Tag Archive | "tsunami in japan"

Japan Disasters Affect U.S. Company Profits

The huge earthquake followed by a Tsunami in Japan that happened a few weeks back are now hurting the sales of U.S. companies that are serving Japanese consumers. Although Japanese shoppers are showing a little resilience, large U.S. companies like Coca-Cola, Coach Inc., and 3M Co. are feeling the effects of the disaster that struck Japan.

Japan has the world’s third largest economy and although people there were tight-fisted with money even before the March 2011 catastrophe, the country remained to be a primary market for a lot of companies.

Coach, a world-renowned maker of signature handbags and other accessories, generates almost 20 percent of their sales from Japan. The earthquake, its aftermath, and the current nuclear disaster Japan is facing right now could significantly reduce the company’s projected annual earnings by 2 to 3 percent; that is 5 percent of Wall Street’s yearly profit forecast.

On the other hand, Muhtar Kent, a Coca-Cola Chief Executive, said on a conference call that the supply chain is under stress due to Japan’s inability to provide some raw materials needed for production. Indeed, Coke said that the recent events in the country have hampered a lot of bottlers’ capacity to produce enough products for the anticipated growth in demand on summer.

Wal-Mart said that the best way to stabilize sales in Japan is to reach out to them. The company has shipped water and food from Canada to meet the demands in their 400 stores in Japan. Wal-Mart Executive Mike Duke said that doing so will really help consumers in Japan recover from the disaster.

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Should We Continue Supporting Nuclear Energy?

Nuclear Power PlantAfter what happened to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan following the tsunami that hit their country March 11, more and more Americans are concerned about nuclear plants near them. The biggest question in their minds – is it safe? Do we really need it?

The need for nuclear power depends mainly on the available natural resources of a country. At present, the United States has 104 commercial nuclear reactors and they supply 20% of our electricity needs as confirmed by the United States Energy Information Administration. That percentage is lower than Japan’s dependence to nuclear energy which supplies for 27% of their nuclear energy needs.

Experts said that Japan will have a hard time shutting down its nuclear plants because they do not have natural resources to compensate for the possible electricity loss. Moreover, fuel cost of nuclear energy is low.

Aside from the possible risks should another natural calamity strike such as the Tsunami in Japan, one other growing concern about nuclear energy is its tendency to be used for nuclear weapons. That is the reason why Professor Frank von Hippel of Princeton University said that nuclear power should only be used as a last option.

He further said that instead of looking for more ways to generate energy, we should focus on energy efficiency instead. We should look for ways to reduce electricity usage so that whatever natural energy source we have, it will be enough for our day to day electrical consumptions.

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Cherry Blossom Festival Commences to Help Victims of Tsunami

Cherry Blossom FestivalMany people walked under cherry blossom trees in Washington not only to kick off the National Cherry Blossom Festival held 26th of March until 10th of April every year, but also to raise funds for the victims of the March 11 tsunami in Japan. The 3,000 trees are gifts from the Japanese government 99 years ago as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.

The American people showed their support for the Japanese people and their country by lighting candles in a vigil. They got together in the Sylvan Theatre and marched along the Tidal Basin which is lined by cherry blossom trees.

The organizers of the said fund raisers in partnership with the American Red Cross aim to come up with enough money to support relief efforts for Japan. After the tsunami stroke Japan last March 11, many Japanese people were left cold, homeless, and hungry.

The Japanese ambassador, Ichiro Fujisaki, said on his welcoming speech that although search and rescue operations are going on in Japan right now, the government is still struggling to provide enough water, food, and warmth. He further said that if there is one good thing that tragedy brought them is that the realization that they can rely on the entire world, especially America, to help them in their time of need.

However, the activity did not please everybody. Priscilla Lee of California said that she is happy that the activity promotes friendship with Japan, but it is not America’s sole responsibility to improve the conditions in the country. Many also pointed out that the US should focus on bigger issues like Libya and even the America’s own economy.

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