Thursday, March 31, 2011

Authoritative Information on radiation levels in Japan

Due to Honda being one of Japan's largest car manufacturers, as well as one of the two manufacturers most affected by the Tohoku earthquake/tsunami early this month, we at TOV/TOVA have been especially concerned about the situation in Japan. I myself have personal friends living in Tokyo.

One of the most alarming developments lately has been the amount of mis-information and in some cases, blatant mis-representation and fear-mongling amongst many reports especially on the internet and often even in traditional media. Sensational headlines seems to be the norm today.

It is true that radiation and its ill-effects are very worrisome. However, for those TOV/TOVA readers who are interested to know the truth and nothing but the truth, it is worthwhile knowing that the worldwide authority on nuclear-related matters is the International Atomic Energy Agency or the IAEA. All other 'authorities' that may be quoted in news reports are simply fake. The IAEA reports directly to the U.N. including policing adherence to policy and reporting errant countries to the UN Security Council. Therefore, if you are really eager to know the true situation, especially if it may affect you directly in one way or another, the proper place to check is the IAEA website, and not all those newspapers, internet portals and so forth.

The IAEA website has a dedicated page on up-to-date updates on the Tokoku earthquake/tsunami situation including internationally verified data on current status of the Fukushima plant as well as radiation levels. Do note that all radiation levels and information seems to be independently verified by experts from properly accredidated international bodies, such as the WHO and so forth. The Japan authorities are also being advised on most critical matters by experts from these bodies. Therefore, if you read comments from 'experts' from previously unheard of organizations talking like authorities on the nuclear situation, you really should ask the key question of WHY they are talking and NOT in Japan offering advice and help.

The link to the page is question is here :

Please note that wild reports of radiation levels running out of control in Japan are NOT supported by actual internationally verified information. Also any reports about airborne radiation having made its way outside of Japan are also not true at all. To close this post, the following quote was in the IAEA website on March 30th. This is about radiation level measurement from Singapore authorities whom apparently have been instructed by the IAEA to measure and provide the data to them, regarding any radiation having made their way outside of Japan..

"In response to the request for data on measurement, the IEC has received information from Singapore. The Singapore Authorities have sent reports on measurements in food imported from Japan (cabbages). Some samples were over the Codex Alimentarius values recommended for international trade. In Singapore no increase in gamma dose rates have been observed and no fission products have been found in air samples."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New mini-car by Honda, the BRIO is launched in Thailand

Honda has launched a brand new model, a mini-car named the Honda Brio starting in Thailand. It is equipped with a 1.2l engine with around 90ps featuring DBW and a CVT gearbox. The engine is EURO-4 emissions compliant.

More details of the Honda Brio is available at the HAT (Honda Automobile Thailand) at

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Latest update on Honda's situation from the Tohoku Earthquake

Honda has made further changes to their operations in Japan following the Tohoku earthquake. To read the whole press release, click on 'read more' below

Videos of new 9Gen USDM Civic

There is already an forum created for the to be launched new 9the generation Honda Civic. In the TOV forums, reports that the 9Gen Civic forum people have already capture some videos of the car which are now already at the dealer's lots for stock-up and for training. Some of these videos have been embedded in the TOV forum. The relevant thread is below:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Extension of plant closure due to earthquake

Below is the press release from Honda related to the extension of plant closure due to the effects of the recent earthquake.

TOKYO, Japan, March 18, 2011 – Considering the current situation of the nationwide recovery efforts in Japan, Honda had previously announced the suspension of production until March 20. Today, Honda made the decision to extend the suspension of production of finished units at the following plants until March 23, 2011: for automobiles, Sayama Plant at Saitama Factory (Sayama, Saitama) and Suzuka Factory (Suzuka, Mie) and for motorcycles, Kumamoto Factory (Ozu-machi, Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto).
Concerning operations from March 24 on, Honda will make decisions based on the status of the recovery of parts supply as well as Japanese society as a whole. We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause our customers, and request their understanding during these challenging times.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Honda Accord MMC

Honda Malaysia today launched the face-lift for the Honda Accord. The MMC comprises almost purely exterior comestic changes like chromed front grille and so forth. Other more 'useful' enhancements includes thicker floor mat for the interior which serves to enhance noise insulation for quieter ride. A new 17" wheel complements the 2.4l version. Also added are useful features like front corner sensors and a new design 'jack-knife' car key.

