It has been three weeks since mother nature let loose on the northern area of Japan. Other than a few minor inconveniences, the Tokyo area is humming along normally. It is true that the tremblor shook this place very hard, knocking-out the power and putting people in the streets quickly. The people in this area reacted, remained calm, came together, and continue to deal with it with their chins up.
I have the utmost respect for all the foreign journalists that put themselves in dangerous situations in order to give the world a view of what was going on. Truly. The journalists on the ground here seemed to do a good job of accurately report what was going on. What disturbs me is how the foreign media twisted things, using “choice” words in their headlines, and downright reporting bias on their interpretations and sensationalism, all in order to boost their ratings and profitability, and in turn, scaring those that don’t know otherwise.
“Tokyo is a Ghost Town.” Well…The quake happened on Friday afternoon. It took all night for people to get home. The cameras were rolling on Saturday morning in the office areas of the city. There wasn’t any traffic, a few pedestrians. CNN forgot to mention that no one lives there, they are office buildings, and it was Saturday morning. Then I get (another) email from a friend in the USA telling me I should leave too.
“People Are Fleeing Airports.” Footage of Asian people waiting in line at Narita and Haneda Airports. Yes, they were “fleeing,” but no, they were not Japanese, as the media wanted us to believe. The “people” were for the most Asian tourists sensibly cutting their holidays short due to the disaster!
“Food Shortage in Tokyo.” It is true that there was “panic-shopping” going on. However there was, has been, no food shortage. At the ill thought advice of panicked radio station operators, shoppers bought-up bottled water, bread, and rice . There was a shortage of those for about a week but certainly no “food shortage.” Email from my father: “Do you have enough food?” Thank you CNN.
There is no denying an enormous problem concerning the Fukushima nuclear plant. But…CNN, was it really necessary to do a detailed story about TEPCO’s history? Was it really necessary to seek-out a few elderly survivors of Hiroshima for interviews??? What’s the point? Email from my sister: “Get outta there!” Thank you for scaring the hell out of my family and friends. We aren’t scared here. Japan remains a wonderful country. That mess will get cleared up, there will be many sad stories coming out of it, but there is no need to believe that the tap water in Tokyo is going to blow holes through our stomachs, rubbish!
As is so often the case once the circus leaves town I am starting to see less and less coverage now, and yet the people in the north haven’t even started to go about getting their lives together. I guess there is no more revenue to be made for the foreign media here, even though there will be many stories for years to come. Hey….Remember Christchurch, New Zealand? That one went away quickly, and it was only about six weeks ago…We are fine here in Tokyo, please stop scaring foreign countries with your hype!
Jim. (Openly Loving Japan.)