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Japan Diary

April 7, 2011

Dark in the night---Tokyo with the nuclear disaster

I am back in Tokyo after one week's trip to the U.S.
There is no panic in spite of the nuclear disaster; anyway, it is more than 120 miles away and the wind almost never blows from Fukushima to Tokyo.

However, the atmosphere in Tokyo is subdued. They reduced the frequency of commuter trains, limited sales of milk and bottled water only one per one person. Some items are completely gone from the shops' shelves for weeks.

What is most striking is the darkness in the night. Neon lamps are turned off and street lamps are made dimmer. Some shops even switched off their signboards. For example in Baskin Robbins ice cream shop people are eating something murky in a bunker-like darkness. From outside you will never know what kind of place it is.

Concerts, seminars and symposia have been cancelled; happy events do not fit the times and foreign panelists cancell trip to Tokyo. People are dressed simple and dark. Depressing, depressing---

We people still do not know how the CEO of the Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO), which is running the nuclear power plant, looks like There are many rumors on the Internet---the CEO "fell ill" just after the accident and did not show up for two weeks, or the TEPCO is stifled under strong power of its labor union, and as the union is a strong supporter of the current ruling party DPJ, the government can not be too harsh on the TEPCO, etc.

Meanwhile, in this quagmire firefighters, policemen, contractors and staffers of the TEPCO, soldiers of the Self Defense Forces and ten-thousand strong American Armed Forces are devotedly working------------

Transportation lines to the inflicted area have been restored. Factories are quickly resuming their operation so that the global supply chain of automobile and electric components be not disrupted for long, whereas some productions are still on hold, for example paper and chemicals. The printing industry will suffer a lot.

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