Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

A Year From 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake And Tsunami

It has been a year since we had experienced a great disaster such as both earthquake and tsunami known as 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

Lots of media broadcast what happened on that day and afterward since everything had been gone… We watched many videos uploaded onto YouTube and etc. We read lots of detailed articles about people’s lives and etc. However, when I heard that those who don’t understand Japanese didn’t have any means to gather all the disaster information at all on overseas, I was very shocked. That is really amazing.

We have social media in our daily life. We want to know something about it; we can get it right away. But what happened in last year on March 11, 2011, most of the people who wanted to know what was actually going on in Japan had to follow one of the unofficial Japanese Bureaucracy agent’s twitter accounts. Didn’t we have an official Japanese government conference? I am not sure if that was really efficient enough for oversea media.

So, nobody will do it. I will make a report what is going on in Japan and what will happen to those who had experienced the great disaster afterwards. Where are we going from now as Japan and the Japanese?

Never forget what happened on that day

Last whole week, there were lots of documentary broadcast from NHK talking about what was going on in those who had experienced of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and how much progress we had so far, a year after Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

I myself had experienced September 11 attacks in 2001 in New York. Every year, when 911 come close to the actual September 11, we had an emotional flashback of what happened on that day of September 11. It had repeated several years and finally people feel a little bit recovery relief only just recently.

So I guess people in those areas of Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, it will take lots of time to heal emotionally. Once people start to build a new life in one’s old town, it will be hard to admit we recover completely from Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami even its infrastructure establishes. The people’s lost feeling is so hard to get back as used to be.

What can I do for those people who suffer most from Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami? We as the Japanese should never forget what happened on that day and start doing something positive about making once we loved our country, Japan and the Japanese.

Shelter Life

There are two things significantly I feel the most important ones that should be explained to the world. One is about people’s life in those shelters and the other one is about Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Let me share what I found out about displaced people first.

Do you think we recovered from the damage of 311 after you see some of the pictures that the towns are clear from lots of debris? No. People are still struggling with daily life. They try to get ones’ lives as they used to be and still don’t know where to begin with. There is no so much help financially from the Japanese government yet. No planning how they are going to rebuild the once they loved their old town. Japanese Government said that it was very difficult to define about the area affected by Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

So, there are lots of people living in those temporally built shelters away from hometown and be parted from friends, relatives and etc. They are not sure about how long do they have to wait until the lives they want to have as used to be. This is such a big stress, especially older people. They lost their friends. They tend to stay at home all day, talking and seeing nobody. Some might consider that saying I should have also gone by the Tsunami with my other friends. I survived, but it is not enjoyable for most of my friends had been going on that day.

Some people lost their loved ones, their family members. Almost most of the people regret about their choices which they made on that day in order to rescue their other family members. Most their choices didn’t work as they wish to be. Wrong choices made such a huge difference after all. Lost ones and left ones. Why I told them to wait for me? Or why I made the wrong decision about escape plan? If I would have made a different way, they would not have been killed by the Tsunami.

People who survived accused themselves and their emotions are not steady. Lots of people committed suicide even they survived after 311. They can’t see what is ahead of their lives. They lost lots of things and couldn’t hope their bright future.

Those who lost their jobs are also committing suicide. Because of the radioactivity from the Fukushima Daiichi, they cannot start to rebuild the work places. This is another stress for them. Can I wait a couple more years? I have to consider of my age that how long physically I should be fit to do the jobs. I am old enough that I cannot change and have another job. Should I move to the different city? That is out of the question. I don’t want to leave the town where I have been growing up since my childhood.

That is a dilemma between having nuclear power plant at their hometown and not having nuclear power plant in their hometown. In Tōhoku area, there are financially poor prefectures, so in order to manage as a municipal city; they must have revenue or income from the industries. Those who don’t have any reliable industries, they have to choose a hard way. That is accepting nuclear power plant which metropolitan area usually doesn’t want to.

Easy money from government and electric company

Once they build nuclear facilities and supply tremendous power to the metropolitan area, they get some revenue as tax allocation to the local governments. While it functions steady, it yields lots of jobs relating operations around nuclear facilities. This makes city financially no problem at all.

But we now have a Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, we have to reconsider how we are going to manage with the nuclear power plants or not having them at all. We have almost every prefecture having nuclear power plants, so it is impossible not to get effected such as radioactivity threat if one of the nuclear plants goes wrong such as hit by a big earthquake or tsunami. Do we have other choices? This disaster ironically brings people back to reality that we have to reconsider very seriously how we manage our natural resources.

Again, where are we going from now?

How we are going to make money in the world economy? Besides automotive and electronic industry, do we have any other industries that can produce both revenue and job opportunities? Are we ready to accept aging society with fewer children? How do we manage lots of older people in our society? What if our currency yen becomes weaker? Can we still depend on our politician? Or should we act as an individual right away?

People from all over the world are watching how hard we are going to work to get back. Some are expecting that Japan would come back again. Or some people are observing how once economically world number two country going down. Are we going to do it or are we going to wait until something happen. I don’t think something positive would never come unless something positive we make them happen. Let me report how we are doing after 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami continuously.


You can see what all the other Japanese are saying about the things they received from all over the world. This is the site where the Japanese try to send our message towards people who gave us lots of courage and sympathy saying, “Thank you very much for your kindness”. Now we are trying to deliver our messages such as how much we came back from the disasters a year ago. There is a twitter hashtag, #311fromjapan which you can follow these messages written in English by the Japanese.


2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami


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