Black and White: Opposing & Complementing (What News is the Right News?)


Black and White opposing and complementing I wish the news and reports about the reactor situation were a lot more clear. I wish they were as simple and black and white. Are we in danger or are we not? Facts which I’ve referenced cited worse case scenarios that seemed acceptable given the magnitude of disaster. A few chest X-Rays, if I did not protect myself. I’m for the most part assured but remain very skeptical. Why? When warnings are lifted, we find out that the evacuation zones have been expanded quietly.

Then today, we hear that water pouring from the reactors is over 1,250 times the safe limits. We are told that this is a very dire situation by the Prime Minister. But then we hear an official from Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, say that the contamination posed little risk to aquatic life. “Ocean currents will disperse radiation particles and so it will be very diluted by the time it gets consumed by fish and seaweed…” -Hidehiko Nishiyama.

So I’m to accept that it is a very bad situation however radioactive water that is 1,250 times the safe limit can be dissipated into the sea. When consumed by seafood there will be no adverse affect. What exactly does a safe limit mean when you can exceed it by over 1,000 times and not have to worry? It’s not very clear information and very gray to me. This is just an example of what others including myself have been inundated with for the past weeks from the media and officials here. As for other things today, I went to my friend’s restaurant for dinner.

Nice place, a father and son establishment. They’ve been hit quite hard by these current events. I was told that they had a lot of problems getting enough materials and ingredients to fulfill the menu. A few days last week they had to remain closed. Earlier today, during a trip to the market they noticed that fights and arguments were starting to break out. People are slowly reaching their limits. It’s been very difficult for them to earn a living. In all my years in Japan and all the years my Japanese friends have known Japan; they’ve never seen anything like this.

It puts things in better perspective for me. Although I too share the frustration of uncertainty. The crisis has thus far not effected my livelihood. I must be grateful. Tonight there are still people waiting up north for something good to happen. That is as clear as black and white.

Linh Vien Thai
Linh Vien Thai is Amerasian, born in Dalat, South Vietnam, where he continued to lived during the war. He left for the U.S. and is now an American living in Tokyo. He enjoys adventure traveling and doing what's right to make the world a better place.
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