Although for me daily life is back to normal, still almost everyday I am reminded by others that I seem to be in a place of deadly danger. The first few days after the earthquake I had received emails and phone calls from friends and acquaintances around the world, who were truly concerned about my wellbeing. I still feel moved and honored to be so much cared about. For sure I will never forget it.
Now after so many weeks have passed, I am surprised to see that with people I know in the US communication is back to normal, totally different compared to the acquaintances I have in Europe. Honestly I do not know what causes actually the difference. From what I hear the news content about Japan has continued on a dramatic level in both geographical areas. I can only assume that for Europeans the effect of Fukushima goes deeper than in the past Chernobyl. All of a sudden Japan as a country known for high quality technical products, lots of preparation and prevention work for potential disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis got truly damaged. The unexpected height of the tsunami caused a domino effect at Fukushima. All of a sudden we have an example that unpredictable events with unthinkable huge amount of deadly outcome do actually happen and moreover, radioactivity will stay in Fukushima area for a long period to come. Although in school in Europe I learned what to do in a worst case scenario with a nuclear meltdown or drop of an atomic bomb – comparable to the earthquake trainings in Japan – I guess no one believed that it can actually happen. It seems to me as a consequence for many Europeans the previously assumed security is gone. The very unlikely worst case scenario seems more real now than in the past. Let me reassure you that I fully understand the fear and concerns for the future. At the same time to be frank, I am getting tired of reassuring people in Europe that life in Japan is not as bad as described in their news.
Personally at the end life can be seen as full of beauty and love like an optimist, or a place full of danger like a pessimist. No matter what the stance is on nuclear energy, Japan needs right now a certain amount of electricity to economically survive. My plea to people abroad, give Japan a chance to get back on their feet and please do stop questioning people in Japan whether someone can really remain alive in Japan.
Thanks for your consideration,
Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)