and triggered widespread seismic activity throughout the Japanese island. The northern part of Ibaraki Prefecture, in particular, saw a significant increase of shallow seismicity after the quake compared with the extremely low rate eight years prior, the researchers said.
Should Tokyo’s inhabitants be worried?
The research institute’s findings carry great consequences for the 42 million people who live in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The Central Disaster Management Council has estimated that a large-scale earthquake in the next few decades could result in 11,000 deaths and an economic loss of 112 trillion yen (US$1 trillion). Its goal is to halve the estimated death toll and reduce the estimated economic loss.
How precise are seismic forecasts?
Gary Gibson, a seismologist at Australia’s Seismology Research Centre Seismology Research Centre, called the Earthquake Research Institute’s findings “not at all unexpected,” given the level of seismic activity and their model.
“Seismologists cannot predict with certainty when, where and how large the next big earthquake will be,” he wrote in an e-mail to CNN. “However, it is possible to forecast the probability of an earthquake in a particular time range (e.g. the next four years), location area (e.g. the Tokyo region), and magnitude range (e.g. greater than magnitude 7.0).
“Long-term forecasts use average activity levels from past earthquakes, geological data from fault displacements, and data about plate movement and deformation from very precise GPS measurements and other methods to determine these probabilities.”
What is the government saying?
The government’s Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion had put a 70% probability of a magnitude-7 quake in Kanto region, which encompasses Tokyo and Yokohama, within 30 years, based on long-term seismicity and hazard studies.
Scientists have already dubbed as “Tokai” an expected 8.0 quake near Suruga Bay, where large quakes have historically struck every 100-150 years, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. The last one, a magnitude-8.4 quake, occurred in 1854 — nearly 160 years ago.
According to Gibson, the seismologist, the enhanced seismicity in the area affected by the Tohoku quake may fall towards normal levels and could affect the research institute’s findings. Results for the six-month period after the quake would become available after this coming March 11, the quake’s anniversary, he noted.
Why is Japan so prone to earthquakes?
The Japanese archipelago and neighboring areas rest on or around four tectonic plates — the Pacific, Philippine Sea, North American and Eurasian plates — whose movements account for one of the most seismically active places on earth.
Can Tokyo withstand a 7.0 quake?
Gibson said that while the area is a very active one seismically, building standards are high, therefore reducing the damage caused by earthquakes. Buildings in Tokyo held up well in the face of the “Tohoku” quake. Reinforced concrete and anti-seismic systems in buildings are among features that have helped absorb shocks when earthquakes occur.
“A magnitude 7.0 earthquake is very much smaller than the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake,” he wrote. “It would need 1,000 magnitude-7.0 earthquakes to release as much strain energy as the magnitude 9.0. The fault rupture size is tens of kilometers, rather than hundreds of kilometers, and the fault displacement two to three meters rather than 20 to 30 meters.”
Serious damage could be limited, if it occurs offshore, he added. And the shallower the quake, such as within 10 kilometers of the surface, the more localized the damage.