[Photo] Where’s the news about Japan these days?

It’s been 100 plus days since 3.11 and unless you are in Japan, I feel that you rarely hear too much about the aftermath of the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami these days. In China, after a week or two topic of interest quickly switched over to the nuclear reactors in Fukushima. Its’ interesting to see how most of the major foreign media companies spit fired all they want talking about how Fukushima is the next Chernobyl and they ignored how the survivors are dealing with their changed every day life. No one can deny the great amount of hysteria that was caused by the foreign media journalists post 3.11. Foreigners in Japan or “flyjins” were in panic and had no choice but to flee the country believing the words from their media of origin. In Japan, I feel that most Japanese media companies looked up to foreign media outlets in the past. You could find that most articles in Japan would use an US media company to enforce the writer’s point or thesis. But what happened? I have seen stereotypical adjectives come up in pieces that if a writer really understood the complex society of Japan, he/she would never have used; such terms like Ninjas or Kamikaze to describe the Fukushima 50. The greater portion of interest for readers and writers may be over but in reality, Tohoku region is still in ruins today even after 3 months. In a country like Japan, still left in ruins even after this much time, to me, tells the story of how significant this incident really is. Since being back in Japan for a week now I can’t stop but to hear stories about the survivors from the Japanese media; how it has changed Japan as a society and how people interact with one-another. I learned today that over 1,500 children have lost one or both of their parents from the earthquake and tsunami. According to NHK, the government has stated that family members who have not been found past 3 months can be declared dead as opposed to the usual 1 year rule that was applied in Japan. That means family members are rushed to find their beloved ones as reconstruction is carried on at high pace; making it harder for them to find family members. There are days recently that not a single body is found as more than 7,000 people are still missing. In Japan, survivors yearn for their family members body to return back to them even if they know the person is already dead. All I ask is for everyone to take a moment and please think about the survivors and the family members of the victims. Their journey to recovery  has just begun while the aftershocks have yet to end.

By: Go Katayama

Chinese people take a close look at the "Japan Tohoku Earthquake Photo Exhibition" at 798 Art District in Beijing

2 responses

  1. tokyobling

    Personally I think it is ok if foreign media move on to other subjects. People who weren’t here can’t be expected to understand, and neither do they need to. The nuclear situation is much more interesting and useful for them, since many other countries have these scattered around their backyards as well.

    The earthquake shifted the national psyche as well and I notice how people have changed, every day in Tokyo I’m reminded of the emotional scars people carry. Sometimes I think the people in the Tohoku region are doing better than us in Tokyo, since they are in the middle of it they can deal with it, they can mourn and move on. Apart from a few aid trips in March and April there haven’t been anything I can do about it, no catharsis, no way to release all of this pent up negative energy.

    The foreign media reaction was beyond the worst I have ever seen and I won’t even go into them here on your blog. The Japanese media also, deserves a place in the Hall of Shame for their reporting, but not nearly as bad as the foreign media. Some Japanese media were excellent, like NHK, as always.

    Still there’s so much to be done and so little has yet been accomplished. The politicians still playing their games of getting votes etc. In reality, it’s all up to the people right now.

    June 28, 2011 at 9:45 am

  2. thanks for your response!

    June 28, 2011 at 10:32 am

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