It’s the third anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Hard to believe it’s been that long. I remember that day very well as if it were less than a year ago. I’m going to go back in time and show you my posts after this event.
On the day of the earthquake, I posted this short post, letting people know I was fine. The next day, I posted this quick update. On March 13th, I posted this long account of my day. If you read any of these posts, that’s the one to read. At the time, I was still doing my first Picture of the Week series, and I posted a picture of the supermarket shelves. On March 16th, there was an earthquake at Mt. Fuji.
After the earthquake, there was a lot of media attention, much of it about the nuclear meltdown in progress in Fukushima. The situation continues there, and it hasn’t improved. It turned out that both the government and the officials at the nuclear plant covered up the truth about what was really happening. I’m quite disappointed in how the government handled things. It’ll be a very long time until anyone can go into the affected area again.
I’d also like to draw your attention to a post I made on my writing blog, I Read Encyclopedias for Fun. It’s all about what an earthquake feels like.
Comments are always welcome!
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk online about some issues happening in Japan. Starting October 1st, downloading unauthorized videos can be punishable at up to 2 years in prison, making people worry that YouTube will be illegal. The government is considering applying the consumption tax to ebooks and legally downloaded music from overseas sources. And the big one is the protests about the Oi nuclear power plant being restarted. This last one hasn’t been talked about much by the Japanese media, so there’s been a large amount of discussion online about it. Add in the government not telling the truth last year after the earthquake and tsunami and there’s a lot of mistrust regarding Japanese media and government.
And then, I had a conversation with someone about how media often exaggerates, omits, or misrepresents information to cause fear or make issues more exciting. I was speaking with a Japanese businessman. It went something like this:
Me: North Korea uses media to give propaganda and further their own interests.
Him: Yes, that’s true.
Me: Would you agree that other countries’ media do the sane thing but to a lesser degree?
Him: Yes, I think so. China does it a lot, for example. I think every country does it, except Japan.
Me: Oh? Why do you say that?
Him: The Japanese government and media have been very honest and open about everything. They don’t hide anything from the Japanese people.
Me: What about last year after the earthquake? They weren’t very truthful about the nuclear problem.
Him: They told us everything. They always tell the Japanese people what’s happening.
Filed under Japan, Politics
I’ve been asked a few times by friends and family about what I’m going to do. The simple answer is that I’m going to keep living as I always have. Get up, go to work, enjoy work, come back home, sleep, enjoy my days off, just live like always. No, I am not leaving Japan. I’m not leaving the area, either. Only once during this entire time did I feel any kind of fear or panic, and that was during the earthquake. The nuclear aftermath doesn’t worry me. I’m not the least bit worried about the situation. It’s under control, radiation is dropping, power is being restored. In fact, reactors 5 and 6 are now in cold shutdown. Danger of radiation outside the 30km zone is negligible. Life right now has some inconveniences, but that’s all they are, just inconveniences. Most things have returned to normal. Work is completely normal, for one thing. No, I am not going to leave. I’m safe, and so is everyone else. And it seems that the western media is starting to clue in to the fact that they have overblown everything. They panicked a lot of foreigners living in Japan. They’ve been irresponsible.
Also, I just wanted to add that 75% of French people who live in Japan have gone back to France. The joke’s on them, radiation levels in France are higher than Tokyo’s. Wow.
Just a quick post with some updated information. The situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant remains the same. They’re still pumping water in (actually, dropping it from helicopters), but there is good news. Power is expected to be restored to the power plant this afternoon, which will make things a lot easier to control the cooling. Western media has been reporting an explosion is going to happen, and the US Embassy is advising an 80 km evacuation radius. Japanese officials are denying that it’s needed. Radiation levels outside the 20 km radius are safe. In fact, radiation has been dropping over the past 12 hours. Tokyo is safe! Also, there’s been a large number of foreigners leaving the area. French and German governments are advising unnecessary evacuations of their nationals.
Again, I’d like to repeat, do not believe what you hear in western media. They sensationalise everything for ratings. Search for NHK World online and see if you cam watch or listen. It’s in English!