The Outlook on Tohoku

We all know of the “Great East Japan Earthquake” that happened earlier this year and how devastating it was. It has had a massive effect on the Japanese economy, but I also want to talk about some of the other effects it has had on Japan and other countries in the sociological aspects.

First point I would like to talk about is the relief efforts the world has put forth to help Japan in their time of need. It is truly something that is hard to express in words. This picture is a map of the countries of the world that offered assistance to Japan by either donating or by sending rescue squads to Japan in their time of need. This has been a very hard year for Japan, and it was great to see how the world came together to aid them.

The international response to the events that took place in the Tohoku region have been mixed through media. Due to the news and media coverage in foreign countries during the earthquakes, tsunamis, and radiation people’s view on Japan has changed in good and bad ways. From my own personal experience, the news broadcasted in America about the radiation and lack of food in Japan was blown out of proportion in my opinion, and because of this, I was forced to return back to America even though I was living in the Kansai region. Many countries, when they heard that the earthquake had occurred in Japan, they believed that the whole country was in jeopardy. It was not only American media, but many other students studying abroad were called back to their homes, especially Europeans. This also cancelled many study abroad options this year for foreigners going to Japan due to liability issues.  This is just one of the international results from the Tohoku events that took place.

Another important point I would like to bring up for discussion is the fact that many people who lost their home have had to go through hard times in recovery and some have had to resort to moving to different places in Japan. Also, think about the effect this has on the children of those regions that were hit the most. I’m sure their lives have been completely changed due to the earthquake. I understand that this is a hard topic to talk about, especially for Japanese people, but I would like to see how everyone views the events that took place and how they were handled or broadcasted in your countries. When a disaster strikes a country like this, think of the drastic changes that take place in families and countries. I believe that countries, through help form the rest of the world, pick themselves up and become stronger because of disasters such as this.

by Aaron (AJ) Glass

3 thoughts on “The Outlook on Tohoku

  1. Hello! First, I was surprised by the fact that such a many countries, even Africa, gave Japan some kinds of aid. In fact, I didn’t know that though I’m Japanese. Usually African countries are given some kinds of aid by other countries, but this time they gave Japan one.
    Second, I knew that almost countries thought “all” of Japan was dead at that time of 3.11 in 2011. I think there are two reasons why they thought so. First, a lot of media didn’t know the dietails of damege of the earthquake. I guess it’s hard to get information from foreign country which is confused, but media must broadcast “real” information. Second, a lot of media picked up only the just shocking situation of tsunami, flowing houses, destroyed town, and so on with less information. People who watched this must misunderstand that all of Japan was over! The part destroyed is only the part of Tohoku, and radiation may spread largely, but people living except Tohoku live usual daly life!
    Third, I also think that the people whose lives were changed completely by the earthquake. I wish they get back safty life as soon as possible.

  2. I remember the day the earthquake happened I was supposed to have a normal class, but instead we ended up just discussing the earthquake. Through the following weeks we’d all watch the news, but I feel like what we heard in class from our teacher who had stayed in touch with people from Japan and kept up with all the information gave us a much better picture of what had happened compared to how it was pictured in the news. Students from our university were called back, even if they did not live in the Tohoku-area, and we were advised against traveling to Japan. Because of this, a lot of my classmates had their exchange dates postponed (and some even gave up on going altogether).
    I was still in the process of filling out my application for going abroad when this happened, and I remember everyone asking me why I wanted to still go. It was “dangerous”! Even when I tried to explain the distance between where I’d be going and where the earthquake had happened people would give me worried looks. I really do think the reason everyone thought the whole country had become dangerous is because of the way it was portrayed in the media. Sometimes it seems like the media picks shock value over facts.

  3. When this earthquake hit Tohoku, I was studying abroad in the U.S. In the morning, I turned on TV and there were news flash coming one after another. It was really devastating what happened in Tohoku but I was so surprised that American news keep broadcasting about Japan literally a whole day. That made me even nervous more than anything. As the author mentioned in this post, I got an impression that whole Japan is in big trouble. I can understand many foreign exchange students were told to leave Japan.
    This earthquake was giving hard time especially to the people in Tohoku, but it was very nice to know that there are many countries that care about Japan. I also feel happy that after watching these news, there are still many foreign people want to come to Japan. I want to believe this earthquake strengthened the bond all over the world.

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