It sounds like a story ripped from the parody-filled pages of The Onion, but some Japanese lawmakers really do want to build a "backup city" that would take over the functions of Tokyo, including tourism, in the event of a catastrophe.
The idea was floated last month at a Tokyo luncheon, with a follow-up in The Telegraph last week. "The idea of being able to have a backup, a spare battery for the functions of the nation ... isn't this really a good idea?" Hajime Ishii, a parliamentarian representing the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, was quoted as saying.
Support for creating an urban Plan B has grown in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in March and led to the Fukushima nuclear crisis. "Preparations are already under way at various levels to find ways of mitigating possible far-reaching consequences of a much-expected earthquake striking Tokyo," the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan said.
The lawmakers' plan calls for building an urban center known as IRTBBC (Integrated Resort, Tourism, Business and Backup City) or NEMIC (National Emergency Management International City) on the 1,236-acre site currently occupied by Osaka International Airport at Itami. Today, Itami is used only as a secondary hub for domestic flights, operating in the shadow of the newer Kansai airport.
The new city would take on all the functions of the capital city in the event of an emergency. It would boast office complexes, resort facilities, parks and even casinos. The city's centerpiece would be a tower that would rank among the tallest in the world, coming in at just over 650 meters (2,133 feet). It'd be built to house 50,000 residents and accommodate a workday population of around 200,000 people from the Osaka region, The Telegraph reported.
If the plan goes forward, it would rank among history's most ambitious backup plans. The backers haven't calculated the cost of building the city. For now, Ishii and his fellow lawmakers —including the Democratic Party's Banri Kaieda, Shizuka Kamei of the People's New Party and Ichiro Aisawa of the Liberal Democrats — are merely seeking 14 million yen ($180,000) for a feasibility study.
So far, the reaction has been mixed: Osaka's governor, Toru Hashimoto, has been quoted as saying that his region is willing to accept the capital backup role, while Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has voiced opposition. And he may not be the only one: It just seems to me that most emergency-management officials, if not most politicians, would prefer to fortify what they have rather than building a whole new complex someplace else.
Tokyo is situated on the ocean side of Japan, an unfortunate setting that will ensures the almost total demise of anyone in the city at the time of the coming pole shift. Cities such as Tokyo, trapped between mountains and tidal waves, will find themselves under deep water such that all will drown. The tidal waves will first wash over the city, and when reaching the mountains will turn around, creating a backwash. This backwash, meeting the tidal wave, will have no where to go! Thus the water will climb higher as this process continues, until even the tops of tall buildings are under water. Those who would escape to the mountains will have exploding volcanoes and earthquake ravaged bridges to deal with, so should not anticipate a late exit from a doomed city. Best to move to safety well ahead of the pole shift, by boat if panic has crowded the road and air ways.
Zetatalk regarding the ghost cities in China:
Cities built within China are not a corporate effort, they are a state effort, as it is a communist government. These ghost cities would not be a mystery if they were corporate developments, as the corporation would be advertising residences for sale. Corporate developments also do not include government buildings, highways, and attention to infrastructure. Corporate developments build up around existing infrastructure, building subdivisions or resorts. Given that this is a state enterprise, why is China doing this? Note that these ghost cities have been constructed north of what we might call the sinkhole belt, a swath of land from the northern Himalayas east to the coast.
The sinkhole belt is caused by the plate bending as the plate tongue holding Indonesia is pushed down, sinking. The ghost cities are also inland, not coastal, and high enough that they would be land even after the 675 foot rise in sea level we have predicted after the pole shift. India is expected to be the new S Pole, and thus provinces in China near India will freeze and struggle, as northern Canada and Siberia do today. Thus the ghost cities are to the north of China, in lands that will be temperate. Do the governments of the world take ZetaTalk seriously? China certainly has, for the past decade. China is preparing to relocate its citizens to its new ghost cities from the coast and from the southern and western provinces near India.
Nancy's newsletter regarding ghost cities: