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"Why don't they leave?": The psychology of the refusal to abandon Tokyo/Jaqpan

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posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 10:11 PM
A lot of people on ATS seem puzzled and even visably angered that there hasn't been an evaucation of Tokyo/Japan. Even leaving aside the brute fact that all historical, logistical, stategic, economic, and even physical/geographic evidence points relentlessly to the absolute impossibility of such a pipe dream ("maybe if we all hold hands and love, we can materialize a fleet of winged pink ponies that will fly the people to safety in Candyland"), there are other reasons people might have chosen to stay. I'd like to look at one possible scenario that seems to be pretty common in Tokyo these days. This hypothetical "case study" below drawn from my interactions with Japanese businesspeople, normal people on the street, and others over the last few weeks on ground here in Tokyo.

I will, for the sake of argument, ask you to put yourself in the place of the average middle-class Japanese, imagining a similar catestrophe had happened close to whevever you happen to work and live. So Let's do a thought experiment:

You are a local businessperson in the area you are living (or an area you really want to live in and have aspired to live in for years and finally made it, say. Or maybe just your beloved lifelong home-town, wherever that happens to be --the point is, a place you personally happen to know/love. Not Tokyo per se.)

You started out poor, but with much effort and life over many years, you managed to build a pretty comfortable middle class life for yoruself, with a home and a wife and a family. Business has its ups and downs, but its something you've put your life into and you've come to see it as your life work, because you enjoy what you do for the most part.You have plenty of friends, community involvement, investments in the area (in both time, emotion, and money). The people in the neighborhood know your name, you have a little cycle where the same grocery clerks and bartenders and so forth recognize you. You like bantering with the eccentric old lady next door or the thoughtful art college student down the street. Moreover, you are building a pretty good nest egg, better than you'd dared hoped, and if the future seems not quite as flashy and dramatic as you once might have fantisized, at things are finally looking up after a few decades of absolute struggle.

Then, a natural catastophe occurs, and a nuclear plant about 150 miles from you goes up in smoke. You don't know much about nuclear power, but you roll up your sleeves and try to learn. After a few days frantically pouring through old military field handbooks about nuclear fallout, dense incomprehensible physic textbooks, your favorite doom-laden sites, and other grim tomes, you start to realize the situation may be a little different than you immediately assumed.

For one, the radiation in the food and the air around you seems just fine. Granted, bad stuff is happening north of you, but for the time being, day after day, for wharver reason, none of this is rearing its head in your particular city. There are no zombies shuffling through the streets. Six weeks after the quake, we have the tragedy of the displaced persons, but the vast, vast majority of people in the major cities seem to be living their lives pretty much normally. The immediate danger zone is still far from the city. Maybe there are more delays and snafus than usual, maybe there is this weird shortage/hording dynamic going on and you have trouble finding the things you need, but with a little effort you can make do. Everyone around you seems in the same boat, getting back to work, doing things. People are helping each other and new ways, and you really like the way the community has sprung into action. You feel you are grappling with serious challenges for the first real time ever, and coming out quite well.

A client lands a big project on your desk; this is something you've been angling for for months, and the extra money will really make a difference. So you throw yourself into the project as usual, just like old times. When you get home, your wife is waiting there with a candlelight dinner and your favorite meal, and your daughter is full of enthusiastic tales of success at school and happiness with her friends.

You are aware of the long-term dangers: the radiation in the food chain, the possiblity of rain and what that does, the possiblity of a radioactive monsoon season. You know that another, even worse quake could happen at any time. You know the business conditions have just gotten a whole lot shakier for most everyone, and all this is very worrying. But these are worries that aren't going to be solved today.

And let's face it: the "ifs" are still significant enough that you are very, very leery of ditching everything on the strenght of conjecture alone. Are you, right now, this very moment, willing to give up home, all your posessions, money, investments, neighborhood, job, etc. to go squat in a tent for who know how long, using a bucket as a toilet and eating cup ramen 3 meals a day? Especially if it was still unclear exactly what the damage would be?

And from there who knows? A "new homeland" in Africa or Mexico or Russia or the somewhere else for you and your fellow refugees? That presents all kinds problems: What kind of job will you have? Will you be contend to dig ditches for the next 40 years in some kind of glorified refgee reservation with a cot and a steel bowl and spoon for your daily rations? Will you even be able to put a roof over the heads of your family members? Will you be able to feed your family? How long will you be living like that? With the old career track blown to smithereens, what kind of future are you looking at? Do you know what it really means to go from a majority in one of the world's richest, most efficient and technologically advanced nations nation to a minority in a more rough-and-tumble land?

