Kizuna (絆, bonds, ties) was one of a number of buzzwords to become popular in the wake of last year’s Tôhoku earthquake and tsunami. According to The Japan Times the word was used “to emphasize the importance of human sympathy and relationships in helping survivors of the monster disaster.”
So popular has kizuna been that a new political party has even co-opted the word, calling itself the New Party of Ties (新党絆, Shin Tô Kizuna), which proves once again that politicians will stop at nothing to win elections, including bastardizing a word that has had so much goodwill associated with it. The jerks ought to be put in the stocks for trying such a shamelessly self-serving stunt.
But enough about politics already.
Another phrase new to the Japanese lexicon since the tsunami has been denki yohô (電気予報). A play on the word tenki yohô (天気予報, weather forecast), denki yohô means “electricity forecast” and is a prediction of how much electricity will be consumed in a given day.
Most major Japanese electrical companies now feature electricity forecasts on their websites and the morning news programs have also started to include information about the day’s power supply and demand. It going to be interesting to see if the electric companies will be able to keep up with demand for electricity when it peaks in the summer with all of the nation’s fifty-four nuclear reactors idled.
 Shin Tô Kizuna was formed by nine members of the Democratic Party of Japan (民主党), including Akira Uchiyama (内山晃), who resigned in December of 2011 over the party’s intention to raise the consumption tax.