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skateboy
03-17-2011, 09:49 AM
Thank you for keeping us updated with your thorough and beautifully written reports, Shinku.

skatesindreams
03-17-2011, 01:54 PM
Shinku, thanks for your thoughtful posts and updates,
They provide a different perspective than much of what has been said in the media,
Please, continue them, as you are able.

loulou
03-17-2011, 02:48 PM
Shinku, I'm amazed by what you wrote (and how you wrote it, your english is pretty darn good for a native japanese speaker).

You can see where the strengths of your country lie, and at the same time you don't refrain from pointing out how the JSF is being wrong, in your opinion; nor you are afraid of voicing it.

I'm sure that if your fellow citizens are anything like you, not only will Japan rise fast from this disaster, but you'll soon have a brand new federation policy to be proud of.

Vash01
03-17-2011, 08:14 PM
nlloyd,


I want to thank you and everyone else again who are concerned about us again, but there isn't much need to worry about Tokyo. We're starting to run out of supplies in shops, and we're running out of gasoline for our cars, but otherwise, things are fine. The damaged areas in the north are suffering much more supply shortages, they do not have enough food and all the gas has been stopped so many people have no heating. Compared to what's happening to them, and the people in Fukushima, Tokyo is in no position to panic or complain about anything. Do save your prayers for those in the damaged northern areas and for those in Fukushima, not Tokyo please. Thank you again, and I'll try to post further info if there are any changes in our situations. :)


Beautifully written (whole post). Thanks again Shinku. Be well.

skfan
03-18-2011, 01:51 AM
eyria on gs started this petition to advocate scheduling Worlds outside Japan, and earlier than October.

http://www.change.org/petitions/reschedule-world-figure-skating-championships-for-spring-2011#?opt_new=t&opt_fb=f

please pardon my post--i was unable to locate eyria's own post here on FSU, so i wanted to add this link here just in case.

shinku, thank you again for your steady courage and magnanimity in midst of crisis. god has big ears to go with a big heart, so i'll pray for everybody, even folks here in america :)

Shinku
03-18-2011, 07:44 PM
Thanks for the info and the link for the petition, skfan!
I've relayed the info to our JAPAN FIGURE SKATE FORUM, Yahoo!Japan's FS bulletin board, Mao Asada Fan Forum, and in my personal blog. Already, many of my Japanese FS fans on the net have participated, especially since they are upset that JSF made some stupid moves, which might have given the wrong impression to the world, that an October Worlds in Japan is what we fans in Japan want. If you've been reading this topic from the start, I'm sure you'd understand that Japanese fans are totally against ISU and JSFs decisions, but I'll say it out loud once again:

Japanese FS Fans do not want Worlds to be postponed till October, we do not want Japan to be considered a candidate for holding 2011 Worlds in any way at all, but would like the competition held during at least during April or May in a city in a different country which has no volcanos or earthquake plates underground plus preferably a bit far from the ocean, so that the skaters entering can perform without any worries and focus only on the competition.

The JSF have never cared much for us fans, and also not much for their skaters either. After reading all the articles in Japanese on what would become of Worlds, there has never been a single comment from the JSF which mentioned how the Japanese skaters are feeling what should be the right thing to do under the circumstances. I bet they never even botherd to contact and ask them, but went on discussing money issues related to the sponsors and stuff like that only.

I've read Czisny's thoughts in her facebook:

