Please, when will it stop?

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)

6 thoughts on “Please, when will it stop?

  1. I don’t know why but American news are so dramatically presented, i have tens of friends in japan and not even one of them didn’t say that they will die of hungry or about the radiation level. Anyway , i’m happy cause everybody is ok.

    • Dear David,

      thanks for taking time to comment. I agree with you at the end most important is that everyone is doing fine.

      All the best from already summerly warm Tokyo,

      Sibylle Ito

  2. Gossiping… sensationalizing…there is no doubt that I’ve taken quite a hit, and while what happened is devastating it amazes me how uneducated the masses are, esp those in mass communications..or maybe that was their intent, to sensationalize? “ugh” From family pleading to take iodine pills to can you drink water…. for me, it’s like throwing around a blanket statement… one wouldn’t do that, but why don’t those rules apply here?

    • Dear Elle Marie,

      welcome back. I guess sometimes it is interesting to observe and gossip from the outside how everyone is coping or struggling in Japan. Potentially we are now a source of a different kind of reality show 😉 Although I am wondering how long it still will last…

      All the best,


  3. Sibylle, you hit the nail on the head!

    I got e-mails from my friends in Europe (and the US) right after the quake. And I don’t even live in Japan! I’m sure watching the news, they thought the entire country of Japan was washed away by the tsunami!

    I got tired of responding so just copied and pasted my response to everyone. (I’m from Osaka and for my family and friends, things were as they always are. Not even afterschocks there!)

    The people affected by the tsunami and Fukushima disaster still need help, but the country has to move on, for its sake and for those people, too!

    • Dear Unsinkable Japan,

      thank you very much for your time to visit this blog and comment.

      The days after the earthquake and moreover then after getting back to work after 2-3 weeks I had spend a lot of time explaining on what is going on in Japan. Maybe at that time with the business contacts I had about one third or less of the communication was focused on business, the rest on the disaster. Considering the need for Japan to increase local efficiency, productivity, turnover and profit ASAP to pay for the effects of the disaster keeps everyone busier than before. Being fully aware that business on the level like before the earthquake is not appropriate due to urgency of recovery, the additional efforts now for increasing local economy has to deal with the foreign need for local news and it seems to me “gossiping”. My sincere desire is solely trying to find a way for Japan to get back on its feet without a deep, deep bump on the GDP.

      Give us a chance to focus on recovery and damage control to the Japanese GDP.

      Sibylle Ito

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