On a lighter note, Chinese tourists are back in Japan, particularly young couples, according to an article that appeared in Shukan Post, a Japanese weekly magazine. Chinese were among the first to depart en masse from Japan after the earthquake/tsunami/nuke plant disaster, and they avoided Japan altogether in April.
Why are they back now? Because they WANT to get exposed to radiation. Why? Because they believe that would get them a baby boy. It's got to be another "baseless rumor"; high-IQ and rich Chinese wouldn't do such a silly thing as trying to be intentionally exposed to artificial radiation hoping that would get them a boy, would they?
From Shukan Post article (July 22/29 issue) as appeared in Iza:
We hear that tours to Japan are becoming very popular among young Chinese couples.
We still remember the local airports crowded with Chinese citizens returning home upon the recommendation from their government. Why would the Chinese, who fled in a radiation panic, come back? There seems to be a reason behind it which we cannot totally be happy about.
"It's because a German study was reported in a Chinese paper that radiation exposure increase the chance of conceiving a baby boy", says a China-based Japanese journalist.
On June 8, Beijing Evening News carried the article titled "Radiation increases male babies". The article cited a dubious study that the ratio of male babies increased in Europe and the US during 1960s and 1970s when nuclear testing was done frequently, in Beralus 2 years after the Chernobyl accident, and in Germany and Switzerland in areas near nuclear power plants.
Net-savvy Chinese immediately responded to the article. The Chinese version of Twitter [I suppose it has nothing to do with Twitter but a Twitter-like service in China] was flooded with messages like "If you want a boy, go to Japan", "I'm going to buy a airline ticket to Japan right now", "Travel agencies should arrange "Boy Conception Tours"." And conspiracy theories like "It must be the false information concocted by "small" Japanese to revive the tourism from China."
We inquired the Japanese Consul in Shenyang. There was no issuance of visitor's visa to Japan, and only 23 in May. But in June the number exploded to 1,900.
A tour guide at a Japanese travel agency that cater to group tours from China says with a wry smile, "When I guided the Mount Aso in Kyushu, a newly wed Chinese couple asked me, 'How high is the radiation level?" When I told them there was nothing to worry about there, they were very disappointed. They said they wanted to have a baby boy."
This particular couple probably didn't bother to look at the map of "small Japan". The island of Kyushu is as far away as you can get from Fukushima I Nuke Plant. They should be enjoying the hot spring resort near the plant with the "Genpatsu Gypsy" workers (read the Guardian report).
The Japanese version of the same "baseless rumor" about radiation and conception is that if you work in a nuclear power plant you are more likely to get a baby girl, not boy. Maybe it's different with Chinese.