Is it bravery or stupidity?
Some foreigners including Singaporeans are staying put in the Fukushima Prefecture. They claimed that they were not fair weather residents who would run at the first sign of trouble. They sneered at those foreigners fleeing Tokyo/Japan. There was a sense of pride, bravery and commitment, that they will not abandon Japan just because they were foreigners. The issue is whether the place is safe. The Japanese authority has been repeatedly trying to calm nerves with statements that the radiation fear is low. Tokyo is safe, water level is also safe now, amidst more cases of radiation spreading in food and vegetables to harmful levels in Tokyo itself. PM Naoto Kan in his grim message also acknowledged that the situation in Fukushima is grave. What is the difference between safe and grave? Evacuation order was given to those staying within the 20 km radius of the ailing nuclear power plants. The Americans ordered their citizens to stay clear of 80 km. Between these two safety limits there must be something not told or said. Or the Americans are just plain chicken and the Japanese have a higher tolerance for radiation? The cases of severe radiation levels on the Fukushima workers are surfacing. Japanese travelling abroad are also found to have unsafe level of radiation. How safe is Fukushima and Tokyo and the surrounding areas? Key point to note, no high govt officials are seen visiting the area. Today’s ST headlined, ‘Signs of breach raise radiation fears.’ The 3rd reactor, the most dangerous one, is apparently found to be leaking. How much and how severe will this leakage be as time goes on? What are the consequences of those exposed to the radiation continuously by choosing to stay in Fukushima when they don’t have to? Many things are not told for sure. Many things are better not said for fear of creating panic. Is it responsible or irresponsibility to try to calm nerves and allow people to continue to be exposed to the radiation hazard in the surrounding area? Is it grave or safe?