One Year Ago: March 11, 2011.

Ganbarou Nihon - Hang in there, Japan. Tokyo taxi, Aug 2011. These bumper stickers were on taxis all over Tokyo, distributed by the local Taxi Association following the Great East Japan Earthquake.

I decided not to post any of those horrifying videos of the tsunami.  Just wanted to mark the day that almost 20,000 people lost their lives.  A terrible day.  But Japan continues on.  I saw much of that spirit all around me back in late July and August when I was in Japan on business:  the disaster reverberated in the hearts of everybody, but a steadfast determination to go forward and work through the shock and destruction and loss dominated.  That was down in Tokyo, and further south in Kyoto and Osaka.  Up north of Tokyo, in the Tohoku Region that was so devastated, things are much tougher, but they’ll get through, as long as people around the world don’t forget them and continue to support the slow rebuilding process, a process that will take years and years.  A friend in Tokyo just sent me an email and I think this excerpt from it sums up things, a lot of things:

The first year of rebuilding is not enough, and so many issues, but the nation has made progress.

.          .          .

  1. Many of us around the world are thinking of you, too.

      • letsjapan
      • March 11th, 2012

      Thank you. I’m hoping to continue to do my tiny little bit to help over there in my “second home.” Thing is, there will be opportunities for all of us to pitch-in, in one way or another, over the coming 3, 5, 10 years+. This will be a very slow recovery.

      For Americans who live in or know the Gulf Coast, I’ve invited them to image all the way from New Orleans to Port St. Joe, Florida, wiped-out, a 1/2 mile to 2 or 3 miles inland and about 34,000 Americans dying in one day. That’s when people in my part of the U.S. can almost grasp the enormity of the disaster and the scope of the recovery challenge.

      All the very best to you, Shoreacres.


    • Mark Brafford
    • March 11th, 2012

    There is such a hard case of NIMBY here in Japan that clean up is nearly impossible. Most cities will not assist in the acceptance of debris.

      • letsjapan
      • March 11th, 2012

      Yeh, Mark, that’s a terrible thing. With land being so bloody scarce and bureaucracy/bureaucrats being so bloody stubborn, I can see that as a bottleneck in the whole thing. Thanks for helping complete the picture, even if it’s things that hurt us to hear/read.


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