March 14, 2011

Writer’s Note:  This note was written on March 14, 2011.  While I am posting it a few days later, this post was written on the date noted.
It is now March 14, 2011 and 3 days after the Great Higashi Nihon Earthquake.  All of the TV stations have dubbed it that and the after effects are now setting in.  If you are reading all of the news, almost all of the foreign press are talking about the Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima and the explosions that have occurred there.  They are very frightening and I’m worried as much as anyone else.  The Japanese people here seem to not care about it at all.  Many are concerned but the thought of leaving Tokyo and running somewhere isn’t on the minds of most people.  Most people believe in the government and are just waiting for information to tell them what to do if something is going to happen.  I have routinely checked Facebook and other official websites such as the BBC, CNN, Japanese news, and various Embassy’s websites.  It’s hard to keep my emotions in check as many people are giving me a bit of pressure.  Life is not normal but most people are trying to make it normal.Due to the lack of nuclear power, most people have been inconvenienced by rolling blackouts.  Last night, they announced which areas would be affected and by morning, when the first set of blackouts were set to occur, they didn’t.  Many train operators announced in the morning that their schedules would be reduced and many trains would be cancelled.  This was due to the lack of power in the suburbs and trains being unable to operate.  Only a handful of JR trains were running and only in central Tokyo.  The subways were all operational but they had reduced services.  Rather than the typical 2-5 minutes between trains, it was expected to be running at around 10-30 minutes.  Many shops had declared that they would do their part to reduce energy and close early.  In Ginza, where I work, most shops closed at 6pm.  Some shops also decided to not turn on their neon signs, but that’s easier said than done.  When I toured a few shops, it did look darker than normal.  Many things were a bit sparse.  People were not in a shopping mood, but people were willing to do a bit of shopping to escape all of the news.  It’s difficult to keep abridge of everything and there is a lot of disinformation from various media outlets.  Bloggers are also a major problem as they can sometimes sensationalize things.  Traditional media are no exception either.  They are just as guilty at drumming up fear in order to garner more ratings.  It’s something I find despicable and not productive.  Due to the timely nature of reporting for the earthquake aftermath, I find the shoddy reporting before the real facts appear to be counterproductive.

I am certainly ranting and nearly incoherently typing at the moment.  It is a combination of a lack of good sleep and a lack of sanity on my part.  I have heard of 3, maybe 5 people who have left Tokyo out of fears from the reactor.  Most of them are European.  I sometimes wonder what that means about the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo.  No one is really running from Tokyo and reports of people with radiation seems to be exaggerated.  No one in Tokyo, at least from Japan, is worried.  I have been fighting the idea of running for a while now and am still fighting it.  Maybe I will stay here and maybe I won’t.  Who knows.  I said that I wouldn’t post for a couple weeks but I figure this is one of my few outlets to the world to keep some semblance of sanity.  I’ll update you all if there are any changes within Tokyo itself.  Kyoto does sound nice this time of year and I have been meaning to do some research for future blog posts.  🙂

Note:  These ramblings are not up to my usual standards.  I usually review my posts at least once to ensure the grammar sounds nice and is correct.  Due to the timely nature of these events and lack of emotional energy, I am posting these very quickly.  Please excuse the the quality till my regular posts return.

March 14, 2011 is part of a series of posts following the earthquake in Japan.  Please continue reading the following posts in this series: