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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Many Japanese Businesses Still Closed 1 Year After Disaster

It's one year after the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and the problems it caused not only to Japan's nuclear industry, but to the people and businesses.

This blog has gone over the nuclear industry and people aspects many times - and while I may mention each again (Of course, I will), let's briefly look instead at the economic factors.

While I love advertising, and have done marketing, I'm miserable when it comes to economics. I know it's important, but (yawn), it's one of the few things on this planet I have little interest in knowing more about.

According to Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun (Yomiuri Newspaper), 22% of the 27,149 commercial and industrial businesses in Miyagi-ken, Iwate-ken and Fukushim-ken—the three prefectures hit hardest by the earthquake and tsunami—have NOT resumed operations. 

While many businesses felt it was not worth the trouble to rebuild and closed permanently, many more are still temporarily closed while clean-up continues slowly.

Of the 5,947 businesses that have not started back up, local economists are panicking, as they believe one of the keys to economic recovery is local business.

Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife agrees. You should support local businesses. But is there a great need for a DVD shop when few people have DVD players, electricity, a job to pay for the DVDs, or permanent housing?

Obviously not everyone is without those things, but—and I hate to say it—but new DVDs, televisions et al are luxuries (probably always were in every house but my own), and people need to make sure what money they have is spent wisely.

And that's why many businesses did not re-open. They were either killed in the disaster, or they determined supply and demand to be more than it was worth - local economies be damned.

One day soon, my friend Mike Rogers will make a trip up into the affected areas of Japan but I hope he also takes a look and shows us just HOW people are surviving one-year later if (my assumption): jobs are scarce; little money; no personal housing... I want to know if they are still hopeful.

Okay... enough moralizing. Damn economy.

I'll be presenting a movie in this space about seven hours after the publication of this blog. Ot's short. but well done and I think you will all enjoy learning some of the facts contained within that will make you go 'Hmmm'.  

By Andrew Joseph

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