Tuesday 12 April 2011

More shocks

More earthquakes today. But only one,  about 2 pm, when we felt the urge to run outside. No one gave an evacuation order. It was instinct, and all of us felt the same. What is it about human beings that you stay at your desk if it's a force 4 and rush for the exit if it's a five?

When there is an earthquake, everyone thinks first about the reactor. 'Genpatsu daijobu?' (Is the reactor alright?)  So far it's not been affected but the aftershocks are interrupting the repair work and removal of contaminated water from unit 2.

And now it's official. We're up there with Chernobyl, a level 7 disaster - though we're told it's more to do with the scale of the disaster with four reactors affected than high risks to health. More confusion.

In Koriyama the trains, including the shinkansen bullet trains, are running for the first time. It's great to see the station open. On TV saw lots of people queueing in Shinjuku station in Tokyo to buy tomatoes and strawberries from Fukushima, as well as a buyer from the Ito Yokado supermarket chain. Could the tide be turning? Are people beginning to wake up to the damage being caused to agriculture and industry by false rumours?

Tonight we had talks with the Union regarding their demand for a 'base up' in spring. it wasn't hard to convince them of the dire state of the business in the aftermath of the earthquake and they settled for a 'zero base up'. They also wanted to know how things will change when Rengo becomes owrner of the business.  The sale is going ahead. The contract was signed at the end of March and money is due to exchange hands on 25 April. There are still some last minute negotiaions going on. Fingers crossed. It's reported that Otsubo-shacho decided to honour all contracts made before 11 March. I am extremely grateful for this. It reminds me of another great business leader, Carlos Ghosn who visited the Nissan factory in Iwaki soon after the quake and pledged to reopen it as soon as possible.

Weather forecast for tomorrow is sunny with minimum temperature of minus 1' and high of 17'. There's also a strong westerley wind which is good news.

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