Monday, March 14, 2011

What a Way to Spend a 7th Anniversary...

Well today is our 7th wedding anniversary, and yet it feels anything but romantic. There's so much concern about the trip, and the wider issues of Japan... it's sort of over-shadowed everything else. Not only is it our wedding anniversary, it's also White Day in Japan. I'll post on that later...

It's now about 30+ hours before T-chan and L-kun get on the plane for Sydney, and about 46 hours before they arrive in Narita - and another 6 hours before they arrive in New Chitose Airport. It won't be till about 3pm on wednesday that I'll know that they're safe and sound back at home in Sapporo. Oh how I wish that we could have flown direct into Sapporo.

According to Qantas and JAL services are all on time, and there's minimal disruption. We're outside the current period to change flights (only included flights departing today). Not that T-chan would think of changing flights... easily. Yet she's also nervous about going back now... is it safe? We know that there's a 70% chance of another 7+ magnitude earthquake  - but also there's a much greater chance of another larger (more unpredictable) earthquake in the near future. Not to mention the growing threat of nuclear power-station problems (with yet another reactor having problems... and much closer to Tokyo this time around).

There's a lot of talk about people getting out of Japan - and for tourists not to come to Japan. Does that apply to us? Are we tourists? Our friends in Japan are starting to consider whether they should be returning to Australia... one works in the Australian embassy and he's wanting to send his family home. With talk about rolling power cuts and food and fuel shortages, it's also a worry to think if we've all underestimated just what the short to medium term implications will be.

How can I not be worried?


  1. Frankly, Ben, I am sorry but I, as a Japanese citizen living in Japan, do not know what is the best thing for you to do.
    T-chan must be willing to meet her parents especially at this moment, but Japan is still shaking.
    This is the first experience for all of us. I am glad the society as a whole is stable at least now.

  2. Yeah - we're getting conflicting views. T-chan's parents (in Sapporo) and brother (in Tokyo) are not that concerned as they'd be spending the next 3 weeks in Sapporo, by which time things should have stabilised even further.

    On the other hand, we heard from the Japanese wife of someone working in Tokyo (but living in Saitama) that there was growing panic, and that they want to get out of Japan - and that we shouldn't come.

    Of course I don't want my family in harm's way - at all... and if we were planning a trip now, we most definitely would consider postponing.

    I'm sure that we have the advantage (if it is one) of not having experienced the first big quake - and as such, we're not as on-edge as most Japanese would be. Perhaps that's a bad thing, as we don't really know the situation on the ground.

    I'm less worried now about the quake than worried about the reactor issue (even though I know the risks are low), or the rationing of fuel/food etc... and that's before even thinking about the psychology of the country at this time.

    I know however, if they go, I will be worried about them every second they're there.

  3. I'm not sure how it's playing out in Japan now... but the tremors (aftershocks) seem almost a non-event right now compared to the apparent growing disaster of the Fukushima reactor.

    I have a tendency to over-think things, but to be honest, I'm struggling to see a positive end to this now. Too many things that shouldn't happen, are happening... and all the signs are towards a bad end... though I try not to think too much that way.

    But of course, the more I try to find out what's going on, the more it makes T-chan feel more insecure... and I guess I can only imagine what she's going through.