I’ve not been able to concentrate as well on work as I would like for the last few days. People may be able to guess at the reasons. The situation in Tohoku is still grim, but according to news reports on NHK this morning the roads are now clear to most of the affected area, and the railways are running into Morioka (in Iwate) both from the north and the west, so supplies are starting to get to the people who need them. The government has now requisitioned 500 petrol tankers, and is shipping the necessary fuel to the north. I guess that means we can anticipate temporary shortages everywhere else in Japan.
The Fukushima reactor is still not in a safe condition, obviously, but it’s still a long way from here. Judging from the comments on the Guardian stories on the issue, there are a lot of people in the west who have forgotten the earthquake and tsunami. “Why didn’t they X on day 0?” Because on day 0 there was a tidal wave that killed around 15,000 people and washed several towns away; the nuclear power station wasn’t the highest priority then. It’s just possible that it is now, but until there are steady supplies of fuel, food, and water to all the evacuation sites, it won’t be clear that it is.
Anyway, Kawasaki is still calm. I went shopping for my lunch again, and the local supermarket had bottled water in significant amounts, and quite a bit of rice in stock. Still no milk, and only one variety of instant noodles, but I got my lunch from the deli section. They were also out of flour, which is annoying, as we’re about to run out of plain flour, which we need to make bread. I may have to ask Yuriko to bring some back from Nagoya.
At the moment, the plan is for Yuriko to come back as planned, as she wants to keep working, and Mayuki’s day care centre is planning to restart normal meal service from next week, less milk, which suggests that they think things are getting back to normal. The Tokaido Shinkansen, which she’ll use to get to Nagoya, is running more-or-less normally, apart from going a bit slow for the first part of the journey, to save energy.
Talking of that, the planned blackouts are happening, but we have yet to be affected. I have a theory that the aged mother of one of the Tepco directors lives in Century Townâ€¦ Actually, they have only been targeting part of each of the listed areas at a time, so I suspect that we will get a power cut tonight. Fortunately, Yuriko’s parents sent us batteries and candles from Nagoya, so we’ll be able to cope.
I did get some work done this morning, sending a proposal off to a company that’s offered me potential work since my teaching is so disrupted. I’m hoping to get some editing done this afternoon; I’ve set things up so that I can do it on Yuriko’s laptop if there is a power cut.
I see that Japan is dropping off the top of the news agenda, replaced by plans to bomb Libya. That’s fair; while the problems here won’t be solved for quite a while, they should, I hope, stop being newsworthy soon.