NHK Reports on Trump’s 2nd visit to Texas Disaster Areas

#TrumpsJapan

If it’s one thing Japanese people know, it’s natural disasters. Aside from the big ticket items like erupting volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunami, every year Japan gets hit by both a “rainy season” (the unofficial 5th season!) and late summer tropical storms, both of which cause severe flooding and mass damage throughout the country. Even just a few weeks ago in Akita (where I am) heavy amounts of rain caused flooding that resulted in closure of major roads, home damage, and land slides.

On her 2nd trip down, Mel-T swapped her “FLOTUS” lid for a fly “TEXAS” one. Is that Baylor Green?!
With that in mind, reports of Trump visiting flood victims probably made a good impression in the minds of Japanese citizens.

NHK News web posted an article with video to their website on 3 September 2017 reporting on President Trump’s second visit to Texas’s flood ravaged  areas. The article is basically the video’s script.

The article is titled, “President Trumps makes return visit to disaster area–with attitude of strong support.”

The first paragraph reports that this is Trump’s 2nd visit in a week to the hurricane disaster zone and that he’s there to encourage the victims as well as show strong support for aid sent to the area.

After some basic information about the disaster caused by Hurricane Harvey, the 4th paragraph goes into detail about Trump’s activities during the trip saying that he met in person with a large number of people at a Houston shelter, was seen holding children, served lunches, and cheered up victims. He also visited an aid station where he met with hundreds of volunteers and showed them his gratitude.

The final paragraph reveals WHY this was his 2nd trip in a week: on his first trip on August 28 he did not directly meet with any victims, which drew strong criticism from the media. This time his goal seems to have been to garner appeal by meeting with victims and by showing his support.

This article is a ‘safe’ article and pretty unbiased. No doubt it’s good to see the-man-who-happens-to-be-president at disaster relief centers passing large aid containers into driver’s seat windows of emergency vehicles (WT-?), mingling with people in shelters, and smiling in selfies.

It’s a fairly balanced article as well because at the end, NHK tacks on the note about the criticism Trump received from media on his first trip to the region. I guess the coverage of him avoiding flood damaged areas and not meeting with victims on his first trip wasn’t #fakenews.

 

 

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20170903/k10011124041000.html

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NHK Reports on Trump’s Quitting the Paris Agreement

#TrumpsJapan

Before the horrible terrorist attacks in London, President Trump pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement was the big US news in Japan.

…an image from CNN

Just as with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the US leaving the Paris Agreement does not mean that the initiative is doomed, but the conspicuous absence of a major player such as the US will surely be felt.

Before I  continue to summarize a little bit about NHK’s report (トランプ大統領 パリ協定脱退の方針を発表, 2 June 2017), I want to make two points clear:

One is that the US emits the 2nd highest amount of COemissions in the world (15% of the global total), behind… drum roll… China! (at 30% of the global total). India is at 3rd place with approximately 7%. Since the US is the 2nd highest contributor of COemissions in the world, you would think that its leader would step up and take some responsibility.

If a country emitting 15% of CO2 emissions drops out of the agreement, then what is to keep countries that emit less (like Japan at 4%) from wanting to participate? Those smaller countries add up quickly.

Second, not only did the participating countries rely on the US to reduce it’s CO2 gas emission, but they also relied on the US’s financial support. Participating in the Paris Agreement costs money–infrastructure needs to change, especially in areas like manufacturing and agriculture. Poorer countries participating in the agreement entered into the pact with the hopes of getting financial support from the US and other wealthy nations. The US is leaving the table and taking its wallet with it.

NHK Reports

The title of the report from 2 June 2017 translates as “President Trump announces his plan to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.”

  • The article drives home the fact that the US is the 2nd highest emitter of green house gasses behind China
  • The article says that the US’s withdrawal will have a huge effect on the agreement
  • Trump’s rational is that the agreement is unfair to American workers and manufacturers
  • The article mentions that during his campaign, Trump was a Global Warming denier–so this is a reflection of his campaign promises
  • Trump’s stance on the Paris Agreement is OPPOSITE of President Obama’s 
  • Trump is revisiting all environmental reforms that the Obama administration passed and will most likely repeal them
  • Pulling out of the Paris Agreement fulfills the promise Trump made during an April 2017 speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (an old coal & steel city)
  • Finally it shows the contradictory nature of the Trump-beast: at the last G7 summit in Italy Trump said that the environment was a very important thing and something that he is concerned a lot aboutWhich begs the question why pull out of the Paris Agreement?

Since the Tohoku Disaster, energy has been a key issue in Japan. Fukushima’s TEPCO nuclear reactor is still in a critical stage. Ten’s of thousands of Japanese people all over the country have been protesting against the further use of nuclear energy.

Cleaner energy, and hence cutting back on fossil fuel emissions, has been a hot topic in Japan. Seeing the US take a leadership role in the Paris Agreement would have encouraged Japanese people looking for greener energy sources in the future. The US leaving the Paris Agreement could lead to Abe LDP to re-consider its internal energy policies.