The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 42. 2012   

October 15, 2012   
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 Andre Vltchek, It Is Not Chittagong Here - It Is Indonesia 


Madura Island, poor, uneducated, extremely religious, famous for its brutal buffalo races and clinking bundles of gold on the wrists and necks of local women.   

Now for a short time, this island that begins just a mile from the shores of the second largest Indonesian city - Surabaya - made it to the local and international press. Two Shiite men were murdered by a machete-waving crowd of bigots belonging to the Sunni majority. In the single hamlet of Nanggernang (Karang Gayam village), in the center of the island, some 50 houses were destroyed, most of them burned down.   


Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His book on Western imperialism in South Pacific is Oceania and is available here. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and its market-fundamentalist model, is "Indonesia - The Archipelago of Fear".


He recently produced and directed the 160 minutes documentary film "Rwandan Gambit" about the pro-Western regime of Paul Kagame and its plunder of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and "One Flew Over Dadaab" about the world's biggest refugee camp.   


Recommended citation: Andre Vltchek, "It Is Not Chittagong Here - It Is Indonesia," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 10, Issue 43, October 22, 2012.

Roger Pulvers, So, fat cats and a blue caterpillar will save Japan from nuclear hell. OK

If you visit the Alice Pavillion at the Shika nuclear power plant in the town of Shika, Ishikawa Prefecture, you will be happily entertained by Prof. Aomushi (Blue Caterpillar), who, water pipe in mouth, sits in the sun and, together with Alice, "teaches you about radiation."
What those friendly cartoon characters will not teach you, though, are facts about the geological fault that, in all likelihood, is active under the plant's No. 1 reactor.
The government gave Hokuriku Electric Power Co. - the plant's owner and operator - the go-ahead to start construction in 1988, "after (the company's) underground surveys did not detect any active faults." The No. 1 reactor was commissioned in 1993, and a second reactor went on line in 2006.

This is a slightly supplemented version of an article appeared in the Japan Times on October 21, 2012.
Roger Pulvers is an American-born Australian author, playwright, theatre director and translator living in Japan. An Asia-Pacific Journal associate, he has published 40 books in Japanese and English and, in 2008, was the recipient of the Miyazawa Kenji Prize. He is the translator of Kenji Miyazawa, Strong in the Rain: Selected Poems. The Dream of Lafcadio Hearn is his most recent book.

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