Japan Braces For New Round Of Monster Attacks

TOKYO -- In the wake of last Thursday's nuclear accident at Tokaimura, Japanese police and military forces are rapidly mobilizing for what many officials fear could be the worst wave of giant monster attacks in Japanese history.

See also...
... by Keith Sanders
... in the Whoa! section
... from October 7, 1999

The possibility of deadly rampages of destruction by 90-foot mutants is all the more worrisome because recent budget cutbacks and economic difficulties associated with the Asian financial crisis have drastically reduced the amount of money available for developing new anti-monster technology. As a result, any monster-fighting initiatives may have to depend on weaponry developed during the last series of attacks, most of which occurred nearly 50 years ago.

Many Japanese civilians reacted with disgust and alarm to the government's failure to adequately prepare for the possibility of radioactive monster assaults. "Because of its unique geographical and cultural features, Japan has always been particularly vulnerable to deadly onslaughts by oversized lizards, moths, and the like," explained Ryuichi Yamamoto, an anti-monster activist. "But Prime Minister [Keizo] Obuchi has consistently played down that threat, saying that developing monster defense technology was part of a 'Cold War mindset.' Now, all of Japan -- but particularly the owners and residents of urban skyscrapers -- will pay the price for Obuchi's ignorance."

On Monday, U.S. defense and energy officials said that the United States was prepared to assist Japan by sending experts in the field of macromutational biology, nuclear science, and anti-monster defense, as well as technology developed in the 1998 battle against a giant lizard that assaulted New York City. To date, Japan has not responded to these offers of help.

By Tuesday evening, telltale signs of an impending attack by some sort of giant amphibious creature were making headlines across Japan. The Mainichi Shimbun of Tokyo reported frequent small earthquakes off the eastern coast, "similar to large, ponderous footsteps," and noted that the number of fish caught in that region had dropped to almost zero. Residents of coastal regions were urged to remain calm.

Keith Sanders is an independent practitioner of experimental cognitive pharmacology, and a student of linguistics at UC Berkeley.