The next immense earthquake in Japan could send the whole World into recession


Remember the catastrophic 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan? That was just nature warming up. Scientists are predicting that the chances of a magnitude 8 or 9 earthquake along the Nankai Through within the next 30 years are 70%. Such a Big One could rack up to 323,000 casualties, because not only would this quake (and its massive tsunami) hit population centers, it would happen with only around five minutes of warning – a less than ideal timeframe when you need to evacuate millions. In response to this terrifying prospect, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has advised his citizens to be “calmly and appropriately afraid.”

The Nankai Through and its previous earthquakes… A large earthquake is overdue in this populated and industrial region of Japan:

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Japan next Big Earthquake is highly likely to occur within the next 30 years: an earthquake of between 8.0 and 9.0 magnitude in the tectonic plate boundary called the Nankai Trough. via FT

The epicenter of the predicted quake also happens to be the heart of Japanese manufacturing, so a large enough disaster could wipe out its economy overnight. And if you’re thinking “So what?” you’re seriously underestimating how much of your life is Made in Japan.

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A Tokai earthquake could be more devastating than Tohoku since it is a densely populated area and the potential epicentre is close to shore. A tsunami caused by Japan’s next Big One would reach land within 5 minutes. Not much to evacuate millions… via FT

The area that this terrifying quake is predicted to strike happens to be the home of Toyota, as well as most of Boeing’s factories. It’s also where the leading global manufacturer of industrial robots is based, where half of the world’s musical instruments are made, and where the factories that make the parts for one-third of the world’s smartphones are located.

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Tokai is a manufacturing heartland, a link in some of the world’s most important supply chains. Fanuc, the world’s leading maker of industrial robots, is based near Fuji. About half the world’s musical instruments, manufactured by Yamaha and Roland, come from Hamamatsu. One-third of the world’s Nand Flash memory, built into every smartphone, comes from a Toshiba factory south of Nagoya. But even in this region, two supply chains stand out: it is home to Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker, and to most of Boeing’s Japanese suppliers. via FT

So start worrying about Japan a whole lot more! The island of Japan just sits upon some of the biggest fault lines on the planet, so when earthquakes strike there, they strike hard.

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  1. The article does not mention the dozens of nuke power plants that Japan has. Just imagine Fukuishima times fifty?

  2. You said we should start worrying a whole lot more about a Japanese earthquake?
    Wouldn’t it be better to just outlaw earthquakes?
    It does give pause for reference.

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