Early this month we had a bit of good news with the gold found at the Suwa treatment facility, however, with the still grim economic situation trhoughout the world we shouldn’t be surprised that there is more bad news for Japan and those dabbling in the Japan market.
According to government reports last week showed that the Japanese economy for the last quarter has shrunk the most since the last big oil crisis of 1974. The week ended pretty weak as well with the Yen and stocks. The Yen is said to have fallen due to the Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa’s resignation. The Topix index also ended with a dismal record of having the lowest close in 25 years.
The government is doing its best to revive growth by focusing on selling more debt. There was a positive respones, which is the good news we end with, since the week ended with the highest 20-year bond yield (that means lots of people bought 20-year bonds) for the month. Of course people are still crossing their fingers hoping that when(or if?) the Japanese government’s 10 trillion yen stimulus plan is passed it will actually be effective in staving of the worst of this recession.
Posted February 26th, 2009 by Maki+ | Comment (1)
It is pretty believable when a man says that a baby might not be his but to hear a pregnant woman say that the baby she’s carrying might not be hers sounds incredoulous, however, that is exactly what happened in the Kagawa Prefectural Central Hospital.
Last September a woman in her early 20s became pregnant thanks to in vitro fertilisation. She was quite happy about it until medical tests suggested that it was very much unlikely that the eggs implanted in her uterus was hers. The woman opted for an abortion at nine weeks and is now seeking $215,000 as compensation for damages.
According to the hospital director, Yuzo Matsumoto, the mistake may have have happened because â€œ”the in vitro procedures are carried out in sequence one after the other… eggs from one procedure may have accidentally been left over and used in the following procedure.”
If you are planning on undergoing fertility treatments you shouldn’t really be scared about this happening since this incident is actually very uncommon. In fact, this is the first time an incident like this has been reported. To be on the safe side you might want to ask about the procedure followed by the clinic you’re visiting. A good clinic will always give you answers and if you are uncomfortable about anything then voice your concern or find another place and doctor to accommodate your needs.
Posted February 24th, 2009 by Maki+ | Comment (1)
The whole world was very much tuned in to the most recent US elections and Japan was no exception. One city in Japan has been most specially attentive and no wonder because this city’s name is OBAMA. Yes, just like the current US President Barack Obama’s name. Note though that the city of Obama long long before Barack Obama was even in diapers.
The city of Obama, which means â€œlittle beachâ€ in Japanese, in fact used to depend mostly on fishing for its main source of income. Now it has a thriving tourist industry thanks to world class products like the Wakasa lacquer ware, agate accessories, Wakasa paper, tiles, and their famous lacquered chopsticks. There are also plenty of sights to see with the city boasting more than 130 temples and Buddha statues that were made in the Heian and Kamakura eras.
We of course can not disregard the influence of the Obama name in drawing attention to this city, which gave their all out support for President Obama. This is town in fact is so enthusiastic about how things have turned for their favourite US president that the mayor has declared November 4 to be an annual holiday and even plans on putting up Obama’s statue in front of the city hall. Now, how’s that for being a huge fan?
Posted February 22nd, 2009 by Maki+ | Comment (0)
One manâ€™s garbage is another manâ€™s gold â€“ or so goes the saying. I doubt that the old adage was meant to be taken literally, though. But in Japan, things have developed in such a way that you can actually take this saying at face value!
According to news reports, which have created much commotion by the way, more gold has been found in a sewage treatment facility than in some of the best gold mines in the world. The sewage treatment facility, called Suwa, is located in Nagano prefecture, northwest of Tokyo. The Telegraph has this story:
Tens of thousands of pounds worth of gold has been found at the Suwa treatment facility in the past year, with more than 1,890 grammes of gold per tonne of ash recorded from incinerated sludge.
The gold yield significantly surpasses levels at Japan’s Hishikari Mine, one of the world’s leading gold mines, where 20 to 40 grammes of the precious metal are found per tonne of ore.
The unexpected presence of soaring levels of gold in sewage has been attributed to the high concentration of precision equipment manufacturers using the precious metal in the Nagano region.
But that is not the end of the story! Apparently, one can also find gold from other sources aside from the treatment facility. The same principle applies â€“ equipment and other materials contain gold and other precious metals like silver and when people get rid of them, they all go to the high tech waste dumps. Once there, they are open for the taking.
Now who would have thought about that?
Posted February 5th, 2009 by Maki+ | Comments (2)
Although we know that Japan is prone to earthquakes, many might not know that the nation is also home to many volcanoes. There has not been a major volcanic eruption in the recent years but early today, one of Japanâ€™s most active volcanoes awoke and spewed ash and rocks.
Mount Asama stands at 2,568 meters tall and started rumbling today. It is located about 90 miles from the city of Tokyo but the eruption was strong enough to send some light clouds of ash down its way. The good news is that despite the amount of ash and rocks coming from the volcano, no damages or injuries have been reported.
The last major eruption of Mount Asama was in 2004. That eruption was not that serious either. It only spewed enough ash to damage some local crops. This was not the case when it erupted in 1783, though, as about 1,500 people were back then.
Mount Asama is not the only volcano in Japan that seems to be making noise these days. According to the authorities, Mount Sakurajima, another volcano found in the southwestern part of Japan has also been showing signs of activity. The same thing has been observed of Karymsky, located in the Russian Kamchatka peninsula. These activities are only classified as minor eruptions, however.
Some additional information on Japan, its volcanoes,and seismic activityâ€¦the country is part of the seismic ring of fault lines in the Pacific. It is also home to about 108 active volcanoes â€“ a whopping 10% of the worldâ€™s total number of volcanoes!
Posted February 2nd, 2009 by Maki+ | Comment (1)