Monday, March 21, 2011

Woes in Japan

The government is doing a good job of cleaning after the Earthquake / Tsunami. However, the tight control also has a ugly side.

1) Information -- There is "White smoke" from the reactors, radiation detected in the air, but the status of Reactor 3 at Fukushima is "Unknown" -- WTF? A lot of aid workers in Sendai need information.

Information between camps, disaster sites, different prefectures, army - civilian,

2) Systematic "relief" effort -- This is a good way of getting to locations which have the largest population to get things going. However, it means that locations far away are not serviced at all. It means -- large communities, are still without water, electricity and heat.

3) Foreign help -- rejected. There is only a few locations that they allow foreign help. With media coverage, all the foreign help and NGOs are in Sendai, and all funds seem to be helping one area, and it is very ineffective.

There are other challenges that the relief teams and people face.

4) The hardest hit areas are up north, and really cold. Without heat, electricity and water, the area is very hostile.

5) Language barrier. A lot of aid team from other countries, and everything being in Japanese is not helpful.

6) National Pride. The Japanese people are proud and are not willing to receive help -- even when they need help! Unless it is critical. They would overwork their aid workers, doctors, rather than accept help. In Japan, there is a tendency to reject help and follow a chain of command, even if it is wrong.

There are other problems here, I hope things get resolved soon.

-- Iron Bowl

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