The World Championships...to have or not to have.
Given that so many have asked, I've decided to post my thoughts on the "3 options." I understand the magnitude of the decisions that JSF and ISU are faced with, and I can't fathom the difficulties they must be encountering as they are dealing with this situation. These are just my own humble opinions. I ask that you respect my opinions, as I respect yours.
1. Canceling the event. My sincere hope is that this is the last option. From a skater's perspective, skating is our career, our job, our livelihood, and canceling worlds would disrespect all the hard work we have put in. I do know that worlds has been cancelled before, but that was because an entire team, the US delegation, was tragically killed in a plane crash. This time, thankfully, the Japanese team is all safe (and I pray for their continued safety). You say, but look at the numbers of people who have been killed by this disaster. I know, and I can't even begin to express my sorrow towards the tragedy. But I ask, have you canceled your job, your work, due to the tragedy? Most likely, you have continued on with your work, while doing your best to help our friends in Japan. I only ask that we might be given the same opportunity to continue on with our work, while at the same time doing what we can to honor those in Japan and helping as much as we are able.
2. Moving the worlds to October. This decision seems strange at first, until you look at the reasons behind it. Postponing the event until October gives Japan another chance to hold the championship event that they deserve to have. I was, along with so many other skaters, looking forward to competing in Japan. It has proved itself to be one of the best countries to host an event, and we all know that this world championship would have been no exception: it would have been another wonderful event! Moving the event to October, however, would present some unique challenges: how do the skaters respond? Do we prepare for the new season while still training the past season's programs and using the past season's rules? And how do we prepare for the new season, while trying to peak for the worlds, which would be occurring at the very beginning of the new season? Two world championships in one season? This option is difficult to conceive, due to the many questions and difficulties it raises.
3. Moving the championships. I have the utmost respect for the Japanese and their capabilities of hosting this event. But due to the extreme circumstances they are under, I hope that the event can be moved elsewhere for now, with Japan given an opportunity to host the event again soon. Moving the event, I understand, can be extremely difficult, but I know that several countries have stepped in and offered. Again, this presents many challenges as well; but this option gives us skaters the opportunities that we have worked so hard for. Having said all of the above, I will respect any decision made by JSF and the ISU. And my prayers continue to be with the Japanese people as they face this terrible time.

I agree to her opinions, and at the same time, I envy that skaters in the US are able to make statements like this on the net. Takahashi, Mao and some others have sent messages of condolences to the damaged areas, and added that they will go on practicing whatever becomes of Worlds...but that was it. I mean, they are probabaly not allowed to express their opinions or requests concerning what should be done about Worlds. Not sure if they were ordered by JSF not to do so, but there's this old stupid traditional manner in Japan still, which doesn't allow younger people to criticize what those older them have already decided upon. I can't help thinking that our skaters surely would not like the idea of havng this season's Worlds in October, and at this point do not care at all where the competition will be held, as long it's held in a safe place during the season. So since we know it's like that between our skaters and JSF, fans in Japan get together whenever something needs to be said to JSF. More and more fans have reported that they've finished mailing JSF and Hashimoto, and participators will be increasing until we get a satisfatory answer from JSF.

skfan has advised me to post about these things in Golden Skate as well, and I've been trying to do that for the last couple of hours, but for some reason my posts are being mistaken by their system as spam mail, so I've contacted the staff and am waiting for them to reply on this matter. I feel that many people in other countries have misunderstood us fans in both damaged and undamaged areas in Japan, that we are for JSF's decision. But since that's totally not true, I feel I have an obligation to clear things out in Golden Skate too, being a Japanese born citizen who has the ability to write in English since I've lived some years in NY and London. Hope this spam misunderstanding would be solved soon in GS.

Last of all some news updates on the situations here...according to my friends living in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, things are calming down. The number of after-shakes have reduced, and there certainly is no alerts for tsunami's anymore. Still, another large quake can happen in their areas, so it seems that people who were fortunate not to have their houses damaged have to stay inside for a while with not much to do but keep the tv or radios on in case of new alerts. Many of them are preparing themselves to volunteer to clean up the mess, but that hasn't started yet. Only professional guys from our 'army' and rescue teams from other countries are doing their jobs in finding missing people who may be still alive. They are doing a great job though, and it's been reported that quite a few people have already been rescued. Many people who have access to their PCs up north have found esp the US troops to be very reliable and cool, they'll soon end up with a bunch of fans in Japan!

There was a sad report about an aquariam in Miyagi prefecture yesterday. All the electricity has been stopped there, due to the lack of energy, so all the fish will die. One of the staff there said that he is heartbroken for the fish, but since many human lives are at stake, it couldn't be avoided. They have managed to send the sea mammals there to other similar facilities so they'll be okay. I hate it when animals have to die in our place, but at least this time the main cause of their deaths wasn't any stupid war humans have started so nobody can be blamed for this. They'll probably make a monument for the fish after things are back to normal. We usually do things like that to honor all animals who have died for our causes. Most people in Japan are buddhists so we believe that we have no right to choose whether an animal should die or not basically under any circumstance. I imagine the guilt which the staffs of the aquariam must be facing now must be beyond words.