You realize that you could easily have left for a FEMA camp 5 weeks ago immediatley after the event, and if you had done so, you would be sitting there staring vacantly into space, instead of home with your wife and daughter, making money and living well. Is the refuge's life be arguably any better now? He may be depressed, shivering in a tent, short of food and medicine, only able to take a shower a week. By remaining here, you've at least gained 5 more weeks of sane, normal living, and the Refugee's position is arguably far worse off at this point. Plus, as an ATSer, you have a very healthy distrust of FEMA cattle-car mass evaucations of millions anyway, just on general principles.

So, you decide to keep a wary eye on the situation. Maybe if the water-table gets infected, you will re-evaluate. Maybe a radioactive plume will change everything. Maybe a new quake, a new have your eyes glued to the radiation sites, you are seratily reading up on survival, formulating several contingency plans that include flight to another region or another country.. But you not going to jump at shadows, especially when it would mean blythely tossing out eveything you' spent your whole life building and puitting your family into financial jeopardy.

Bottom line: You need more information of a more clear and present danger to make such an earth-shattering change, abandoing everything you have and are to simply walk fdown the road with a single change of clothes and a backpack.. And so far, despite all the hyperbole, the fact is that the "S" hasn't really "HTF" yet. It's always a risk waiting "too long" for more concrete evidence, of course, but again, weigh that risk against all the very real risks and drawbacks of fleeing that I have outlined above. When you make a stone-cold-sober evaluation of the situation, you'll find the issue seems a lot less clear-cut than it might feel at first.

Think about it.

edit on 4/21/11 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 10:26 PM
reply to post by silent thunder

You offer a point I've always considered.

People here on ATS will say "X Danger is coming" You should go and get to safety. This is a typical statement on prophecy threads, IE: Some charlatan says a city will be nuked. But in this case, it's a real disaster situation, and none of us can really evaluate what the conditions are from person. It seems horribly insensitive to give people such advice when all things and reality are considered. Why is it that people on ATS expect others to make life changing decisions usually based on their own personal delusions about a situation they can't comprehend?

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 10:45 PM
I have a theory. Lets say that USA did use HAARP to cause the 3/11/11 9.0 quake in Japan because they owe America some xbillion dollars. They where threatened that the island will be plunged to the dark depths, right?

The Japanese govt. knows that the US govt. used harp on them, and they know that the nuclear plants were designed for sabotage.

Here is the thing, the reason why the japanese did not concrete and lead the d@mn things is because it is saving them from the US using harp to give them the final push over the ledge. If all that sh!t from the plants gets into the Pacific, all life would end within weeks, quicker for the west coast of the Americas because of the 1000ft pure radioactive tsunami that would occur after the sinking. So Japan is saying "go ahead, sink us, it will be the last thing you ever do".

So instead of them sinking the island, they may be using harp to target certain regions around Tokyo until it falls. I have been watching it for about 2 weeks now, and the quakes are getting closer and closer.

I forgot the main reason, right, why wont they leave? Stubborn, Pride (remember, it took 2 nukes to stop em'), or it is just so hard to leave such a beautiful place, i'll tell you something, i feel like i want to be on Japan right now so i can actually do something good, i cant do crap here in america, at the moment anyway.

Just a theory tho.

edit on 21-4-2011 by AOA2012 because: Peace and Love to All

edit on 21-4-2011 by AOA2012 because: Everything Is Alright

edit on 21-4-2011 by AOA2012 because: (no reason given)

edit on 21-4-2011 by AOA2012 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 10:52 PM
I had that same argument with my wife because as a man i often dont see the other side,, whatever that means,, but she said, just what can they do? it is their home. ok i guess but my point is once the Japanese women find out that Cessium was found in a womans breast milk, that the Japanese women will go ballistic and show everyone who actually runs Japan,, you know their protect the young instict thing takes over,, and i Japan i always thought the women held the fuedal type position,, guess i'm just old.

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 11:20 PM
reply to post by silent thunder

Hi Silent, its great to hear from you (!!!) , and thanks for your poignant post.

We will all be there someday, sometime. My heart is out to all...

“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal.”

C.S. Lewis.

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