Japan’s earthquake, and Tsunami
March 21, 2011 – On Monday, March 14th, 2011, I was emailing back and forth with Peter Wells, an oil analyst and asked him about Japan. Wells thinks Japan will clean up, mourn and get on with being Japan – they have the means, the organization, and the national coherence to do so. The Japanese economy will take a bath for a while and then there will be some soul searching decisions about nuclear energy. If they decide to go off nuclear, demand for LNG in Asia-Pacific will get a big boost. Because of Qatar acting as the switch Atlantic-Asia producer, there will be a knock-on for natural gas prices in the UK and Europe western seaboard.
Wells went on to say that Oil now has a $10 a barrel premium for political risk plus another $10 or so for the loss of 2 million barrels per day of spare capacity in Libya. We might see double-digit oil prices again, but it will take Libya back on to cool the market. Guesswork on Libya right now – could be months before they come back on, could be years.
Another friend in the garment business told me that the Japanese Car manufactures will be closed, that they don’t have a fix on when they will re-start production. The east side of Japan is short of electric power and short of fuel. The shops were hurt because of the Tsunami.
Bloomberg’s Jason Clenfield wrote an article entitled, Japan Nuclear Disaster Caps Decades of Faked Reports, Accidents. In the March 17, 2011 article Mit’suhiko Tanaka, 67, was an engineer at Babcock Hitachi K.K., and helped design and supervise the manufacture of a $250 million steel pressure vessel for Tokyo Electric in 1975. Today, that vessel holds the fuel rods in the core of the No. 4 reactor at Fukushima’s Dai-Ichi plant.
The article talked about a thirty-year cover-up, and how Tanaka tried to be heard, but wasn’t, until now.
This story, according to my friends there, is well known. It is only starting to be heard in the United States of America. It does make one question how transparent the Japanese Government and Tokyo Electric Power Company – TEPCO – are being to not just the Japanese, but to the world.
How are the car companies doing?
Started up five parts plants Monday. These plants will produce for overseas manufacturing. An engine plant has not been set into production yet.
Nissan will monitor radiation levels on the parts sent overseas.
Mazda has now decided to resume temporary production at both plants from Tuesday, March 22, producing replacement parts, parts for overseas production, and vehicles utilizing “in-process” inventories.
This temporary resumption of operations will not affect recovery and relief activities in the areas affected by the earthquake. A decision on the resumption of full-scale production of both parts and vehicles will be made at a later date.
Is re-evaluating the number of parts they have and the effect it will have on production. They have already halted production of the pickups in Louisiana and are stopping overtime production on another line.
Lest we forget the most important part of this tragedy:
There are still almost 750,000 people in Northern Japan that are in shelters, or in their homes with no fuel or electricity. Help has been slow in getting to them. They still need our help.
A Facebook posting from a volunteer up in Sendai, “There are people laughing and being positive and dealing with the situation with things as best they can. They’re not slighting the tragedy but they are going on.”
Another Facebook friend said, “Don’t use ãŒã‚“ã°ã‚Œï¼(Advice from some people who lived through Kobe.) The people who are ganbaru-ing are doing the best they can. And are getting tired. “I am always with you” is a nicer phrase.”
It’s also nice to say “Hayaku yoku naru to ii desu ne.” We hope things get better soon.
Listen to John Batchelor, host of the John Batchelor radio show and Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, www.drivingthenation.com talk about Japan.