Sunday, February 9, 2014

Japan hit by heaviest snowstorm in 78 years ! More than 10 inches blanket Tokyo , almost 14 inches hit Sendai and more than 17 inches hit Fukushima ! 11 deaths and 1,253 injured by this hghly unusual storm - so much for the " end of snow " tripe spouted by the global warming crowd ! Ask the folks here in the US or the folks in Japan whether we have seen the end of snow ?



A woman walks past bicycles covered with snow at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district in Tokyo February 8, 2014.  REUTERS/Toru Hanai

A woman walks past bicycles covered with snow at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district in Tokyo February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai


A woman holds onto a damaged umbrella due to strong winds during a heavy snowfall in Tokyo February 8, 2014.  REUTERS/Toru Hanai
A woman holds onto a damaged umbrella due to strong winds during a heavy snowfall in Tokyo February 8, 2014. REUTERS/ToruHana


People walk in a park during a heavy snowfall in Tokyo February 8, 2014.  REUTERS/Toru Hanai
People walk in a park during a heavy snowfall in Tokyo February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai


Children make a snowman at a park during a snowfall in Tokyo February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Children make a snowman at a park during a snowfall in Tokyo February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai


People walk on a street during a heavy snowfall in Asakusa district in Tokyo February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino
People walk on a street during a heavy snowfall in Asakusa district in Tokyo February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino



Visitors take photos at the Imperial Palace as snow falls in Tokyo February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Visitors take photos at the Imperial Palace as snow falls in Tokyo February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai


Junichiro Koizumi, former Japanese Prime Minister and a supporter of former Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, a candidate in the Tokyo gubernatorial election, waves to voters atop a van while campaigning for the February 9 vote during a heavy snowfall at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district February 8, 2014.  REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Junichiro Koizumi, former Japanese Prime Minister and a supporter of former Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, a candidate in the Tokyo gubernatorial election, waves to voters atop a van while campaigning for the February 9 vote during a heavy snowfall at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai


Voters listen to an election campaign speech by former Japanese Prime Minister and candidate in the Tokyo gubernatorial election Morihiro Hosokawa while campaigning for the February 9 vote during a heavy snowfall at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district February 8, 2014.  REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Voters listen to an election campaign speech by former Japanese Prime Minister and candidate in the Tokyo gubernatorial election Morihiro Hosokawa while campaigning for the February 9 vote during a heavy snowfall at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai



Flowers are covered with snow in Tokyo February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Flowers are covered with snow in Tokyo February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai









http://rt.com/news/japan-worst-snowstorm-decades-260/


The heaviest snowstorm in nearly half a century in Tokyo and other areas of Japan has caused a rash of snow-linked accidents, resulting in nearly a dozen deaths and injuring more than a thousand people.
Up to 27 centimeters (10.6 inches) of snow was recorded in Tokyo by late Saturday, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years, according to meteorologists.
Approximately 35 centimeters (13.8 inches) of snow was dumped on the northeastern city of Sendai as a depression moved along the Pacific coast on Saturday, resulting in the heaviest snowfall in 78 years. Fukushima was also blanketed in 44 centimeters (17.3 inches of snow.)
A jetliner of Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) taxis at Tokyo's Haneda airport covered by the snow on February 8, 2014 (AFP Photo / Kazuhiro Nogi)
A jetliner of Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) taxis at Tokyo's Haneda airport covered by the snow on February 8, 2014 (AFP Photo / Kazuhiro Nogi)
Local media now report that at least eleven people have been killed in snow-linked accidents – mostly caused by drivers crashing after losing control on the icy roads. In central Aichi prefecture, a 50-year-old man died after his car lost traction and slammed into a billboard, AFP reports, citing a local rescuer.
NHK reported at least 1,253 people have been injured nationwide, many of whom slipped and fell while shoveling the snow off their roofs.
A woman walks in a park near the Imperial Palace as snow falls in Tokyo February 8, 2014 (Reuters / Toru Hanai)
A woman walks in a park near the Imperial Palace as snow falls in Tokyo February 8, 2014 (Reuters / Toru Hanai)
Meanwhile, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said that as of 6 am local time, more than 20,000 households in Ibaraki and Chiba prefecture were without power, the Japanese public broadcaster reports. The heavy snowfall and wind are believed to have caused the power outages.
The inclement weather has also disrupted air travelers, with over 200 domestic flights being canceled on Sunday. Around 5,000 travelers flying internationally were forced to spend the night in Tokyo Narita Airport because of the weather. Train services in the capital were also disrupted.
Weather officials say that more snow, strong winds and high waves are expected on Sunday.
Visitors take photos at the Imperial Palace as snow falls in Tokyo February 8, 2014 (Reuters / Toru Hanai)
Visitors take photos at the Imperial Palace as snow falls in Tokyo February 8, 2014 (Reuters / Toru Hanai)
The massive snowstorms come as the Tokyo gubernatorial election commenced on Sunday. The former governor, Naoki Inose, was forced to resign in December over a political funds related scandal.
Major candidates include former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, former health minister Yoichi Masuzoe, former Air Self-Defense Force chief Toshio Tamogami, and Kenji Utsunomiya, former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, Kyodo News Reports.
Octogenarian inventor, Yoshiro Nakamatsu, is also running for the governor's post for the seventh time, along with Kazuma Ieiri, a 35-year-old company executive who is crowd sourcing policy ideas from citizens.
The hotly contested race could be damped by the weather, however, with observers saying heavy snowfall could affect turnout in the city of 13 million people.




