Originally posted by lpowell0627
When this disaster first happened, I remember reading a quote from someone that was involved with the Chernobyl disaster. I don't remember the
person, but I distinctly remember the warning. When asked what advice he/she would give to the Japanese people, the quote was simply:
"RUN! The government will not tell you the truth until it is too late. RUN NOW."
Pity the advice was not better received. Let this be a lesson to anyone and everyone in the future that experiences any kind of nuclear accident
going forward. Within 100 miles? Run!
Those who could run, did.
Those close to the plants were evacuated and sent to shelters. Tokyo was eerily quiet. Many people left to go to the South of Japan. Tokyo is a major
financial centre. People who work there cannot just take off and expect their job at the end of it.
Again, to run, takes money here, if you dont have money you cannot 'run'. The bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto is about 27 thousand yen. Then hotels
are not cheap - factor in about 10,000 yen a night. Then you have to feed everyone. Factor in 5 thousand yen for a family of four, per day, perhaps a
little more since you will not have cooking facilities.
My family would have loved to have run to the US, or Australia, or Canada. Tell me how we are meant to get work visas quickly? How about a job when
10 percent of Americans cannot find work. Run to where exactly? How? Say we spend what little savings we have (children are very very expensive in
Japan) on flights out of here. Where can we go? How can we pay our way in the medium to long term? What about our mortgage in Japan, we cannot just
default on it, can we? If we take a vacation, we have to return anyway, so we might as well not spend money on a 2 week vacation as what difference
would two weeks make when we have to return to work and our lives here.
Ordinary Japanese cannot afford to run. They cannot get the visas to go and live somewhere else, nor is finding work easy. Not even for English
speaking/bilingual professional people. If we could get visas, find work and be able to pay our way we would have left already.
I am not happy to go into my personal situation, but leaving was literally impossible.
So when you say 'run' please be aware that running is not as easy as it sounds, not for grown ups with responsibilities and debts and careers and
kids. Not for people like this Fukushima mother, who cannot afford rental accomodation outside of Fukushima, and may well be living in an evacuation
shelter. They get no government money in these shelters beyond those awards, just their food and a futon matress on a floor with hundreds of other
people. This woman is trapped physically and culturally.
When I became unhappy with my kids going to school and playing in the dirt, getting rained on, eating who knows what from who knows where in the
compulsory school meals, I fought, I filled in forms, I got called names by everyone around me, but I took my kids totally out of school and arranged
homeschooling. This mother has huge cultural pressures to send those kids out to school no matter what. Huge. She would be shamed, called a bad
parent, her child ostracised, if her husband is still alive, he probably would never allow her to do something so unfathomable like not send that
child into school to be irradiatiated. Many of these people in Sendai have lost people, try running when your mother is dead, or your father, or your
husband or wife, you have lost everything, the bank want your passbook, which you cant get because you cant get back to your house, or it was lost in
Run? How is this woman meant to be able to run?
The rich have already left, those who can go, have. The people left have no choice.
I suggest those who want to tell people to run, might like to sponser this Fukushima mother's visa, so she can come to your country, might want to
find her somewhere to stay, and feed her and her children. Im sure she would love to be able to leave and make a new life elsewhere. She cannot, and
that is something that people need to understand. I bet you there is not one person here who is able to, that would actually do this for Michiko and
her family. Words are easy, especially when you are denigrating this woman who has survived so much already and is doing the best she can with what
she has to hand.