While the northern areas hit by the strongest quake and tsunamis are coping with lack of energy for heating, food and water, little by little supplies are being sent there since they've managed to fix some roads already. It may be some of the people in the Fukushima area near the nuclear station who are having more of a hard time right now. Fortunately they examined over 10000 people yesterday who have evacuated from the areas within 20km range from the station, and have found out that no nuclear particles have been found on them except for only 2 people, and even they didn't have to have it washed off since it was an extremely small amount with no danger to their health. However, this does not mean they have not been exposed to radiation at all. I didn't know till today either, but nuclear particles and radiation are 2 different things. Many of us seem to have the 2 mixed up, and this is because the scientists and so called specialists who have been telling us alot about nuclear power stations and radiation dangers have not made this point clear as far as I know. Becasue of the media being this way, there are rumors that the government has orderd them to keep the real important information secret. I hope that's some crazy imaginary conspiracy theory, but I'm starting to have some doubts. For the past few days, scientists appearing on tv has been telling us on and on that only a very low amount of radiation has been observed in Tokyo, and explained that it's not enough to harm us in anyway. But it seems they are basing their analysis on data concerning how much radiation would not be harmful to humans 'per year'.

This would mean that if they've observed 1msv of radiation in Tokyo for 10 days, and if I go outside once everyday during that period, I'd be exposed to 10msv of radiation in the end. This is just an example so 10msv wouldn't harm me anyway plus they only observed much lower amounts of radiation in Tokyo so far, so I'm in no danger now. But should it go on like this for a long period of time, some areas might have people exposed to a higher amount than that which is supposed to be safe to be exposed to in 1 year, even though the msv numbers are observed to be lower around them. Considering this, I do think that maybe the folks on tv are trying not to make it perfectly clear to us. They're not lying basically, but they are leaving out some additional facts and are explaning things rather vaguely according to some people who seem to know alot about these things on the net.

I'll have to keep all the windows closed and try not to leave the house I suppose...but that's all the precaution possible for me. All the gas stations are out of gas already, so we won't be able to escape to the west. I aso have a mother who lives with my husband and me, but she harldly can walk even with our help due to old age so taking the train isn't much of an option for us. Plus we own some cats and a dog too big to be allowed on trains. I could never abandon them, so I'll be staying in Tokoyo whatever the consequences. But I haven't lost any hope yet and am trying to stay as optimistic as possible. It seems our 'army' boys and some policemen have finally succeeded in showering the 3rd reactor in the Fukushima station with water to lower the temperature to avoid a meltdown. Not sure yet if that's enough, but at first they couldn't get anywere near the station because the radiation was unbelievably high there. 2 days ago, there had been news that our government had asked the US army to have their boys fligh up to Fukushima and do the showering for us, but I guess that didn't happen. IMO that was asking for too much, and I wouldnt've wanted anyone from any other country than ours to go that far in risking their lives for us. If the US army had rejected our govenment's request, they did the right thing. If anyone should die trying to avoid further disasters from the nuclear station, it should be one of our people. Our electricity company created that station, we are the ones who have benefited from it for years, and lastly it was our stupid Prime Minister Kan who flew to the station on a helicopter to observe it, and that resulted in having the workers lose hours of fixing the first reactor which exploded some hours after Kan had left. Kan's little trip to the station was a performance to make people think how much he cares about the people residing in that area. I suppose he thought it was a good chance to achieve some support for his cabinet, which had been decreasing in almost full speed the past few months.

Although the people in the damaged areas are doing the best they can with hardly any robberies or riots, which certainly is admirable, the same can't be said for our politicians and executives in the electricity company which the Fukushima station belonged to. If anymore worse should happen, there's a high possibility for it to start from the Fukushima station.