Most importantly is that prices for all variants remains the same; on-the road with insurance retail prices being RM142,800 for the 2.0VTi, RM149,800 for the 2.0VTi-L; and RM172,800 for the 2.4 VTi-L.

Also a new colour, Celestial Blue Metallic has been added to the existing colours which have all been retained.

For the official press release for this MMC Honda Accord, click on 'read more'

Honda Malaysia's Honda Dream Fund (HDF)

In spite of the calamity that has struck their home country, Honda Malaysia continues with the annual execution of their 'Honda Dreams Fund' (HDF). Created to help the needy and poor to achieve their dreams, it is very commendable that Honda Malaysia is continuing to do this. HMSB also holds a nationwide road-tour to reach out to especially those who are in very remote areas and those who might not be aware of this effort. Being targetted at the poor, HMSB realizes that their target audience might well be unlikely to have own a computer or even a T.V., what more surf the internet.

Some of the main criteria for qualifying to apply for HMSB's HDF are very simple:
1. Age between 17 to 24 years old
2. TOTAL COMBINED household income of RM1,500 or less
3. Must have an acheiveable dream

Currently the nationwide road tour has already been completed but candidates can still apply for the HDF until the end of this month, March 31st 2011. For full, complete details on the HDF and how to apply, go to the HDF page in the HMSB website below:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Honda Malaysia has issued an official statement on the condition related to car availability related to the recent Japan earthquake. The important highlights are :

* Sufficient inventory for CKD and CBU models for the next one to two months.
* Production at plants in Japan suspended until 20 March 2011 to help prioritize recovery.
* Honda Motor will make decisions based on status of recovery.
* 300 million yen and 1,000 generators along with 5,000 gas canister to aid relief and recovery efforts.

Read the whole statement by clicking below:

Understanding the Japan Nuclear Situation

Someone in the TOV forum posted the following link. It is one of a growing group of sites which are concerned about the widespread of misinformation and sensationalism in the internet targetted at the nuclear situation in Japan and directly making the poor people of Japan suffer even more. If you are interested to know more about the nuclear situation, and to know the truth and nothing else BUT the TRUTH, please make an effort to read the article posted in the blog below.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Official Honda Press Release regarding the Japan Earthquake

This is the official press release from Honda and explain important questions like how Honda has been affected and how Honda is contributing to efforts for recovery. Read the full press release after the jump. Note that I received this press release from the Honda media center. I also expect this to be posted to the Honda worldwide site soon as well.

Minor update on the Japan Quake

ALL of my friends have responded and ALL of them are safe and healthy. In fact from what I can see, most of central Tokyo has not even been affected by the much circulated and overhyped power and water cut. My friend for e.g. reported no disruption to the electric or water supply to his house which is in central Tokyo.

In the meantime, my friend at Honda HQ has also responded and he too is safe and healthy.

It is true that Honda had suffered a bit from the quake. According to official sources, including what was told to me directly, one or two casualties (depending on who is the source) has been experienced in the Honda R&D center in Tochigi when a wall collapsed on the employees. Others have been injured as well. No serious harm has been done other than the two unfortunate casualties. But it is true that some Honda plants have to be temporarily closed. The closure is due to parts supplies - some of Honda's part suppliers have been affected by the quake.

For people concerned about the impact to the availability and delivery of cars imported from Japan, e.g. the Honda Insight in Malaysia, Honda Malaysia has built up a large amount of stock for the Insight before delivery started last month. This was the reason for the delay between the launching in December last year and the first deliveries last month. So, whatever rumours or stories you heard people with 'connections' tell you, TRUST ONLY what your DEALER tells you. They have access to a centralized order management system run by Honda Malaysia and they know all details about stock availability and delivery times. For other countries in Asia, I strongly advice you to do the same and simply IGNORE ANY RUMOURS OR STORIES especially those spreading gloom and doom, on the internet, forums, phone SMS, or even by word of mouth. Conspiracy theories are not always right. Meanwhile I will try and see if I can get some sort of official response on this matter from Honda Malaysia.

For TOV/TOVA supporters who wants to know more about the nuclear situation that is developing in Japan -BUT- wants to separate the HYPE and OVER-DRAMATIZATION from the TRUE FACTS, do be informed that TOV contributor Daniel Garcia is living in Nagoya Japan and is working for the Japan Atomic Energy Agency. He has been keen, like me, that people around the world know the REAL NEWS, rather than some of the over-dramatized ones floating around. Also, being a researcher in atomic power, he is also able to separate the facts from the bullshit and is able to explain the REAL situation in an accurate and level-headed way. He has absolutely NO dealings with the power companies that runs the nuclear power plant and so he has EVERY intention to report accurately. You can follow his tweets at!/daniel_garcia_r . Daniel also says that of all the news portals, the Japan Times is the most responsible. Also if you want news from some NGO who is savvy with atomic energy but also responsible and free from hype, ANS at is considered accurate too.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Some news of the Japan Earthquake

All of the world's news sites are now providing real time reports on the massive and tragic magnitude 8.9 earthquake that rocked Japan yesterday. TOVA sends out our condolences to the people of Japan and our well wishes that they will recover safely and quickly.

The moment I learned about the earthquake in Japan, I quickly sent emails to three of my friends living there. Two of them are native japanese and lives in Tokyo itself, one of them an employee of Honda who has been posted back to HQ. The third is fellow TOV'er Daniel Garcia who is working in Nagoya.

Daniel reported back saying Nagoya itself was not affected at all. It was great news.

My friend responded very quickly too. He works and lives within central Tokyo, very near the business district. He too reported that he and his family are all safe and sound. From his email response, it would seem that central Tokyo itself managed to escape relatively unscathed which is fantastic news. However, he said that he was unprepared for the intensity of the earthquake. It was surprising and alarming because all japanese, since young are regularly prepared for the event of an earthquake. As Daniel so eloquently described, the japanese are obssessed with natural calamity management. So they are fully prepared for an earthquake. Unfortunately it seems that the sheer POWER of this magnitude 8.9 earthquake caught them totally unprepared.

Still, with practically all buildings properly prepared against natural calamities, it seems that other than that widely circulated photo of a building in Odaiba on fire, damage to central Tokyo itself is relatively minor. The biggest impact however is the apparent breakdown of the infrastructure, especially the transport system. The extremely complicated Tokyo subway is driven by electricity by and large and due to power cut, many people are strandled. My friend himself managed to walk back home but it seems many were not so lucky.

My friend from Honda have not yet responded so far. A search in Google's 'People Finder' did not come up with anything. I am sure he is OK but I will probably contact Honda Malaysia to check up on his safety very soon.

It would seem that the outlying cities and towns around Tokyo and the more northernly areas are the most impacted, especially those located near the coast. The much reported 10metre high tsunami is already known by people all over the world, as is the terrifying damage to towns like Sendai.

In the TOV forums, it was also reported that there have been a few casualties in the automobile assembly plants of both Honda as well as rival Toyota.

Other than the fearsome damage done by the tsunami, at the moment the most terrifying fears on most people's mind is the problems at the nuclear power plants. There have been many reports and it is difficult to know exactly what is happening. It doesn't help at all that various news agencies are starting to bring in or quote various, previously unheard of, experts generously brandishing 'opinions' on the situation. It is especially alarming when 'experts' from 'renown universities' start to pronounce 'dire concern about nuclear meltdown of the core' and such things. My personal advice is to just stick to official news released by agencies such as NHK.

Another alarming trend is the growing popularity of the 'cover-up' scenario. So, many people have started to openly say that any news coming out from Japan must have been sugar-coated so as not to spread wide panic and that the actual situation is much worse, and that a nuclear disaster will happen soon. I feel such statements do not help at all.

At the moment, the only thing everyone here can do is to monitor closely and pray, in your own way, for the safety and well being of your friends and in general the people of Japan.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Video of new 9G Civic !! (USDM model)

For fans of the Honda Civic, the latest excitement is the video someone took of AHM (American Honda Motors) doing a video shoot for advertisement of the new 9th generation Honda Civic. This video shows us exactly what the new Civic looks like. Bear in mind this is the U.S. model. However the Asian model will be very similar. There is in fact, already an article on the 9th gen Civic for China and that will be covered in our next post. The link below is to our TOV's news and rumours article for the video.