http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/02/09/national/worst-blizzard-in-45-years-claims-seven-1000-hurt/




After freezing Tokyo transportation, storm heads north to Tohoku

Worst blizzard in 45 years claims seven; 1,000 hurt

KYODO, STAFF REPORT
Saturday’s blizzard, the worst to hit the Tokyo area in almost half a century, is being blamed for seven deaths nationwide and more than 1,000 people being injured as accumulations continued to disrupt transportation on Sunday.
The heavy snow that blanketed eastern Japan halted most of the capital’s rail lines Saturday.
Trains and highway buses to and from Narita airport in Chiba Prefecture were halted from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, forcing about 8,200 passengers to shelter overnight in the lobbies until Sunday morning. The airport distributed sleeping bags and snacks to them.
NHK reported that snow-related accidents nationwide left seven people dead and over 1,000 injured Saturday and Sunday.
The heaviest snow in the capital in 45 years forced cancellations to continue into Sunday morning, including on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line as well as some flights at Haneda airport, according to their operators.
Snow up to 35 cm deep covered Sendai, the largest city in the Tohoku region, and Fukushima, which had gotten 44 cm by morning. Winds were clocked at up to 60.84 kph in Miyagi Prefecture, the Meteorological Agency said.
The snow had stopped falling in Tokyo by Sunday morning and was already starting to melt amid the relatively warm, sunny day.
Many Tokyoites, enjoying rare views of snow-covered neighborhoods, created snowmen and posted photos on Twitter and Facebook over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the snowy streets apparently discouraged many Tokyo voters from going to the polls, pushing down turnout for the gubernatorial election the same day.
Voter turnout was 20.52 percent as of noon Sunday, down 11.54 points from the same time in the previous election in December 2012.
For Sunday, the agency warned of heavy snow in Tohoku, very strong winds in Kanto and Tohoku regions centered on coastal areas, and stormy seas.






SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2014

(OT) (UPDATED) 27-Centimeter Deep Snow in Tokyo on Gubernatorial Election Day


(UPDATE-4) As soon as voting ended at 8PM, February 9, 2014, "Mr. Yoichi Masuzoe has secured victory" splashed across major news outlets. The sleaze won.

(UPDATE-3) As of 4PM, the voting rate remains well below the previous election, at 24.54%, 11% lower than the previous election, according to Yomiuri Shinbun.

(UPDATE-2) NHK reports that the absentee votes were also 7% less than the last time.

(UPDATE) As of noon on February 9, 2014, the voting rate is 7.86% (men 9.03%, women 6.73%), according to the official Tokyo Metropolitan Election Commission. The same time in the last gubernatorial election, the voting rate was 17.62%.

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That's the heaviest snowfall for Tokyo in 20 years, says Asahi Shinbun (2/9/2014).

So much so that someone took out his pair of ski to coast on slushy snow in central Ginza (photo taken by Nikken Shinbun's photographer):

I hear that there is a strict set of rules in Japan's Public Election Law regarding the Internet-based campaign which was hastily complied in 2012. For example, you cannot use the candidate's name (supposedly full name) you support in your tweet on the election day to urge your followers to vote for him.

The turnout will probably be low, benefiting the candidate backed by LDP/Komei/labor union, despite his money scandal (250 million yen, as opposed to ex-Governor Inose's puny 50 million), domestic violence allegations from several of his many wives and girlfriends, non-payment of child alimony to one of his children out of wedlock, lies about taking care of his aging mother, etc., etc., and the latest scandal of bribing the voters in Tokyo with 2020 Tokyo Olympic badges (not for sale).

If he wins, I have a sense that there may be another Tokyo gubernatorial election in the not-to-distant future. Possibly in less than one year.

As for me, I liked many of the policies (120 of them in fact) by this young entrepreneur candidate, including the one about abolishing the minimum wage:

and I would have voted for the former prime minister wearing the green down jacket below, for his strong, fact-based conviction that Tokyo should move beyond nuclear as one of the largest consumers of electricity in Japan, in order to grow and prosper (but he's not the one who's running):