Every sort of natural disaster can be found in Japan, and unfortunately terrible flooding is at the forefront of everyone’s worries.
The rainy season usually means a very wet June, but this year, the season was very short and non-rainy. Ironically, not long after it was declared that the rainy season was over, storms have led to severe flooding in several areas of western Japan, including Hiroshima, Ehime, Osaka, Shiga, Hyogo, Okayama, Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefectures.
Because Japan is very hilly, landslides are always a danger, and they’ve been the cause of some of the reported deaths (at the time of writing, 62 people have been killed and there are over 100 missing).
As I’ve mentioned before, one of the worst things about Japan is that smoking is allowed in restaurants (among other places). However, local campaigns and, more significantly, worldwide peer pressure with regard to the 2020 Olympics have put into motion some minor progress.
First, national legislation has been proposed that bans smoking in some types of restaurants, but unfortunately there are numerous exemptions. It’s better than nothing, though.
In addition, better rules have just been approved for Tokyo, which are expected to ban smoking in 80% of restaurants. There are still exceptions, but mostly for very small establishments. The rules are for Tokyo only and implementation isn’t required until 2020, but again, it’s a really positive step, and hopefully the trend toward non-stinky-toxic eateries will expand to other areas as well.
I’m not sure why, but I just really get a kick out of this poster on the wall at my Japanese school, advising us students to not do illegal stuff. (Apparently these are areas where foreigners are particularly recruited.)
I wrote previously about the weather and disaster alerts that I receive on my phone. Well, today I woke up to a new one.
The graphic’s meaning wasn’t immediately obviously and I can’t read very well, but the words “missile” and “North Korea” jumped out straight away. The alert is advising people in northern Japan to take cover as missiles have been fired from North Korea. As far as I know, the missiles passed over Japan and landed in the sea. Who knows what will happen next. There’s not much else to say, except that North Korea-related jokes are in poor taste, and it’s all quite scary.
And if anyone is curious, the alert shown for Saturday in my screenshot was for summer smog. Not nearly so worrying!