Japan’s “Great Wall” and the renamed Liberal Democratic Party to the Liberal Concrete Party

Japan's concrete-industrial complex

Japan’s concrete-industrial complex

Tetrapods are concrete monstrosities ostensibly built to protect Japan’s coastlines from erosion and tsunami waves. On March 11, 2011 when tsunami waves rolled ashore plowing through everything in their path, how effective were all those concrete constructed tetrapods™ lining Japan’s coastline at slowing down or dissipating the tsunami waves? From the many video clips that were observed of the tsunami waves, it looked as though the tetrapods™ made very little difference in deflecting or even slowing down the tsunami waves. Yet, this was one of the major reasons for constructing tetrapods™. After the tsunami waves that came ashore on March 11, 2011 Japan’s LDP party through Taro Aso and Aso-LaFarge, became the power behind Japan’s concrete political economics. In 2014, Aso Cement had US$310 million in sales. The LDP party should be renamed to the Liberal Concrete Party, or maybe the Liberal Tetrapod™ Party, thanks to Taro Aso (Francisco), the partial owner of the biggest concrete conglomerate in the world, Aso-Lafarge. Taro Aso is Japan’s finance minister which places him on top of public works projects. It goes without saying Japan’s record public debt is now almost entirely funneled into the concrete industry. “Abenomics” (Tetrapodnomics?) while suppressing the news media about the possibility of corruption in the execution of the massive reconstruction projects, is all about concrete.

Hillary Clinton paid US$31,000 a year to sit on Lafarge's board

Hillary Clinton paid US$31,000 a year to sit on LaFarge’s board

What readers may not know is that Hillary Clinton was on the board of directors of the mob outfit LaFarge cement when they shifted from burning natural gas to burning toxic wastes to heat their cement kilns. Toxic waste incineration synthesizes thousands of new chemicals that do not occur in nature. Many of them, especially those based on chlorine, are bio accumulators and disruptive to mammalian life forms. Burning hazardous wastes with petrochemicals and chlorine create new “products of incomplete combustion” that are among the most toxic substances invented during the 20th century, including dioxins and furans, which are carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic. Taro Aso must feel rather comfortable joining up with another mob outfit. For Hillary Clinton it was a work free job which she was paid US$31,000 a year to do basically nothing.

When Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans in 2005, Lafarge North America had leased the barge ING 4727 owned by Ingram Barge Company. A witnessed to the levee being breached said that he “saw the LaFarge leased barge hit the levee that caused the breach” after it delivered a load of cement. And ever since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina there has been all kinds of speculation on whether or not the levee being breached was intentional or not. There has also been more than just speculation the levee in New Orleans was possibly sabotaged.

What the Japanese are essentially doing is building a “castle” out of concrete tetrapods™ around Japan with some estimates suggesting more than 50 percent of Japan’s coastline is now covered in concrete barriers including tetrapods™. The construction state returns with a vengeance through the Liberal Concrete Party (formerly the Liberal Democratic Party) with the planned construction of a 400 kilometer (250 miles) long concrete wall on the Pacific side of Japan with some sections planned as high as 4 and 5 stories. Japan’s version of the “Great Wall.” What has me scratching my head wondering, is why the backlash on building a new stadium for the 2020 Olympic Games with no equal backlash on this huge 400 kilometer long wall planned on being built? Is this because the Liberal Concrete Party wanted to take attention away from this huge public expenditure and instead get everyone riled up over a new stadium which came in at ¥155 billion? This planned concrete wall has an estimated total cost of ¥820 billion yen, or US$6.8 billion. And as it turns out, many of the Japanese killed on March 11, 2011 ignored warnings to evacuate the coastline. Will they be any less inclined to evacuate if this wall is built? In Taro Aso’s policy speech given in 2008, I guess he calls this “coexisting with nature” by burying it in concrete.

Tetrapod fetish

Tetrapod™ fetish

Observing Japanese insular psychology at work combined with its “concrete fetish” surrounding Japan in concrete destroying 100s of kilometers of beautiful ocean shoreline is bewildering. The fear psychosis becomes apparent observing signs on concrete manufacturing plants that read: “Concrete is here to protect the people.” It’s what shoguns would tell Japanese peasants: “I’m here to protect you with this new castle.” Japan is building a massive structure of concrete practically around the entire country with which means this is all going to be paid for out of tax revenue. The corruption involved here where politicians meet with construction company owners behind closed doors is just as ugly as these concrete tetrapods™, burying beaches in concrete at remote locations where most Japanese never see. And the locals who live in these remote locations where jobs are scarce, are too afraid to speak out against this concrete assault on their beaches. It just seems that the “fetish for concrete” has gone to extreme levels in Japan.

Taro Aso who is the finance minister and through the LDP, are justifying a record expenditure in public works projects by using the fear of tsunami waves and government responsibility to protect people. The money that will be spent will be used to build in some locations up to 20 meter high concrete walls along many parts of Japan’s coastline, and dumping more tetrapods™ everywhere, including on virgin beaches that no one knows about. After searching for information on the “concrete-industrial complex” as one blogger described these circumstances in Japan, a man who had experience running a public works construction company described his experience:

“I ran a public works construction company in Tohoku for thirteen years and can say virtually without exception, large public works contracts (say, over $10 million US) are accompanied by an obligatory 3% kickback to the politician who uttered the Voice of Heaven, blessing the company chosen to get the work. My guess is that the seawall project has long been chopped up into dozens of segments, with a Voice of Heaven chorus of politicians waiting in the wings for their chance to sing. Since they are counting on their kickback to fund the next election, any bureaucrat who endangers their segment had better watch his back.”

Just as Japanese have this seemingly odd fixation with robots and technology, this same “odd fixation” can also be seen in the construction industry which has built hundreds of thousands of four-legged tetrapods™. One Japanese art student best explains this “odd fixation”: “I think the attraction of tetrapods™ lies in their contrast with nature. The material of a tetrapod™ is concrete and its shape is formal, which can’t be found in nature. Also, it is manufactured by pouring concrete into molds. The tetrapod™ is a symbol of artificiality. Setting hundreds of tetrapods™ on a big scale that matches that of nature is simply art.” Hundreds of thousands of ugly concrete tetrapods™ burying kilometer after kilometer of beaches and shoreline disfiguring nature is “art?”  For a people who have been known to historically admire nature and go out of their way to climb mountains to be in natural surroundings, this sure is an odd circumspection. The average Japanese could probably care less providing their only rebuttal to this concrete castle being built around Japan with “Shoganai.”

Castle walls built of Tetrapods

“Castle walls” built of Tetrapods™

This is the inexplicable behavior of Japanese where more than 50 percent of Japan’s shoreline are stacked up with concrete tetrapods™. The astonishing thing about all this is that the Liberal Concrete Party have not used any long term environmental impact studies to determine what the long term consequences will be to the environment and the continued loss of sand on beaches. It is now known that sand beaches are disappearing because of tetrapods™. Coastal sand is disappearing because almost all rivers and estuaries in Japan have been “sealed” in with concrete walls and tetrapods™ preventing sedimentary flow to the ocean. What is Japan’s answer to stop this continued erosion? More concrete walls and tetrapods™. And there is speculation that impact studies or studies on erosion that have been done, are probably by professors in Japan’s universities connected to the LDP. So any of their studies that are released, or even read by the public for that matter, will recommend more concrete barriers to stop the erosion. Furthermore, as another researcher noted:

“To call erosion a ‘problem’ is to take a human-centered view of natural coastal changes. Beaches exist in a ‘dynamic equilibrium involving four factors: the supply of sand to a beach; the wave energy (related to wave height); sea-level change; and the location of the shoreline,’ state Pilkey and Hume.”

Most of the sand comes from the rivers as sediment, but if nearly all of Japan’s rivers and estuaries have been lined with concrete walls, large artificial rock beds and tetrapods™, this reduces sedimentary flow into estuaries where waves push the sand up onto shorelines creating beaches. The continued concrete buildup in Japan is circumventing thousands and thousands of years of natural flows and patterns of rivers.

Jeff Kingston, in his 2010 book Contemporary Japan, wrote: “The nexus of massive construction projects, bureaucrats, politicians, businessmen and yakuza are as revealing about Japan as they are about Italy and Russia.” Kinston once told Bloomberg News that “nothing enriches yakuza bosses like construction, given that during the 1990s, the public-works budget was on par with the US Pentagon’s budget and remains quite high despite huge cutbacks.” Another writer, Alex Karr, wrote Dogs and Demons: Tales from the Dark Side of Japan, which will always be one of the more sobering looks on a deeper level into Japan’s dark side, described the construction industry and concrete manufacturing with this eye opening analysis:

“In the early 1990s, construction investment overall in Japan consumed 18.2 percent of the gross national product, versus 12.4 percent in the United Kingdom and only 8.5 percent in the United States. Japan spent about 8 percent of its GDP on public works (versus 2 percent in the United States — proportionally four times more). By 2000, it was estimated that Japan was spending about 9 percent of its GDP on public works (versus only 1 percent in the United States): in a decade, the share of GDP devoted to public works has risen to nearly ten times that of the United States. — The colossal subsidies flowing to construction mean that the combined national budget devotes an astounding 40 percent of expenditures to public works (versus 8 to 10 percent in the United States and 4 to 6 percent in Britain and France). — by 1998 it (the construction industry) employed 6.9 million people, more than 10 percent of Japan’s workforce–more than double the relative numbers in the United States and Europe. Experts estimate that as many as one in five jobs in Japan depends on construction, if one includes work that derives indirectly from public-works contracts. — In 1994, concrete production in Japan totaled 91.6 million tons, compared with 77.9 millions tons in the United States. This means that Japan lays about thirty times as much per square foot as the United States. — By the end of the century…shoreline that had been encased in concrete has risen to 60 percent or more.”

The tetrapod concrete construction business has been so profitable to the Liberal Concrete Party insiders that special construction equipment has been engineered and manufactured to more efficiently move thousands of tetrapods™ onto the beaches and estuaries of Japan. And don’t expect the LDP to allow journalists to report on this “concrete-industrial complex” with any aggressiveness worthy of good investigative journalism either; because the secrecy law was passed preventing journalists from speaking out. “Abenomics” is about everything looking like a rosey and tetrapod™-stacked future – and spending a lot of money.

Japan Tetrapods

The tetrapod laying using hydraulic grab “F3C” (product by TAIYU) -Demo01-