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  • Operation Tomodachi: Support Compassion Commitment: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    Defense Force members on the ground tackled the immediate concerns of the region s residents including searching for the missing and conducting rituals and protocols when remains were found American military personnel played a supporting role providing water and supplies clearing roads and ports and putting together technology to test air water and food for nuclear contamination One big challenge was to have the technical community arrive at a consensus view on what was happening at the reactor and its impact on the atmosphere the water supply and the food supply the admiral said Another was to prepare for the impact of the aftershocks which for many residents became more emotionally debilitating than the event itself because it went on and it went on and it went on Emblematic of the collaboration and coordination between Japanese and American forces Admiral Walsh said was the image of a U S Marine pushing a broom cleaning out a school while his counterparts in the Japanese Self Defense Force searched for the remains of those lost The real story here is in the power of the idea the idea of tomodachi which represents who we are what our relationship is and what it could be Q A with the audience followed What are your thoughts on the ongoing economic challenges presented by the crisis We re dealing with an invisible sort of enemy here in the form of radiation Admiral Walsh replied We have to recognize that it can be very very intimidating to know it s out there but to not know what it is and whether or not it s lethal or it s a long term problem we re going to have to deal with And so there may be lingering questions beyond the shores of Japan about the ability of Japan to deal with the contamination And I think at least one aspect of this is giving the world community a sense of confidence that they can do business in Japan Can you describe some specifics on the involvement of Navy vessels in Operation Tomodachi The 7th Fleet commander was in port in Singapore when the earthquake happened the admiral said He didn t wait for orders but got his ship underway at once and positioned it off the coast of Honshu Some 20 to 24 American ships were involved all told including the Ronald Reagan Strike Group which was positioned off the coast of northeast Japan As Ronald Reagan traveled through the radioactive plume released from Fukushima the crew used standard radiation protection practices follow up testing showed that these precautions were uniformly successful in protecting personnel the admiral included from being contaminated Is there a sense that the people of Okinawa have perhaps reevaluated having U S military on hand because of Operation Tomodachi This is a question he d have to refer to the U S Ambassador Admiral Walsh said However to presume that there is a new timetable with trying to resolve the crisis I

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/operation-tomodachi-support-compassion-commitment (2016-02-14)
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  • Innovation in Open Networks: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    Tohoku earthquake happened Mr Ito was in Boston and his family was in Tokyo he recounted He and a friend who is a hardware designer looked for information online about radiation levels but couldn t find any They wanted to help supply radiation detectors to the region but couldn t find a source to buy them ready made So they decided to put together a team to do it themselves Within a week they had people on board who were experts on Geiger counters sensor networks and data management They found a group of young people at Tokyo Hackerspace who could solder metals and make tools They put up a plea for donations on the web and got 45 000 They recruited volunteers to bring the Geiger counters to Fukushima and make measurements Tesla and Aston Martin contributed cars to the effort They got the Knight Foundation to provide 250 000 for work on visualization so that data could be open for all to analyze And we now have over a million readings We have more complete data than any other entity in the world on the radiation in Japan A design for making the Geiger counters in China is online downloadable for free to encourage further development At the MIT Media Lab where he became director in April 2011 Mr Ito will encourage students and researchers to put more of their work online and to create a more open network he said We ll still have scarcity of the degree but I want everyone to be able to learn from us Reflecting his own background as a self educated technology entrepreneur he said that he wants the Lab to allow a little bit more learning through creating a little bit more learning through doing We focus a lot more on rendering things into physical or software stuff that you can see This helps a lot with interdisciplinary stuff as well because it s very difficult to get a sociologist and a physicist to agree theoretically on something But if they re forced to work on building something together suddenly their ideas kind of mesh Michael Zielenziger of McKinsey who moderated the discussion asked the first questions How did institutions in Japan such as the health ministry react to the Geiger counter project Initially no one wanted to talk to us and the group was seen as troublemakers though over time this has changed Mr Ito said At the beginning we really didn t know what we were doing but because we were open and we were sharing everything on the Internet and everywhere else a lot of people started to contribute their information and make comments The people of Fukushima were much happier with Mr Ito s group who sat down and told them the details on what their Geiger counters measured than they were with the government officials who came took measurements and left without disclosing the results The group was able to give detailed advice Move your

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/innovation-in-open-networks (2016-02-14)
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  • U.S.-Japan Cooperation after 3-11: Report on the CSIS-Keidanren Partnership for Recovery Task Force: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    for Nuclear Power Operations Its influence was at first resisted by industry but INPO now works closely with utilities and is responsible for inspections and ratings which in turn affect insurance premiums Alaskan natural gas resources are another area of interest post 3 11 given the price differential between Asia Pacific consumers and those in North America In August the Diet passed legislation to promote the use of renewable energy sources and details on feed in tariffs and the eligibility of specific technologies will be fleshed out in the coming months Smart grids and micro grids could help improve the resiliency connectivity and capacity of Japan s electric power system Tohoku with so much of its infrastructure destroyed may become a demonstration hub for grid technologies Ms Nakano said Health Care J Stephen Morrison who directs the CSIS Global Health Policy Center said that after 3 11 over 170 medical emergency teams went to the Tohoku area to provide care These were your average docs who had signed themselves up much of that mobilization traced directly back to the lessons learned in Kobe in 1995 Over 1 300 health care facilities equaling 30 percent of the health care infrastructure were destroyed as were a vast number of paper medical records Practitioners from around the world offered their help GE Health s mobile clinics are up and running in three prefectures To address health care IT issues GE is working on integrated cloud computing for hospitals in the disaster area and on a 12 million provider system project to be launched at year s end The U S based Project Hope is working with the Health and Global Policy Institute in Tokyo and Iwate Prefecture authorities to arrange for Japanese speaking medical professionals to rotate through communities in Iwate The 3 11 crisis has exposed how weak our scientific knowledge is about a number of radiation risk factors including the impact of age and stage of development Dr Morrison continued This is an emerging global health issue that we had not seen with sufficient force before this happened In fact it has much broader import globally where you have 450 nuclear facilities many of them operating under circumstances far less favorable in terms of safety than certainly in Japan And you ve got another 60 under construction mostly in India China Russia and Brazil The task force report will recommend a rigorous international study by an international panel from Japan the U S Europe Asia and elsewhere to address the scientific issues and come up with core lessons in preparedness In Fukushima citizens anxieties had skyrocketed regarding the long term low dose exposure to themselves and their families Dr Morrison said We don t know how many people have moved and relocated out of Fukushima Prefecture but a safe estimate is probably in the 5 percent to 10 percent range with a sizeable portion still weighing their options mothers and children moving out fathers staying in place Even before 3 11

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/us-japan-cooperation-after-3-11-report-on-the-csis-keidanren-partnership-for-recovery-task-force (2016-02-14)
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  • US-Japan Cooperation after 3-11: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    a Corporate Member Current Corporate Members Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities Attend the Annual Dinner Foundations Government Space Rentals Articles Home Multimedia Articles US Japan Cooperation after 3 11 US Japan Cooperation after 3 11 REPORT ON THE CSIS KEIDANREN PARTNERSHIP FOR RECOVERY TASK FORCE October 26 2011 The Partnership for Recovery and a Stronger Future will work with Keidanren to produce a blueprint for joint action this fall that Michael Green will present at Japan Society Jane Nakano Fellow Energy and National Security Program Center for Strategic International Studies CSIS PDF Presentation Topics Policy Calendar of Events February 2016 S M T W Th F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Language Center Event Nihongo Chat Support Japan Society Become a Member Make a Donation Corporate Membership Corporate Sponsorship About Overview Brief History Board of Directors Staff Career Opportunities News Press Annual Report Space Rentals Programs Business Policy Education Family Film Gallery Innovators Network Language Center Performing Arts Talks Multimedia Articles Video Calendar Upcoming Events Here and There Press Press Releases Press Registration Support Overview Individual Corporations

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/us-japan-cooperation-after-3-11 (2016-02-14)
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  • What's Next? Change in Tokyo & the World Economy: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    is an ongoing nuclear disaster but still the political scene is one of boys playing in the sandbox The LDP s goal is to bring the DPJ down and force early elections Polls blame the DPJ for being unable to govern With control of the upper and lower houses split between the two parties bond legislation can t pass without the LDP s agreement not a situation that galvanizes lawmakers to action Ozawa meanwhile cares only about his own power and is like Shiva both creator and destroyer Lacking a strong standard bearer the DPJ at some point will undergo more splits Mr Katz concluded There can be no political stability without economic stability structural reform and a commitment to reform Japan has no political institutions to do this even though there are a handful of radical bureaucrats who would be disposed to pursue reform if they could Reform will take happen eventually but further in the future not now Will China help lead the world out of recession asked Ann Lee a senior fellow at Demos who earlier in her career spent 12 years as a credit derivatives trader The leadership in China is raising interest rates and taking other actions to cool down the economy Chinese consumers are buying more cars made by Chinese companies so German auto exports to China are down The rise in interest rates including Shibor will reduce China s GDP growth rate from 10 percent to around 9 percent in her view but won t result in a hard landing The plan is to shift to a more service based economy but this will take time and training There are debates going on in China over how to respond to the financing needs of countries abroad China probably will do what Buffett did in aiding Goldman Sachs at the start of the financial crisis in 2008 offer a lifeline but on extortionist terms Ms Lee said Debate begins today in the U S Senate on a bill to allow the imposition of import tariffs on China as a currency manipulator Still in a loosening of China s currency policies holders can now exchange and deposit their RMB in London as well as in Hong Kong and Singapore Q A with the audience followed What about the delinking of Japan and China are Japanese companies now moving to China because of the 3 11 catastrophes Richard Katz said that Japan will develop stronger relations with China but not necessarily China with Japan Japan is an important source of technology for China but there are others China is not acting dependent on Japan s good will or on any other country s good will for that matter China spends more on its police forces than on its navy army and other military Ann Lee pointed out It s true that if you watch CCTV you see constant reports on the Philippines India and Japan reflecting China s worry about Western intentions in the Far East

