Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"End of Era for Japan's Exports"

Wall Street Journal 1/24/2012 p. A1.

Japan announced that it had its first recorded annual trade deficit since 1980.

The WSJ reports that "The startling change is partly a result of one-time factors like the disastrous earthquake and tsunami last March, which destroyed factories, crippled supply chains and idled many of the country's nuclear reactors" (p. A1).

The article strategically omits that the disaster also produced the largest nuclear meltdown ever, involving 3 nuclear reactors and at least 2 spent fuel pools (from units 3 and 4). 

The disaster is ongoing and radiation releases are increasing.

The state of the global economy is only part of Japan's trials. Japan's economy is in crisis also as nations reject exports because of radiation contamination and as its own citizens struggle to consume food from elsewhere in order to avoid poisoning their children.

Japan's largest corporations are moving offshore and buying up equity in Asia, Europe and elsewhere.

A collapse of Japan's economy will imperil millions. The unwillingness to recognize the role played by the nuclear meltdowns assures that this tragedy will repeat itself elsewhere.

We humans have the capacity to cooperate.

So far the only evidence of cooperation is a willingness by governments such as the US and Canada to avoid testing Japanese imports for radiation contamination.

We can and should do better.

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