Japan

Parallels
7:24 am
Tue March 11, 2014

In Tsunami's Wake, Fierce Debate Over Japan's 'Great Wall'

Workers build a concrete barrier along the coast of suburban Kesennuma, northeastern Japan, which was hard hit by the devastating tsunami in 2011. Nationwide, Japan has poured concrete to defend nearly half of its shoreline. Critics say much of it is unnecessary.
Lucy Craft for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 9:28 am

Three years after the massive tsunami that ravaged northeastern Japan, the government is building the biggest anti-tsunami barriers ever.

The vast network of supersized sea walls, mocked by some as "the Great Wall of Japan," is already underway and would stretch 230 miles and cost nearly $8 billion.

The wall is designed to protect places like the small port city of Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture. With its dramatic hills, white fishing boats and seafood market, Kesennuma has the pleasant nautical feel of Seattle.

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World Views
4:30 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

World Views: December 6, 2013

Listen to the entire December 6, 2013 episode.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss China 's move to grab airspace over the East China Sea, and ongoing protests in Ukraine over a jailed political leader, and a scuttled trade pact with the European Union.

The Dallas Morning News Mexico Bureau Chief Alfredo Corchado joins Grillot to talk about his 20-year career. His memoir Midnight in Mexico chronicles his coverage of the country’s war against the drug cartels.

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World Views
11:29 am
Fri December 6, 2013

China Resolved To Enforce Air Defense Zone

Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after their meeting in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday.
Credit William Ng / U.S. Department of State

China says it is fully capable of enforcing its newly-declared maritime air defense zone above disputed islands in the East China Sea that has drawn strong denunciations from the U.S., Japan and other nations.

“They're [the islands] not all that impressive, but they happen to be on top of what looks like oil reserves or natural gas,” says Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies. “There are a lot of people in this part of the world that are needing energy, and the demand there rises, so this becomes about resources, and about power.”

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World Views
4:30 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

World Views: September 6, 2013

Listen to the entire September 6, 2013 episode.

Joshua Landis, Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot talk about the fear in Japan that the amount of contaminated water at the Fukushima nuclear power plant is getting out of hand, and increasing number of attacks and violence against women in India.

Later, a conversation with about indigenous people and issues in Guatemala with Francisco Calí. He’s the only indigenous member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

World Views
11:00 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Japanese Fishing Feels Fallout From Fukushima

A Japanese fisherman prepares Sanma from Hokkaido - August 7, 2011
Credit Jamie Williams / Flickr Creative Commons

South Korea is banning all fish imports from Japan's Fukushima region because of what it calls growing public worry over radiation contamination that has reportedly prompted a sharp decline in fish consumption.

“They're trying to rebuild after all of this, and there [are] still contaminants there,” University of Oklahoma College of International Studies Assistant Dean and comparative politics expert Rebecca Cruise told KGOU’s World Views. “The fishing industry is almost devastated and they still have people that are displaced from these events.”

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