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/whats-next-change-in-tokyo-the-world-economy (2016-02-14)
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  • Greed vs. Fear: Making Sense of the Market Crash: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    of the RMB will help some as will again long term development of China s shale gas reserves probably the world s largest Half of China s exports still come from relatively unskilled labor but China has begun to do things like exporting ships and ultimately automobiles instead of just exporting steel So that s making much higher valued added exports out of the same dollar of imported raw material The country s patent applications are growing much more rapidly than either Japan s or the U S China leads the world in wind and solar technologies and is moving into aerospace All in all Mr Ross said China s growth may slow to 8 percent or maybe even 7 percent as the malaise in the West spreads It won t be the 9 percent to 10 percent of recent years but I really don t see that a collapse is imminent The European sovereign debt and the global equity markets I believe have priced in very bearish scenarios So unless things truly spiral out of control the worst is probably over for the markets Mr Ross concluded My long term approach is to try to decide which stocks have a real long term future and buy when they seem closer to the bottom than the top I believe that eventually greed will prevail over fear And if I m wrong there will be a different speaker here next year Benn Steil of the Council on Foreign Relations who moderated the discussion posed the first questions What can we reasonably expect between now and the election next year The markets will focus for example on the deficit commission which is supposed to report in November on a plan for 1 5 trillion in new deficit reduction Even if the commission comes up with a consensus unlikely in view of its members opposing ideologies there is a high probability that it will be ignored anyway Mr Ross replied Assuming Congress fails to meet its December deadline I m not so sure that those automatic cuts are very intelligently distributed None of this adds up anything like a stimulus program in any event When S P downgraded U S sovereign debt in August we had the financial media saying that our borrowing costs would surge Instead we had a major stock market selloff and a so called flight to safety a flight to U S sovereign debt How does one make sense of this I felt it would be bad for equities because it would frighten people but that there would be the flight to quality so called quality in the debt markets Mr Ross said The simultaneous flight to Treasuries and to gold was contradictory It seemed to me that the market was just groping for where do they hide from equities If a Greek default is inevitable how do we actually put up firewalls around it Because a Greek default is one thing A Spanish default or an Italian default

