Wednesday, March 23, 2011

外国人は日本から恐怖の避難と外国メディアの大げさな報道  Foreigners run from Japan in panic. Foreign media exaggerates Japan's plight.

Foreigners continue to panic. From friends with connections to US military bases in Japan, I have learned that there is mass panic among US military dependents in Japan. One friend cannot cash his US military pension checks. The US bank on the base has closed, all employees have evacuated to the US.


The US government has begun evacuation of US military dependents from Japan.


The American military families are afraid of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plants. The truth is, as the Japanese government reports, very little radiation has been released. And beyond the local area around the plant in Fukushima, it is not dangerous.


US bases are located far from the Fukushima plant, they are in no actual danger.

A lot of panic has been caused by sensationalist coverage in the foreign press.


This panic was caused by ignorance. I think that Fox News really looked stupid by labeling "Shibuya Eggman" as a nuclear power plant.


But American officials should have known better. The American embassy created a lot of friction by creating an evacuation zone for Americans larger than that created by the Japanese government around the troubled Fukushima nuclear plants.

Look on page two of the above link, and you will see that the Pentagon ordered all US military personnel to leave the Fukushima evacuation zone as defined by the US.


The US military provided a lot of aid. An American ship moved Japanese military personnel and equipment from Hokkaido to the disaster zone. American ships refueled Japanese military helicopters at sea. Also, American helicopters delivered much food and water to evacuation centers.


But because of orders from the US government, US forces avoided the Fukushima area. I am very disappointed by this.


It is becoming more and more apparent that the American created evacuation zone was in error. Doctor Robert Gale, a US doctor who treated victims of Chernobyl, said that the Japanese government ordered zone was already more than large enough.


While reactors 1,2,3 have been damaged at Fukushima, their containment structures are intact.


But even if full meltdown had occurred, the result would have been nowhere near as dangerous as Chernobyl.


The fuel is different, such a large explosion like Chernobyl was impossible at Fukushima from the start.


I do think that the Japanese government and TEPCO did a poor job of communication. Yes, we were in the middle of Japan's largest natural disaster in 1,000 years.


But when you mention nuclear power, and an accident, people will be very scared. I saw some nuclear power expert on TV, on Hodo station with Mr. Furutachi. The man just could not communicate. He would go on and on in technical jargon, but he could not simplify his explanation.


Mr. Furutachi tried to get him to tell us, how bad could a worst case scenario be?


This is my own guess. If full meltdown had occurred, the plant area itself would have almost certainly become a no-go area for a long time. I don't think there would have much possibility of large area becoming a no-go zone like Chernobyl.


But nobody in the Japanese government or TEPCO came out and said that clearly. Or gave us a range of possible effects and the probability of their occurring.


And responsible foreign news organizations and government officials should have known this.


But not all foreigners ran away.


Cyndi Lauper didn't run. She played her concert in Tokyo as planned on March 18th.


I have always been one of her fans, now I salute her.


As for me, I stayed in Tokyo the whole time, why not?


No comments: