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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 13th March 2011
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Japan

As reports of the nature and scale of the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan become more appalling by the hour some thoughts occur to me.

1.Would it be appropriate to "call a ceasefire" on threads and posts critical of Olympus camera division re. their support or otherwise of 4/3rds etc? In the present situation where there is now talk of power rationing even in Tokyo who knows what will happen to the plans of any of the major Japanese camera companies and their suppliers. The terrible loss of life (which will undoubtedly be many times the numbers currently being estimated) and the likely impact on the entire Japanese economy seem to me to make such matters irrelevant for the time being.

2. This group's membership are all owners and (enthusiastic) users of Olympus products and the group is supported by Olympus. Should we be asking Ian to send a message to his contacts in Japan on our behalf to express our support and condolences to Olympus staff and their families at this difficult time.

Just my thoughts, what do others think?

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Old 13th March 2011
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Re: Japan

hear hear.
An excellent suggestion and one I would fully endorse.
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Old 13th March 2011
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Re: Japan

Agreed Peter.
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Old 13th March 2011
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Re: Japan

Yes, a very good idea!
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Old 13th March 2011
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Re: Japan

Yes I also agree.
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Old 13th March 2011
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Re: Japan

I certainly support the idea of sending a message of condolance to the Olympus staff and their families in Japan.

However, I don't see a need to change the nature of our posts and comments on this forum for several reasons.

Olympus will be keen to keep it's business running as smoothly as possible under the circumstances and to get back to normal as soon as it can. Olympus employees in Japan will be keen to do that too, because there is a culture of tremendous loyalty between workers and their companies which, sadly, we no longer have in the UK.

The comments we make are unlikely to be read directly in Japan, more likely by officials of Olympus UK and they can judge if it is appropriate to communicate any feedback from the forum to Japan.

Any critisism we make of Olympus is not out of spite but out of genuine concern for the company and it's products, which we all love.

Olympus must value this site as they continue to fund it and we represent the most loyal elements of their customer base and those most likely to continue to buy their products on a returning basis. I'm sure we would be doing them a disservice if we changed the way in which we participate on the forum and interact with the company.

In the case of supply problems, of the E-5 for example, it is still approriate to highlight the issue because manufacture is in China, not Japan.

If we do change our usage habits of the forum out of sympathy, for how long would it be appropriate, a month, a year? Sadly, some scars from a tragedy of this magnitude will never heal.

So I suggest we conduct our business on this forum as normal, but at the same time express our sympathy for all Olympus personnel (and indeed all Japanese people) as you suggest, Peter, and of course keep them in our thoughts and consiousness. Sadly we are helpless to be of practical assistance and all we can do is hope for the best possible outcome for those affected at this terrible time.
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Old 13th March 2011
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Re: Japan

Hear hear!

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Originally Posted by Wee man View Post
Yes I also agree.
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Old 13th March 2011
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Re: Japan

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Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
I certainly support the idea of sending a message of condolance to the Olympus staff and their families in Japan.
Most certainly, what has happened is a tragedy.
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Old 14th March 2011
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Re: Japan

John
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I certainly wasn't suggesting that we significantly or permanently change our usage of the forum but simply cool things for a while as a matter of respect until we see how the situation develops.
In my former career I was priviledged to visit Japan on a number of occasions for dealings with major Japanese companies and what you say about company loyalty is certainly true.Respect is also a major factor in all aspects of Japanese culture. However, direct criticism is considered extremely rude and western directness is just not understood by many Japanese. I suspect the staff at Olympus UK have to work quite hard to refine the feedback we provide to a form that will have the right impact in Tokyo.
The current disaster and its possible impact on the Japanese economy could not have come at a worse time for Olympus camera division with disappointing financial results and a new CEO no doubt in the position of having to make some difficult decisions regarding the way forward.

I do hope it's not too long before we start to hear better news from Japan and that the impact on Olympus is not too bad.

Regards
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Old 14th March 2011
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Re: Japan

I ought to apologise as I have been in touch with Olympus' Toshi Terada since the quake but I have not relayed his news here (most of my posts with this regard are on one of my other sites at DPNow).

But to summarise, Toshi let me know that the Olympus HQ in Tokyo was shaken, but not too badly damaged. He had to stay at the office overnight because public transport had stopped and he could not get home to his family, but they are OK, although power problems meant that heating and cooking were problematical.

I ought to also mention that I have been in touch with Toshi's opposite number at Panasonic Lumix, Mr. Uematsu, and he was in Tokyo for a meeting (he lives and works in Osaka, which is further south) and was stranded there overnight as well, but is otherwise OK. Panasonic has two Lumix factories in the general region close to the areas of worst devastation and there is no confirmed word about their state. One manufactures lenses and the other is the main Japanese Lumix camera assembly plant. Panasonic still makes most of its cameras in Japan, while Olympus shifted production of much of its cameras and lenses to China several years ago.

I also have several other friends in Japan, including one who lives just outside Fukushima and he has been providing ongoing insights into the effects of the disaster in his locality. If you are interested, look for posts by Yoshi at DPNow:

http://dpnow.com/forum2/showthread.php?t=11890

Naturally, all our thoughts and concerns are with friends, associates and the general peoples of Japan at this time.

Ian
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Last edited by Ian; 14th March 2011 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 14th March 2011
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Re: Japan

Thanks for that Ian,I hadn't thought to look on your other sites for news.
I'm pleased to hear your friends and contacts are relatively safe.I'm not normally an emotional person but the scale of this disaster has really got to me.

Regards
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she looked at me and said "It's official. I hate your camera. It's just so amazing and perfect I want one!"

E-M10 MK II, E-M5, E-PL1, E-PM2, mZ 12-50, mZ 14-42mm EZ, mZ 17mm f 1.8, mZ 25mm f1.8, mZ 45mm f1.8, mZ 75-300mm II.
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Old 14th March 2011
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Re: Japan

Quote:
Originally Posted by PETERBIRDER View Post
Thanks for that Ian,I hadn't thought to look on your other sites for news.
I'm pleased to hear your friends and contacts are relatively safe.I'm not normally an emotional person but the scale of this disaster has really got to me.

Regards
I remember in 2004 I was in Cornwall with my family for Christmas and New Year away from home for a change and we witnessed the consequences of the huge tsunami that happened back then, but most of what we saw were the after-effects. We could only imagine what the waves looked like that caused so much devastation.

Last week we finally got to see the tsunami waves via aerial coverage. And we saw the raw power as they flattened everything in their path. That was very chilling and certainly emotional for me.

The 2004 quake was actually significantly more powerful and destructive, killing a almost a quarter of a million people in many countries with a wave that was up to three times higher than last week's one, but the bad luck for north eastern Japan was that the epicentre was so close to the coast.

There was very little time to warn people and the rest we are beginning to discover.

Ian
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Old 14th March 2011
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Re: Japan

Quote:
Should we be asking Ian to send a message to his contacts in Japan on our behalf to express our support and condolences to Olympus staff and their families at this difficult time.
I totally agree with this & have nothing but absolute sympathy for everybody suffering through this. The enormaty of it is beyond real comprehension.
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Old 14th March 2011
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Re: Japan

All the people of Japan have my deep sympathy and are in my thoughts daily.
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Old 14th March 2011
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Re: Japan

I will send the link to this thread to Toshi san and Uematsu san.

Ian
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