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/greed-vs-fear-making-sense-of-the-market-crash (2016-02-14)
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  • Japanese Companies & U.S. Employment Law Liability: How to Avoid Court & Stay Out of the Headlines: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    Hoey continued Sometimes there are points where you have to basically fight it or else every single person you fire is going to expect a big payout and that just is not a reasonable way to do business Comments that might be perceived as joking calling an older employee grandpa or over the hill referring to new blood dinosaurs sweetie cutie pie will be considered discriminatory under U S law Notice that all of these comments grandpa over the hill dinosaurs what are they about They re about the person right Not about the work What about generational differences in terms of experience For example it s often said that younger people know more about social networking How do you navigate that asked Devin Stewart of Japan Society Ms Hoey replied You can say to an individual We re not going to put you in charge of the Facebook platform if like me you haven t yet figured out how to post a picture on Facebook but you might say You can write the blog content because I know conceptually how to write the blog content I just can t post it Everyone has their function and I think you just have to determine what the right function is Sometimes suppositions are made that an older employee isn t going to be able to work with the computer with a sophisticated software program with Facebook not only are they not going to be able to work with it we can t even bother trying to teach them because they re not going to be able to learn a new trick And those kinds of suppositions in fact are illegal Mr Berkowitz added And it s not proper to decide that you re not going to put an older worker on a team Obviously as Barbara says you want somebody who knows the area But there may be times when we re going to have to offer training to somebody if they don t understand something Another example Ms Hoey said is an employer assuming that a newlywed woman who s talking about starting a family won t want to do the traveling that would be required by a promotion and giving the promotion to a man who s not in that position That s an assumption and that s an assumption that equals gender discrimination You can t make assumptions about people People need to be offered the opportunities that match their skills not the opportunities that match their age race national origin gender Harassment in the workplace which is treated as a form of discrimination can be complicated Ms Hoey said Quid pro quo harassment you need to go out with me or you re not going to get the promotion is simple because it s obvious and it s obviously illegal Hostile environment harassment isn t as easy to define but it s really about two words respect and professionalism It s about respecting other people s differences not making fun of someone because their food smells funny or why do they take that day off from work or is that a religious holiday or how many religious holidays do those people have what are you kidding me It can be about any protected category not just gender And it s not necessarily abusive conduct it s just disrespectful conduct The cases tell us a straightforward lesson If you get an email with a joke that you wouldn t want displayed in court to a jury don t circulate it What helps is training not just for staff who ve come from your home country but for American staff as well Training is both a preventive step and a defense in a lawsuit When it comes to discipline you need to be consistent and objective and to document what you tell the employee I have tried cases and after the trial have polled juries and what they will tell you is particularly with a company of any size a jury expects you to have your evidence in writing Ms Hoey said Email is fine today something telling the employee what they did wrong and how to fix it before you then take the next step and discipline them It s a matter of fairness and proof Another complex area is retaliation Mr Hathaway noted The courthouse is full of jury verdicts where the jury has found in favor of the company on discrimination but against the company on retaliation For a retaliation claim the employee only has to show that he or she had a reasonable belief that discrimination of some kind has occurred there s no requirement that the employee prove that discrimination actually took place A problem I have seen representing Japanese companies for over 20 years is a hesitation to confront a bad performer he said To avoid conflict companies manage around the employee and so the employee gets carried year to year to year and doesn t really have any serious responsibility If they re not told and you re managing around the employee the employee feels isolated and one day looks in the mirror and says Why is this Maybe it s because I m black Or Maybe it s because I m old Or Maybe it s because I m not Japanese Or Maybe it s because I m gay And then the employee comes forward and says I think there s a problem here in this company I think I m being discriminated against And now the manager goes wild The manager thinks I ve been carrying this idiot for four years How dare this person claim discrimination And the natural instinct on the manager s part is to fire the person There has been no discrimination whatsoever but there has been retaliation That s how retaliation happens in a practical way Ms Hoey said that in the U S employees may not like hearing it but they do expect to

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/japanese-companies-us-employment-law-liability-how-to-avoid-court-stay-out-of-the-headlines (2016-02-14)
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  • Reimagining Japan: The Quest for a Future that Works: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    people who are willing to experiment and a capital base out there that is willing to take some risks he said Professor Curtis agreed and said he d add something seemingly minor but significant namely a system of universal ID numbers which up to now Japan has considered an unacceptable invasion of privacy Universal IDs cut down on tax evasion They could help make sure that people who were near Fukushima on 3 11 get regular health follow ups even if they ve moved away India is a good example of what can be done having just adopted a fingerprint and iris scan system for its own huge population Ending the one size fits all approach of the Japanese bureaucracy would also be a priority he said Beppu a scenic tourist destination on the island of Kyushu should be an excellent site for a whole spectrum of assisted living facilities to aid Japan s aging population But this can t happen because the Health and Welfare Ministry in an effort to treat each region equally limits the number of beds for the elderly that any one town can have Mr Graves urged the expansion of Japan s workforce to include more women and more immigrants not so much from China but from India Latin America and the Middle East where the demographic is young He would also boost tourism including medical tourism which has become important in Thailand as well as ecotourism and creative tourism Probably the only way for any of these things to happen is for Japan to have a real crisis such as a collapse of the bond market Professor Curtis commented Though Japan has been in the doldrums for 20 odd years the unemployment rate is half of what it is in the United States The living standards are high There is growing income disparity but nothing compared to the obscene income disparities that we see in our country You saw in Tohoku that people take care of each other Local communities are strong So if you are Japanese yeah you wish things were better but is it really so bad For a lot of people it s not so bad and it may be that the only way it gets better is if it gets so bad That s where political leaders come in They have to explain that we cannot let that happen Nobody wants to do that Whether you can accomplish it is another issue Q A with the audience followed For Mr Sanger how would you evaluate the new cabinet s capability Cabinet members in Japan like most in the U S very very rarely cut a new and separate path by themselves Mr Sanger said The real question isn t how an individual minister is going to perform but what the country is going to do about fundamental issues like protected markets and immigration policy And for Professor Curtis What do you think about the differences between this government and the

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/reimagining-japan-the-quest-for-a-future-that-works (2016-02-14)
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