Sunday, March 11, 2012

After Year One

courtesy of Dinivian Dondi
Sunday March 11, 3:31 p.m.

Did my "spring forward" to Daylight Savings Time, so I witnessed the memorial services to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the Great Quake at 1:46 a.m. (EDT). I even did my minute of silence in my pyjamas in my room.

I woke up this morning to see the parents watching Ken Watanabe gravely reading letters from those who had suffered directly from the quake and tsunami. I guess he's achieving his Morgan Freeman status in Japan. The past 24 hours have seen NHK showing live reports from the affected areas with intermittent performances by singers and high school choirs along with interviews of families. It's been all very sobering and respectful.

But I hope that the Japanese government finally get themselves into maemuki mode and finally construct that plan to rebuild the Tohoku area. The city of Kobe has been looking pretty pristine for several years despite being devastated by The Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995. Although I'm well aware that The Great East Japan Earthquake was worse on a larger scale, I think the government response has been far less effective than it should be. My biggest worry is, of course, the Fukushima reactors. CNN's Kyung Lah's report in the hot zone (in full radiation gear) does not give me much to be happy about. The contaminated water used to cool off the reactors is just being stored in massive containers until they run out of space. Then comes the big question of what to do next.