Japan

We’ve all been watching the news about Japan – the earthquake, then the tsunami and the nuclear situation. The problem is, when most media relay news, the information about the nuclear bit is often exaggerated.

We were (are?) planning to go to Japan this Spring, and are aware that there’s a possibility of having to postpone our trip, but we want to know facts about the situation, not over-reactive texts and TV snippets with little real content. The national, and some international news are making it hard to get actual information about what’s going on. The best explanations of what is wrong with the Fukushima Nuclear Plants that I’ve seen were transmitted by NHK World.

[ image from Things We Forget ]

Tonight, they made a report about the radiation levels in regions to the south of Fukushima, after the winds took some of the radioactive particles there. This was something I was interested in and that I hadn’t seen being explained yet. Just outside the 30 kilometer perimeter, the radiation measurement was a little over 23 microsieverts, which is less than half what we’re exposed to when we get an X-Ray. In Tokyo, the measurement was of less than 1 microsievert. Also today, British, Australian, and American Governments said that there’s no serious radiation threat to Tokyo.

Yes, the situation can become worst, because they’re still dealing with the nuclear plant’s ongoing series of problems. But why pretend it’s worst than it actually is? Just for the ratings or newspaper sales?

A couple of the most laughable ‘news’ I’ve seen on this subject:

Fox News – managed to fail completely on their map, by placing the nuclear reactor where Tokyo would be and calling it ‘Shibuyaeggman’. What the heck? Was I surprised by this? No. One already expects this to happen when it involves Fox News.

The Sun – apparently there’s a ‘mass exodus’ away from Tokyo. Except there isn’t, really.

There’s more. Just check out some of Japan Probe‘s articles on these ‘news’.

Anyway, what I’ve been doing to keep up with Tokyo’s actual status is read some sites I follow, and some others that I’ve been introduced to in the last few days.

Shoot Tokyo – Photo posts with little textual content, taken in Tokyo. (found via my friend Vanessa)

Danny Choo – everyone knows him. The Stormtrooper in Tokyo.

Japan Trends – among other things, I loved this sarcastic article on Tokyo’s ‘food crisis’

Waribashi’s Facebook Page – Waribashi is a Portuguese magazine about Japanese culture

There’s also a stream of a geiger counter in Tokyo. It’s been down for a couple of hours. Don’t panic (it seems some people did panic when it went offline yesterday), they’re not ‘hiding’ anything – there was also some downtime yesterday and it was back up after a bit. Or maybe they got bored and shut it down since the values were always low. Who knows? *shrugs*

To finalize this gigantic post, if you want to help the Japanese earthquake victims, you can make a donation to the Japanese Red Cross.

The Japanese Embassy in Portugal, also made some other information available (in Portuguese) about how you can contribute to help the victims. (again, thanks to Vanessa who pointed this out to me)

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