* * * * * Entropic Forest * * * * *

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Series No. 06



Was it the weather or what? So many people coming out here for a mere local league match. So many, I said, but actually all you see are some so-so crowd on the front stand, with mostly empty seats in the back. People sitting in the special seats behind the glass seems rather pointless and up tight, with so much space left in the normal stand.

The last time a crowd this scale gathered was when they had the refugee trouble from the unification/separation conflict in a near-by country 10 years ago. More than 5,000 refugees were washed ashore all over Japan, and they were all brought here. But that's an exceptional occasion. Usually there aren't too many visitors seen among these hastily overbuilt stadiums and other facilities. Terminal dumps filled up with a furious pace, providing more and more land, but demand for commercial property kept declinig, even with the occasional upturn of the economy. Residential use? No, these garbage islands were never much popular as residential land. Extremely windy, and even with the wind-proof landscaping, residual gas from the garbage below kept creeping above ground, creating a gas pool that caused major intoxication cases. Now, several houses stand very sparsely, with gas detection robots slowly moving about, crows on their heads and dogs peeing on them (which sets off their sensors some time).

There really aren't any plans for these garbage islands here. Some sort of a superblock was created, but nothing on top. Big space of nothing spreading forever. Since around 2010, there have been sporadic projects (with sorry excuses of re-vitalization plans)to build a convention center here, two stadiums there, bunch of health facilities, a new governmental area with the new Tokyo Municipal Head Quarters (still only half built). Drive through them on these extremely wide roads, and a mass of pure void is all you see.

Go past empty facilities, and through the concrete block ocean tunnel. This is the former "Off-The-Main-Breakwater" Garbage Disposal. They made a bunch of temporary shelters here for the refugees, and they are the only facilities that are used at among these islands. After the incidents a decade ago, conflicts in central asia has aggravated the situation, and they have about 30 thousand here now. Since they are illegal aliens, they are brought to this island that seems isolated from the mainland. At night, the undersea tunnel is closed. However, no clear policy regarding them was ever announced, and of course, the government couldn't possibly kick them out. After a few years, many of them started swimming across to the "mainland". They've become precious labor force on the mainland side so they're turned a blind eye; some of them even have boats now and actually commute.

Also, they used to be cheap labor due to their illegal status. However, now that they realized that they can't be deported, they gained significant bargaining power by creating some kind of an informal labor union. Due to their illegal status, they pay no income taxes, so their disposable income are actually higher than their Japanese counterparts in some cases. There was a plan to acknowledge their existence, issue working visas and tax them. Nationalist right wingers protested of course, forming a grand coalition with the Japanese labor unions (the first time that the right and left joined hands), but the refugees themselves protested furiously, and the situation is at a standsill for the past five years. This refugee area is the only place with any activity around here. One of the few places that retain activity well into the night. On the other side, the "mainland side", there lies half abandoned warehouses and high rises that were built half a century ago, rather sparsely.

Around the stadium, there's a void flat emptiness all the way up to the sea. The coast line is extremely non-fractal, perfectly straight lines and right angled, and even the sea that faces the coast becomes somewhat artificial, and sometimes people are fishing there, but not a single catch has been seen.

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YAMAGATA Hiroo (hiyori13@mailhost.net)