Sunday 27 March 2011

Day Sixteen

Dear Friends
On Sunday morning the airwaves in Japan are dedicated to current affairs programmes and it was back to normal today after two weeks of live reporting of the disaster. Politicians, government ministers and academics are quizzed by journalists and televison personalities who posed just the kind of questions I wanted answers to two weeks ago. On the whole the debate was measured, informative and useful. Worst case scenario likely to be leakage of radioactive material from pipes etc.

There was a piece on Miyako, a town in a bay north of Sendai which has a 10 metre high 2.4 kilometer long tsunami wall and has done lots of disaster prevention exercises. This tsunami was so large and magnified by swirling around the many bays on the coast that predictions became meaningless and the wall was swept away.

In the evening the news took a turn for the worse. We were told that radiation levels in the water in the turbine hall of Unit 2 were 10 million times normal and extremely dangerous. Is this worse case scenario? None of us said anything; maybe we've got number fatigue. I was wondering how I could get hold of some iodine tablets - suddenly the 'konbu' seaweed I've been putting in my food sounded no match for a dose of radiation that size. A few minutes ago I checked the news and it seems this information was mistaken. What the hell is going on?

Re-read the  new item on the British Embassy Tokyo's website which is advice from the UK Scientific Advisor - clear, lucid and reassuring.

The afternoon telly was given over to a scaled-down version of the high school baseball tournament which opened at Koshien Stadium in Osaka a couple of days ago.This is a national institution and will be a welcome distraction for many. Tohoku High School from Miyagi are playing tomorrow and everyone will be rooting for them.

It's Sunday evening and late. If you'll excuse me I'm off to bed; need to get ready for another busy week.
Love to you all


  1. So relieved to hear you are okay. Great to have your news. Tried contacting you various ways then saw you blogging on the Japan Society website! Have you got my email address? I have sent a card to Koriyama address. love from Sylvie

  2. Having looked through MANY sources of information on the nuclear crisis, I have learnt to filter out what most journalists say. I've become quite cynical about the western media in the last couple of weeks, and I can only trust nuclear scientists to tell me anything reliable.

    I heard a Greenpeace activist in the Netherlands on BBC Radio 4 spouting rubbish and demanding that the Japanese government do things his way (like evacuate everyone within 80km). I don't know how he managed to get on to the "World at One" with such a terrible grasp of the situation.

    There are some indiscreet people taking advantage of this story to advance their own interests. Angela Merkel for instance is a prominent political victim of this crisis.

    Keep writing! love,