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Sunday 4 December 2016

Kevin Myers: Japan rebuilds, while workers on M50 have been toiling for months

Kevin Myers

Published 18/03/2011 | 05:00

Reactors three and four of the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan
Reactors three and four of the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan

HOUR by hour, day by day, our admiration for the Japanese people increases: somewhere in those concrete nuclear blockhouses, firemen and power-station workers are prepared to die in the course of their duty and for the cause of Japan.

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Across that sodden coastal plain, rescue workers are sifting through the abominations that remain. Where do they sleep? Eat? Go to the toilet? The schools of the stricken areas now function as civil defence centres, while their teachers serve as civil defence volunteers. More importantly, Japan is rebuilding. Yes, already.

A reader in Japan sent me a picture of the Tokiwa Prefectural road outside Tokyo: at 4.30pm on March 11 it was a buckled disaster-zone, incapable of taking a bike. By 1pm on March 15, repair-teams had reconstructed and resurfaced it, and it was a six-lane highway again. In under four days. And there's a single roundabout on the M50 where the work-crews have been toiling, if that's quite the word I'm seeking, for four months.

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