Sorry I couldn't report much good news today. Finding out some of the stuff about raditation which hasn't been mentioned on tv did start worrying me a bit about my family and myself. Till today I felt more of an observer in these chains of disasters, but...well, maybe the info I've found on the net may be wrong. There seems to be alot of false info on the net concerning almost everything right now. In times like this, it's so easy to believe the bad infos rather than the good ones. I'll try not to worry that much, but just try to keep our windows closed and not go out much. If you have friends or relatives residing in Tokyo or the surrounding Kanto areas, it might be better to pass on what I've written here just in case, since most of the people in Tokyo don't seemed so worried at all about Fukushima station having the possibility to be more dangerous to us than reported in the media. :(

Vash01
03-18-2011, 07:48 PM
(((((Shinku)))))

Be well. Be safe.

skfan
03-19-2011, 03:43 AM
thank you as always, Shinku, for the detailed update.

nowadays it is hard not to get down hearing news. about the aquarium... i feel sad for the animals that died, and even sadder for the man who took care of them all these years and now must consign them to death. and of course, all the people who are in such dire straits that the aquarium must give up its power source.

i'm especially sorry to hear about the troubles coming so close to your tokyo home. {{shinku}}

about the radiation issues... please check your pm

on the bright side, the petition has garnered over a thousand signatures already! so many signatures from all around the world will make the point stick with the ISU, all the decision makers, i believe.

about what you said about Alissa having the opportunity to voice her opinion...

i think that may be changing with Hanyu on the rise. people who follow japanese skating have said that he's very willing to speak up and not as traditional (i.e. deferential to elders) as his sempai-tachi. it would be nice (and just) if the wishes of the Japanese skaters were taken into account as well. it would be great if, say, Miki or Dai could write a column like Alissa did and have it be widely read, but, i am counting on the many emails that are coming in--especially from the petition, to help the ISU and other decision makers see the light. i think (hope) skaters like Alissa, with her column, and Russian ice dancer Kalapatsov(sp?), who signed the petition, will sway the ISU into making a decision that also accords with the wishes of the Japanese team

Capella
03-19-2011, 05:45 AM
Shinku, the editorial on ice-dance.com (http://www.ice-dance.com/component/content/article/68-articles/1032-2011-world-championships-our-thoughts) mentions your post. I hope people who make the decisions are listening to you, too.

Shinku
03-19-2011, 07:13 PM
Vash01, skfan, thank you for being so considerate. Thank you to all the other people who have posted in this thread too. I'm so sorry I haven't been able to thank you all personally one by one. But I'm reading all of your kind messages, and have told members in our Japanese FS forum about it. Those who can understand English there have also read all your comments and have told me how touched they all are. It seems that people in the damaged areas are still not able to access the net properly, but I hope they too will be able to read your messages soon.

Although we had about 2 fairly large after-shakes today centering in the Ibaraki area, no crucial additional damages have been reported yet to my knowledge. Tokyo had a level 3rated shake, which felt more like a level 4 to me, but everyone's getting used to them so it's not much of a big deal anymore. Even my friend in Miyagi sent me a mail message from her cell phone saying it shook there too, but nobody seemed to have panicked. It seems to be shaking far more constantly there than in Tokyo, so she told me everyone has adapted and are taking them calmly. Miyagi prefecture is an area in Japan which had been struck by quite large earthquakes several times before this one, so the people there are very well prepared for them compared to other areas. Over 10,000 people have either been killed or are still missing, but if only the tsunami didn't happen, the number of casualties would have been much much lower. The actual number of all deaths due to the earthquake and tsunamis are about to reach 7000 soon, and it turns out that this is the highest number of deaths we've ever had from a natural disaster.

But there is some good news coming in from the nuclear station in Fukushima. They've managed to start showering sea water on reactor no.3 which is known to be the most dangerous one since it uses plutonium unlike the rest. The water has decreased it's temperature more or less, and it seems stable at the moment. Reactors 1 and 2 have been connected to a new electric cooling device which should reduce the temperature even more than showering water on them. Plus reactor 6 had it's cooling device fixed so at least that one seems no more a threat. However, during all this at least 6 workers there have been exposed to 100msv of radiation, though it has been reported that there should be no influence to their health and they are still there risking their lives. We all hope that they will still be okay by the time this all ends. There are of course more people risking their lives to fix the station, all of them are in terrible danger of being exposed to enormous amounts of radiation. It's because of them that the reactors have had their temperatures lowered, so although there are 6 reactors in total and not all of them are stable yet, I think most of us in the Kanto areas have been relieved from the peaks of our fears, and are truely grateful to all the people there.

