Originally Posted by Bergermeister
About the rebuilding... Discussions are proceeding, albeit not quickly, and sadly, the central government, currently with power in a not so intellectually endowed group, isn't helping to expedite things.
Japan has a population roughly half that of the US. Japan has a land area roughly the size of California. Over 75% of the land is too mountainous to use.
I urge any of you who is interested to use Google Earth to fly over the impacted areas to get a feel for the terrain. Most of Japan is mountainous, leaving precious little space usually along the coast for people to live, thus creating a recipe for disaster. Find Tokyo, go east over to the coast, and move north to the tip of the main island (Honshu). With an eye height of 20 kilometers, you can see a lot fast. Or search for KESENNUMA and look around there (well north of the nuke plant and closer to where the larger waves were).
Many areas are considering moving to higher ground but that means flattening out some mountains. They are thinking to use the coastal areas for farming and industry. Of course, the ports for fishing. How to ensure safety in the low areas? Evacuation routes need to be secured and practiced. Some sturdy buildings may be used as evac shelters. Some researchers are looking hard into the survivability of buildings; last year, some buildings made it through the tsunami while others, once thought to be sturdy, were uprooted or crushed.
Then there is the problem of debris. There is quite a bit of it and some is contaminated, requiring all to be checked before any other areas will accept it. A slow process.
Yes, most of the reactors are off-line and if I'm not wrong, the other two will go off in the next couple of months. Talks are underway to get a couple up and running, but resistance is strong. Sadly, businesses are leaving. The companies will survive, but the people and regions may not. There has been some talk about getting large companies with large plots of land to install generators, but that seems to have faded. A kind of apathy seems to be developing and it is worrisome.
I go back to the government. The current ruling party is a disaster unto itself and that makes the whole recovery that much harder. In fact, it is so depressing to watch, I have no resistance remaining to watch the wild show that is the GOP primaries back in the States. I can't take both so I follow that which impacts me the most. Many here, though, are deeply worried about the GOP regaining power in the US after watching the rhetoric of the primary runs and the GOP's antics since Obama took office. Japan depends greatly upon the US so they want a stable US.