It's been half a year now since disaster struck Japan. I remember waking up and seeing it on TV. The videos of the tsunami coming in and sweeping everything away sent shivers down my spine . I have to admit that I gravely underestimated the seriousness of the nuclear crisis that followed afterwards. I thought it was the media blowing things out of proportion, and in a way they were, but the true terror of nuclear accidents lies in the long term. It's not something that just goes away. I shared this article on Facebook a couple of days ago: 63000 Bq/Kg of Radioactive Cesium on rooftop of building in Yokohama.
Without quantifying how serious the situation really is, I was very interested to hear from a Japanese friend who saw the link and asked me to translate it. So I did, and she told me a little about what things are like in the Tokyo area right now. I share and translate it here with her permission:
Here in Japan the news often reports on, for example, how everyone's physical condition is getting worse because of the radioactivity, how everybody is worried about the quality of the food and the drinks. The media talks about it all the time and warns people about it, but then takes no action. Japanese media is just like foreign media: all news programs are idiotic entertainment shows, just like [news programs] abroad, there is no real information. I really want to read the true story but it is nowhere to be found. Actually, everyone is just continuing their lives as usual. But maybe it only looks like that on the surface.. It is very rare to hear about people [from the Tokyo area] moving to Kyushu and Okinawa, but it does happen. In Fukushima itself it appears quite common that families leave the husband to work in Fukushima while the wife takes the children and moves to a far-away place. Pets and farm animals are just left behind when families move away, that is the sad reality. I volunteered and went to the disaster area. I saw a foreign woman working very hard to clear the rubble left by the tsunami. It made me really happy to see that. 日本のことで迷惑をかけて申し訳ないけど、、宜しくお願いします。
I left the last sentence untranslated because I find it very hard to translate it and preserve its exact meaning. I leave it here as something that the people who read Japanese will appreciate.