I've heard that there has been some reports overseas that radiation has been found from tap water in Tokyo, but this is not true. They did find some amounts of radiated iodine from tap water in a city located 40km from the Fukushima power station, but the amount had already decreased to a safe level by the 19th. Of course though, people there have been alerted to avoid drinking tap water since, but has been told that the water is safe for other daily uses, which I suppose means washing and bathing are included.

Capella, thank you for telling me about my post being mentioned in the site you gave me the link to. I'm very happy that it's been introduced there, and am very thankful for the person who wrote that article. The internet can work in many ways, huh?

I've recieved a translation job today, so I'll have to focus on that for a few days, so I may not be able to post much until it's finished. But if anything of importance should happen in Japan concerning the disasters or if there are any new moves in JSF on Worlds, I will try to post asap if nobody else seems to do so. Thank you all again, and let's keep our fingers crossed for ISU and JSF to do the right thing! :)

JasperBoy
03-19-2011, 08:03 PM
I just want to send my message to all the FSU members who are in Japan. Your health and safety is of greatest concern. Skating competitions will come and go, but your lives are precious. Be safe, and know you are always in our thoughts.

maggylyn
03-19-2011, 10:48 PM
Shinku, thank you so much for keeping us informed.

Your country and your people are in our hearts and prayers.

Vash01
03-20-2011, 05:31 AM
Vash01, skfan, thank you for being so considerate. Thank you to all the other people who have posted in this thread too.



But there is some good news coming in from the nuclear station in Fukushima. They've managed to start showering sea water on reactor no.3 which is known to be the most dangerous one since it uses plutonium unlike the rest. The water has decreased it's temperature more or less, and it seems stable at the moment. Reactors 1 and 2 have been connected to a new electric cooling device which should reduce the temperature even more than showering water on them. Plus reactor 6 had it's cooling device fixed so at least that one seems no more a threat. However, during all this at least 6 workers there have been exposed to 100msv of radiation, though it has been reported that there should be no influence to their health and they are still there risking their lives. We all hope that they will still be okay by the time this all ends. There are of course more people risking their lives to fix the station, all of them are in terrible danger of being exposed to enormous amounts of radiation. It's because of them that the reactors have had their temperatures lowered, so although there are 6 reactors in total and not all of them are stable yet, I think most of us in the Kanto areas have been relieved from the peaks of our fears, and are truely grateful to all the people there.

I've heard that there has been some reports overseas that radiation has been found from tap water in Tokyo, but this is not true. They did find some amounts of radiated iodine from tap water in a city located 40km from the Fukushima power station, but the amount had already decreased to a safe level by the 19th. Of course though, people there have been alerted to avoid drinking tap water since, but has been told that the water is safe for other daily uses, which I suppose means washing and bathing are included.

Capella,

I've recieved a translation job today, so I'll have to focus on that for a few days, so I may not be able to post much until it's finished. But if anything of importance should happen in Japan concerning the disasters or if there are any new moves in JSF on Worlds, I will try to post asap if nobody else seems to do so. Thank you all again, and let's keep our fingers crossed for ISU and JSF to do the right thing! :)

Shinku,

Thanks for keeping us updated. It's good to get some positive news from Fukushima. Also good to hear it's safe for you to drink the tap water. I will be thinking of you, even though you may be busy translating, and not able to post. Take care of yourself and your family.

skfan
03-20-2011, 06:32 AM
congratulations on winning the job, shinku. your excelllent english is getting noticed.


Shinku,

Thanks for keeping us updated. It's good to get some positive news from Fukushima. Also good to hear it's safe for you to drink the tap water. I will be thinking of you, even though you may be busy translating, and not able to post. Take care of yourself and your family.


i'll be doing what vash said :)

Doubletoe
03-21-2011, 05:15 AM
Shinku, thank you for your dedication to the sport and to both FSU and Japanese fan forums. Your news and detailed explanations are very much appreciated!
I don't know if you've seen Rfisher's thread, "Radiation facts and myths" in the "Off The Beaten Path" section of this forum, but it is very informative. I'm also sure Rfisher would be happy to answer any questions you might have about radioactive threats if you send a PM. Meanwhile, it is good to know that there are enough private citizens in Japan with Geiger counters and YouTube accounts that it would be practically impossible for the Japanese authorities to lie about actual radiation levels in various cities, or in food products. Kitto daijoubu. :)