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“To know the future, look at the past,” is a familiar Buddhist aphorism. However, it’s also said that a prophet isn’t honored in his hometown — which is why I live in Tokyo. As we ride into the Year of the Horse, I thought I’d canter awhile through times to come and report back on what I found. My apologies if some predictions are rather dire and dark; if you’re easily offended, you’re sure to be fuming by the time you finish. So: Off we go . . .

Despite lackluster safety approvals by the “independent” Nuclear Regulation Authority, Japan’s nuclear reactors will go back on line. Disasters on epic or minor scales will follow. The release of that information will be slow, inaccurate and deceptive. The nuclear-reprocessing plant in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, that’s scheduled to become operational in October, will not do so. Nuclear waste will continue to pile up with no clear place to put it, and the government refusing to admit that the “intermediary” facilities now housing it are there for the long term.

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