Hitachi Japan Loses Industrial Base Like Detroit

Fewer and fewer Japanese own cars

Japan continues to plunge downwards.  With the LDP winning less than 45% of the vote but getting 80% of the seats in the government, we have a right wing, imperialist government that wants to sweep Fukushima under the rug while expanding nuclear power construction in Japan.  The strong yen is preventing exports to the US so jobs are being off shored faster and faster.  And no one seems able to fix Fukushima which continues massive pollution of the Pacific Ocean and much of Japan’s main island.


Tokyo grew and grew massively while increasingly the hinterlands and the smaller manufacturing towns are rapidly literally dying just like Detroit:  Hitachi’s Revival Isn’t So Good for the City of Hitachi –


“Closing plants in Japan is a big deal, and we don’t take cutbacks lightly,” Hiroaki Nakanishi, Hitachi’s president and chief executive, said in a year-end interview in Tokyo. “But to return to growth, we have to cut loose what doesn’t bring profit. We have to be decisive.”…Above all, the high costs of operating in Japan, made worse by a strong yen, weighs heavily on exporters’ finances. In the year through March 2012, Panasonic, Sony and Sharp lost a combined $19 billion….Hitachi’s only department store closed in late 2008. The city lost all its movie theaters. Its drinking district, Saiwaicho — which translates to happy town — was largely deserted one recent weeknight. A tall Christmas tree — sponsored by Hitachi, according to its plaque — stood alone in an empty square.

Hitachi is between Tokyo and Fukushima

Hitachi is in Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan.  When reading comments in Japanese newspapers, I notice that many crime stories feature this province as well as Saitama which borders it.  This is the lower class working regions.  Fukushima was a verdant farming region with many big, beautiful traditional houses as well as scruffier fishing towns which were wiped out by the tsunami.

Hitachi Japan manufacturing shutting downHitachi plant shut down



The Google Map crew lets me travel around cities while at home.  Here are some shots of factories in trouble in Hitachi.  The chaos that is eating up most of our own slowly dying manufacturing cities hasn’t erupted in Japan.  Instead, it is a slow and silent, hidden death.


I did see graffiti on abandoned stores here and there but mostly it was very desultory with parks and schools left to deteriorate bit by bit and little human or car traffic.  In the US, our population is moving southwards seeking to slowly become disused in warm places, a sort of giving up the fight.  While in Japan, it is literally dying off with fewer and fewer children.


Unexploded WWII bomb removed from factory site in Hitachi this month.  Hitachi was leveled during WWII.  And was painstakingly rebuilt only to self-destruct due to trade issues.


And yet another M5 quake strikes off Fukushima.  Life along the entire east coast of the main island has been hellish for everyone.  The people there  have these constant jerks and rumbles and tosses from the aftershocks which leads to feeling uncertain and even scared.  The reorganizing of the underwater landscape still isn’t finished.  This was a major, major resetting of the geological landscape of the Pacific Plate.


Fukushima has virtually vanished from the US media radar but this doesn’t mean it is either fixed or getting better:  7.1 thousand trillion Bq of Cs-134/137 and 1.1 ten quadrillion Bq of Iodine-131 released to the sea from 3/26 to 9/30.  These numbers are mind numbing.  This has to be one of the biggest pollution events in the history of the Pacific Ocean.


The Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic Ocean pollution levels are also very high, one by oil corporations the other by the USSR’s nuclear activities in the past.  It is odd how so many environmentalists are silent about Fukushima.  I know for certain this is due to too many of them embracing nuclear power as the solution to the CO2 problem.  The sad fact is, Fukushima should have been the death knell for future nuclear power only…IT IS NOT.


Japan just had an election and got a reactionary, right wing, pro-nuclear power, pro-export power industrialist free trade gang, the LDP, pack into power.  From last summer:  Fukushima DiaryLDP’s New Leader Shinzo Abe Eats Curry Rice with Pork Cutlet Super Fast, Supporters Say It Proves He’s Now Fit to Lead Japan  by eating supposedly contaminated food thus proving it is OK to eat contaminated food all the time.


Now, there is the son of the Tokyo mayor:  #Radioactive Japan Under LDP: Shintaro Ishihara’s Son to Become Minister of the Environment and Minister for Nuclear Plants | EXSKF


Nobuteru Ishihara is the eldest son of the irascible ex-Governor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishihara, for now teaming up with the boy-wonder of Osaka City…Mr. Nobuteru Ishihara was the one who said that citizens should be banned from measuring radioactivity using their personal survey meter


In June last year, he was the one who called the anti-nuclear movement as “mass hysteria”…Ishihara will be in charge of decontamination (or lack thereof) and ending the nuclear accident (probably by ignoring it). Needless to say, he is all for restarting nuclear power plants.

Ritual suicide.  This is the only explanation for the Japanese leaders.  They want to kill off all the Japanese people!  They tried this at the end of WWII and now they are trying again.  Why?  This is a curious thing indeed.  We marvel when watching this insanity inside Japan.  The Japanese people got all worked up about taking over, quite illegally, some disputed islands and provoking a war-potential confrontation with one of the top economic and military powers on earth.


While relying on the US to do all the fighting even as we are rapidly destroying ourselves here at home and may be finally forced to cut wild, out of control, internationalist Pentagon warmongering to balance the budget while giving rich people huge tax cuts.


The Japanese government and TEPCO lied to the US military about pollution from Fukushima so the aptly named USS Reagan sailed happily to the most polluted waters and air to help rebuild Japan and now they are coming down sick:  Courthouse News Service


Eight crew members of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, whose home port is San Diego, sued the Tokyo Electric Power Co. in Federal Court.
They claim the utility company, “a wholly owned public benefit subsidiary of the government of Japan,” misrepresented radiation levels to lull the U.S. Navy “into a false sense of security.”

Here is more Fukushima news, the latest handout by TEPCO explaining how they plan to fix everything (not):

TEPCO silt dam for Fukushima


This admits that water that is very polluted is still flowing into the Pacific Ocean.  It is quite endless.

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Filed under energy, Free Trade, nature

12 responses to “Hitachi Japan Loses Industrial Base Like Detroit

  1. vengeur

    This was posted over at WSB. It perfectly explains where we are as a country:

  2. Surely the U.S. Navy could have measured the radiation level itself. I’d hope a war ship would have equipment on board to do that.

  3. Christian W

    The USS Reagan is nuclear powered… I wonder how useful radiation counters are on such ships.

  4. Jim R

    There is no doubt at all that the Navy has the tools to measure radiation. More importantly, I expect they have the tools to determine which isotopes are doing it. But of course it is all kept neatly under a carpet of secrecy.
    Not because some rogue nation will discover our nuclear secrets, although that would be the standard excuse. Heck, no, they gave all those secrets away to Pakistan and China decades ago.
    It will be kept secret because it might embarrass the publicity department of the Nuclear Village. Can’t have that, now, can we?

    Just please stop telling me about how clean the nuclear Navy is. Where does the hot stuff go when they wash down the deck? What happens to old Navy nuke reactors when they are ‘decommissioned’? What happened to all the high level radwaste they created at Hanford and other places so they can HAVE a nuclear Navy? It isn’t clean at all.

    And now they are killing off as much of life as they can, starting with the human population of Japan. It’s infuriating that this doesn’t get front page headlines EVERY DAY.

  5. Jim R

    Petabequerels. Sounds like the name of a flower.

    I can only hope this: that these right-wing morons, on both sides of the Pacific, watch their children and families die before they do from the radiation. Not a nice thing to want, but it would seem to be a just fate..

  6. CK

    One should not ignore the fact that Japan’s declining manufacturing cities lack the colourful diversity of the old manufacturing centers of the USA. This lack impacts heavily on the vanishingly small crime stats from even the most distressed of Japanese cities.

  7. Some wonderful scenery around Hitachi in Google street view,Good thing ’cause I will never see it in person.Beautiful forests and rivers.,little shrines…all contaminated now.

  8. Lucky13

    CK, it was ‘tribalism’ [aka Xenophobia] that enabled Japan to survive
    all these centuries.

  9. CK

    Tribalism and a damn lucky typhoon which destroyed the invasion fleet of Kublai Khan’s Mongols in 1274.

  10. emsnews

    Ditto for the big storm that wrecked the Armada. The strength of island tribal groups is based on a watery moat which can be crossed only if the moat’s protectors go insane or asleep at the wheel which has happened to both Japan and England.

  11. CK

    The USA has benefited from the biggest moats.
    Moats can be crossed in two directions, those behind the safest moats have such a desire to screw with others that it is sickening. Perfidious Albion in the 1700-1900’s and the USA since. Moats make you secure, they do not make you invincible. Aggressive thugs Japan UK USA.
    I have no explanation for Kaiser Wilhelm ( maybe inbreeding ).

  12. Interesting it’s taken TEPCO two years to even come up with a schematic for a sarcophagus. On the other hand, when Chernobyl blew up, the Communists went ahead and built theirs.

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