For the second week in a row, a large snow storm hit the Kanto region of Japan. For most Tokyoites, life is returning back to normal. Snow doesn’t block the roads in the city, and a lot of the snow from Friday and Saturday is already melted.
(An aerial view of Yamanashi – click to view full photo)
However, in nearby Yamanashi prefecture, things are much more serious. As opposed to the 27 centimeters of snow that fell in Tokyo, Yamanashi got about 114 centimeters (45 inches), and it has completely crippled the prefecture’s transportation system and left convenience store shelves bare.
According to news reports today(the 17th), hundreds of people remain stranded inside trains on the Chuo line. JR is apparently distributing emergency food, so they have been able to eat something since Valentine’s Day.
Members of the Ground Self-Defense Forces have been deployed with shovels and snow-clearing equipment to clear roads and rescue people whose cars were stranded on snowy roads. It seems that it will be at least a few more days before life is back to normal in Yamanashi…
South Korean Olympic speed skater Mo Tae-bum arrived at Sochi carrying a bizarre suitcase [via GetNews.jp]:
It was basically a rolling advertisement for Korea’s territorial claim to the Liancourt Rocks.
Do you know?
DOKDO BELONGS TO KOREA
Political statements are banned at the Olympics, and this is clearly a political statement. However, since his expression of anti-Japanese nationalism was on a suitcase at the airport, as opposed to the actual ice rink, the authorities don’t seem to care much about it. There aren’t any English language media reports about the suitcase, and the story only seems to have appeared on a few Japanese internet news sites and blogs.
Is it fair to call this anti-Japanese? Yes. It is a statement made in the context of directly challenging Japan’s claim that Korea has illegally occupied the rocks. Merely believing that the rocks belong to Korea is one thing, but turning your luggage into a loud proclamation of Korea’s ownership of the islands is another matter. In the context of the ongoing dispute over the rocks, it cannot be seen something that is not anti-Japanese.
(For readers who are unfamiliar with the dispute: Japan has maintained a single position since the 1950′s – it believes the islands are Japanese territory, and it seeks third-party arbitration of the dispute through the International Court of Justice. It is not an aggressive or militaristic position. It is a peaceful position based on the idea that disputes can be settled through peaceful discussion. Some Koreans who defend their government’s decision to not agree to abitration make the ridiculous claim, without evidence, that the International Court of Justice is a corrupt body that would side with Japan even if Korea had a better case. )
According to a Japanese translation of a Korean news article, a few ultra-nationalists in South Korea don’t like Valentine’s Day:
At a protest held on February 12th in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, Korean ultra-nationalists threw chocolate bars at photos of Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe and Ito Hirobumi.
It turns out that February 14th is the anniversary of the 1910 Japanese court decision to sentence An Jung-geun(Ahn Jung-geun) to death. An Jung-geun assassinated Ito Hirobumi in 1909, an accomplishment that made him a national hero in postwar Korea.
Because he killed one of modern Japan’s founding fathers, An Jung-geun is often considered a “terrorist” in Japan. An’s image is often paraded around when Koreans want to display their anti-Japanese nationalism. For example, at a 2013 soccer match between Japan and Korea, Korean fans unveiled a gigantic An banner to taunt the Japanese (Korea lost the match anyway).
South Korean ultra-nationalists see Valentine’s Day as a holiday that was imported from Japan, and they want it replaced with a national day of remembrance for their country’s most famous assassin.
Last night, two trains collided on one of Tokyo and Yokohama’s major train lines:
At around 12:30 a.m., a train on the Tokyu Toyoko line linking Tokyo and Yokohama bumped into another train that was standing at Motosumiyoshi Station after overrunning the stop line by about 30 meters.
Here are some photos of the aftermath (via 2channel and twitter):
And a photo of the bent floor inside the train car, posted by an Instragram user
The cause of the accident is still being investigated. Luckily, nobody was seriously injured.