Tokyo: Radiation, Hustle, Bustle, Light Rain and Dim Light

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Two weeks later: It continues, Tokyo goes on. Tonight in the hustle and bustle of Shibuya a light rain fell. The dim lit scene reflected the passersby on the main crossing.  People in coats rushing across the intersection and many noting how much darker it is. The large video screen remains turned off; however many still look up expecting it to flash its usual images. As the rain fell I wondered about the radiation situation. Is it falling down with the rain? If so, should I worry. Should I be concerned? The reports on TV initially say no.

If exposed, the levels are no more than a chest X-ray, an international flight, and or a medical CAT Scan. That’s what we hear at first. Then within the same report we are told to be careful. We are reminded of the dangers of radioactivity. It was also mentioned today that traces of radioactive iodine and cesium is are found in the water. These amounts are at higher than normal levels. The U.S. military warns us not to drink tap water but there is no warning from the local government. Each time we hear that we are safe, it is contradicted. Warnings and announcements become very illusive messages. My concern is this. If you spoke to anyone at the Shibuya crossing tonight and asked them if they knew they were safe from radiation. None of them could give you a clear answer.

If  you asked the same question to anyone in Tokyo tonight, you will get the same response. Something wrong when at a time like these people are not receiving the proper information. It is acceptable if a few people don’t understand. But when a mass of people who are under a great deal of stress and inert fear are not clearly receiving the answers they need. Something is very wrong. It is likely because the media and government agencies here don’t want to be accountable. They choose to give tactful amounts of contradicting information in a way so that people are left with making an uneducated guess. People are uncertain but somehow they are assured at the same time.

People here act and seem peaceful and calm when danger is indecisive. But underneath there is a lot of frustration. There is a lot of frustration here now. My point tonight in my writing is that they need to do a better job when giving us information about the nuclear crisis. If it is safe, please tell us. If it is not safe and certain precautions must be followed, please let us know. This is not a time for uneducated guesses. The unknown for many of the people here is a present danger like radiation itself. It is unseen, it requires special detection methods, it requires some education to understand about it, and an excessive amount is harmful. Despite frustrations, people are more optimistic. I remain optimistic.

Things have been improving as nothing has gotten worse for 4 days. Nothing shook us here again today. Be optimistic for us all here as well. But as you read this please remember that there are still a lot of folks in the Tohoku (North Eastern Japan) area that are in great need. The rain is still falling tonight as I close out my writing. It’s quieter than usual.

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