Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
Elaine's Feed
Mar 24, 2011

Japan nuclear plant overshadows future of nearby towns

TOKYO/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Millions of Tokyoites are worried about radiation in tap water or in the air, but the thousands of people living in the shadow of Japan’s stricken nuclear plant have another fear: it may force them to abandon their homes for years, if not forever.

More than 70,000 people have already been evacuated from an area within 20 km (12 miles) of the plant, and another 130,000 are within a zone extending a further 10 km (6 miles) in which residents are recommended to stay indoors. They too could be forced to leave their homes if the evacuation is extended due to worsening radiation levels.

Mar 24, 2011

Nuclear plant shadows future of neighboring towns

TOKYO/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Millions of Tokyoites are worried about radiation in tapwater or in the air, but the thousands of people living in the shadow of Japan’s stricken nuclear plant have another fear: it may force them to abandon their homes for years, if not forever.

More than 70,000 people have already been evacuated from an area within 20 km (12 miles) of the plant, and another 130,000 are within a zone extending a further 10 km in which residents are recommended to stay indoors. They too could be forced to leave their homes if the evacuation is extended due to worsening radiation levels.

Mar 24, 2011

Book Talk: What happens when society turns on you

TOKYO (Reuters) – Masaharu Aoyagi is meeting a college friend in his car for a brief chat by the side of the road. But as they talk, the Japanese Prime Minister is blown up just blocks away — and Aoyagi becomes the top suspect.

His life turned upside down, the former package delivery man and hero of Kotaro Isaka’s “Remote Control” is forced to run as a net of media and police closes relentlessly around him for no reason he can understand.

Mar 19, 2011

Japan sees some stabilization in nuclear crisis

TOKYO (Reuters) – One of six tsunami-crippled nuclear reactors appeared to stabilize on Saturday as Japan raced to restore power to the stricken power plant to cool it and prevent a greater catastrophe.

Engineers reported some rare success after fire trucks sprayed water for about three hours on reactor No.3, widely considered the most dangerous at the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex because of its use of highly toxic plutonium.

Mar 19, 2011

Japan quake fails to put an end to political feuding

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan tried and failed on Saturday to form a crisis cabinet to tackle its biggest challenge since World War Two, unable to overcome a political divide even in the face of an epic natural disaster.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan had planned to sound out the opposition about joining a grand coalition to handle reconstruction policy after last week’s quake, tsunami and the ongoing nuclear crisis, but the leader of the largest opposition party rejected the idea out of hand.

Mar 19, 2011

Japan PM considers “grand coalition” to tackle quake

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan plans to sound out the opposition on joining a grand coalition to handle reconstruction policy following last week’s quake and tsunami and amid the ongoing nuclear crisis.

Before the disaster hit, opposition parties were pressing Kan to call a snap election by refusing to help enact vital budget bills, while rivals in Kan’s own party were plotting to force their unpopular leader to quit to improve their fortunes.

Mar 18, 2011

“Chernobyl solution” may be last resort for Japan reactors

TOKYO (Reuters) – A “Chernobyl solution” may be the last resort for dealing with Japan’s stricken nuclear plant, but burying it in sand and concrete is a messy fix that might leave part of the country as an off-limits radioactive sore for decades.

Japanese authorities say it is still too early to talk about long-term measures while cooling the plant’s six reactors and associated fuel-storage pools, comes first.

Mar 17, 2011

Nagasaki survivor calmly waits out nuclear crisis in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Kazuko Yamashita was five when the atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, destroying her home in a second and leaving her with a lifelong fear that every time she becomes ill, this time it is finally cancer.

Now, 66 years later, she wears a dark pink sweater, her dyed hair in a neat bob, and waits out Japan’s current nuclear crisis in her daughter’s Tokyo home, a two-storey house she also shares with her two granddaughters who play on a sofa behind her.

Mar 17, 2011

Book Talk: Three sisters in a house of Shakespeare

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – Meet Rosalind, Bianca and Cordelia, sisters who, like many siblings, profess mutual love but sometimes don’t like each other that much.

These three heroines of Eleanor Brown’s debut novel, “The Weird Sisters,” grew up in a house dominated by their professor father, who specializes in Shakespeare studies, named his girls for Shakespearean heroines and communicates — sometimes hilariously, often cryptically — through Shakespeare quotations.

Mar 17, 2011

Technological changes may lead to “reading divide”

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – The rapid rise of e-books could lead to a “reading divide” as those unable to afford the new technology are left behind, even as U.S. reading and writing skills decline still further.

At particular threat are African-American communities where many students are already falling behind their majority peers in terms of literacy, said award-winning writer Marita Golden — and this despite the growing ranks of noted African-American writers, such as Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison.