Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Johnny & Associates cancel concerts + provide free trucks for disaster relief

On March 15th, entertainment agency Johnny & Associates announced that all planned domestic concerts by their artists in March have been canceled. Instead, the transport and power unit trucks normally used for these live performances will be lent to disaster-stricken areas in Japan, free of charge.

In total, 18 performances by 6 artists have been canceled (including TOKIO, Tackey & Tsubasa, Hey!Say! JUMP, and Yamashita Tomohisa).

At every concert, Johnny’s uses several 10-ton transport trucks and a few electric power unit trucks. The agency has a contract in place with truck companies for these, but since the concerts have been canceled, they announced, “If it can help with the disaster relief in stricken areas, we are prepared to lend them out for emergency transport and supplementing electricity … [For example,] transporting material aid, and providing electricity to hospitals…”

Food transport and power shortage are big problems at the affected areas, and Johnny’s says they will consider requests by local authority groups involved in the relief effort for the trucks.

Source: Sanspo

Japan faces "apocalyptic" Disaster as Radiation Spills from Stricken Nuclear Plant

JAPAN was last night on the brink of an “apocalyptic” disaster as radiation spewed out from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, experts warned.

A deadly atomic cloud is poised to spread death and misery across the country and engineers are locked in a desperate battle to prevent a meltdown of fuel rods at the quake-hit reactors.

Millions of Tokyo residents were living in fear that, with a wind change, the radiation could descend on the city.

As the danger rating at the plant was upgraded from five to six out of seven, Europe’s energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said: “There is talk of an apocalypse and I think the word is particularly well chosen.

“Practically everything is out of control. I cannot exclude the worst in the hours and days to come.”

Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan admitted perilous levels of radiation were leaking from the power station.

At one point it soared to 400 times the annual legal limit.

Mr Kan said on TV: “Radiation has spread from the reactors and the reading seems high. There is a very high risk of further radioactive material coming out.

“We would like to ask you to remain indoors, at home or in your offices and avoid going outside.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano added: “Now we are talking about levels that can damage human health. There is no mistake about that.”

He also said a fourth reactor was on fire at the plant that has been hit by three blasts in four days. One reactor was no longer sealed, sparking fears of further leaks. Two workers were reported missing.

US experts fear the danger level will be upgraded to seven. That has only been used once before, at Chernobyl in 1986.

Nuclear expert John Harris said: “It seems to be getting more serious as days go by.

“The fact we have now had three hydrogen explosions tells me almost certainly that the reactor cores must be quite badly damaged.

“It could have distorted to the point of meltdown, where some of the core drips into the bottom of the reactor. That is serious.” Russia’s nuclear chief said all six reactors could melt unless the rods are cooled soon. Japanese ­authorities were last night planning to spray water from ­helicopters into an overheating nuclear fuel storage pool.

In Tokyo, parts of the city were eerily quiet as fear gripped residents.

The few people who did venture out admitted the nuclear threat terrified them more than ­after-shocks. But there was no sense of panic and the expected mass exodus of Tokyo failed to materialise.

Radiation levels reached 20 times the usual level. There was some relief when winds expected to blow any radioactive cloud towards the capital did not ­materialise. But UN weather experts said they were keeping a close eye on changing patterns. More than 140,000 people living within 19 miles of ­Fukushima were warned to stay indoors. A no-fly zone was in place for a 20-mile radius over the plant. Bosses have ­evacuated 750 staff – leaving just 70 brave workers to tackle the crisis.

The International Atomic Energy Agency insisted radiation levels were falling. But local media claimed they rose too high for Tokyo Electric Power Company staff to stay in control rooms. The workers, all wearing protective gear, were rotated in and out of the danger zone quickly to reduce exposure. Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the third explosion may have damaged the reactor’s suppression chamber.

Residents living in Soma – 35 miles away and outside the exclusion zone – said they were terrified. And some believe the government is not being honest about the extent of the danger.

Innkeeper Toshiaki Kiuchi, 63, said: “I don’t think they are telling us the truth. Maybe even they don’t know.” Shinako Tachiya, 70, added: “We are really afraid. You can’t see fallout so we are totally relying on them for our lives.

“I think they are not being open with us. They aren’t telling us anything.”

US authorities said low-level ­radioactivity was detected at the ­Yokosuka military base, 200 miles away.

The Foreign Office advised against all non-essential travel to Japan but said there were no plans to evacuate Brits.

More than 500 bone marrow transplant centres across Europe were on standby to treat possible radiation victims.


Message from Arashi to Arashian

Here's the translation of the message :

***We would like to express our deepest condolences to all of those who have been affected by this earthquake.

Every day the more we watch news, the more we know about the situation, we become increasingly worried about everyone who’s suffered.

We’ve heard that a great deal of fans have been concerned about us, but we’re all fine, rest assured.

Right now, cooperating with conserving energy and water, not using the phone unless it’s urgent, and donating money to relief funds… that’s all we can do to help from where we are in Tokyo. We believe that every little bit helps.

What we can do to help is probably limited, but we’re trying our best to do what we can because we want to make everyone smile again, if just a little.

For everyone in the affected areas, there’s surely still no room to let their guards down, but all of us members are hoping that you can encourage your friends and family, as well as those around you. Then maybe you can overcome these tough times.

Ohno Satoshi, Sakurai Sho, Aiba Masaki, Ninomiya Kazunari, Matsumoto Jun

Source : J WEB, Zahirah DBSK Arashi (Facebook) & to the right owner