Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hats Off to Japanese for "Extend and Pretend"

It's just surreal, one-thirty in the morning here, to look at a photo of people gathered to listen to a candidate's speech for the local elections.

In the middle of the greatest disaster that has ever struck the nation in its 2,000+ years of recorded history (depending on who you ask, it may be well over 10,000 years counting pre-historic times) with the emergency at Fukushima I Nuke Plant on-going, with radioactive materials falling on tap water and broccoli, what do people do?

Go listen to their candidate for their local election to elect mayors and governors, and representatives for city and and prefectural governments.

Why the hell are they holding the elections now? Because that was scheduled long time ago. Have to stick to the schedule, no matter what.

I'm shaking my head.

Urayasu City in Chiba had the guts to say "No, we are not going to hold the election in the time like this. We simply do not have time, facilities, and people to do it." The mayor of Urayasu is furious. "In the time like this, voters cannot make sound judgement, and candidates cannot conduct adequate campaigns." 19 voting stations out of city's total 31 are unusable because of liquefaction, and the mayor is threatening he will not issue the use permit for the voting stations. (Tokyo Shinbun, in Japanese, 3/24/2011)

Good for him. Why can't all the other mayors and governors be like him?

Go take a look at the faces of people gathered at Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, at Yomiuri Shinbun here. They look glum and worried. Why they bother to attend the speech is a total mystery to me.

(Almost makes me wonder if the newspaper or TV covering the event ask the passers-by to gather there for the photo-op.)

It is immensely sad, it almost makes me cry. They are hoping that their lives are going back to normal soon, so they do what they normally do every few years - go listen to their candidate speak in an election campaign.

I'm ready to give up, and just hope with them. In the small hours past midnight, it seems like the only thing that's left for Japan. Hope. Or pretend. Just pretend with them that everything will be OK.

An aftershock of Magnitude 6.1 just hit Miyagi and Iwate. The epicenter was off the coast of Iwate, 20 kilometers in depth.


Spence Cooper said...

Don't give up. The citizens of Earth need to be told the truth about this event. Keep writing and adding to this moment in history on your blog, then chronicle all the information you've gathered and write a book.

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