Tokyo food supplies run out but it’s ‘business as usual’

470935a3b7828e8870a8ef9e7759c5ff

The devastating trio of an earthquake, a tsunami and now the threat of nuclear meltdown has left the Japanese people in a bewildered state.

On one hand, I have witnessed the panicked buying and mass hysteria all too common in the aftermath of such events.

In Tokyo, restaurants are jam-packed with people but most supermarkets have no food to sell anymore, except soft drink cans and fresh salads.

"It’s because of the earthquake. The factory used by our suppliers was destroyed in the earthquake," whispers one shopkeeper, while smiling and apologizing unrelentingly to customers.

80 miles away from bustling Tokyo, in the coastal city of Mito, anger is rising. "Train are still blocked but rescuers are now cleaning the roads to let the trucks get in," a Finnish journalist told Metro via telephone. "In Mito, I saw people fighting for a bottle of water,"

Yet on the other hand, I see this famously stoic nation calmly getting on with the daily lives, only days after the most tragic event in Japanese history since WWII.

"You see? This Monday, it’s business as usual," Fujigo Nagana, a 78-year-old widow, tells me as she peers down from her apartment, watching office types walking to and fro in Yoyogi, a neighborhood in Tokyo’s central business district.

"My daughter lives in Germany. She is freaked out and wants me to join her but it’s so far away, so I am no going anywhere now," she says.

Down the street, I meet Akio Gondo, 60 years old. He works as a dental surgeon in the neighborhood but took a break to join the long queue in front of the local fuel station of Sendagaya.

"Now, whenever we have to leave the city, I will be ready," he says.

Akio shows a calm confidence about the nuclear crisis that threatens his country. "I support my government when it says the situation at the Fukushima nuclear plant is still under control. And I trust the news reports from NHK [national radio and tv] or the Asahi Shimbun [national newspaper]. So unless an experienced Japanese atomic specialist comes up and tells us to escape, I am not worried".

But as he watches Prime Minister Naoto Kan give the latest TV speech on the situation at Fukushima, Akio wonders: "Well, 300 kilometers [186 miles] between Tokyo and Fukushima is quite a small distance, isn’t it?"

 

Voices from Tokyo:

Fujigo Nagana, 78 years old.

Q: Are you scared?
A: No I am not and I feel very lucky after the earthquake.

Q: Do you trust official information about Fukushima?

A: Yes, I do and I watch goverment statements on tv all day long.

Q: Would you leave Tokyo?
A: I don’t want to even if my children ask me to.

Akio Gondo, dental surgeon, 60 years old.

Q: Are you scared?
A: I was a little bit afraid tonight after our prime minister’ speech on Fukushima.

Q: Do you trust official information about Fukushima?
A: Yes, we have to or what else can we trust?

Q: Are you ready to leave Tokyo?
A: Yes, my fuel tank is full and I have another house in Nagano

Nosomi Adashi, nail artist, 29 years old.

Q: Are you scared?
A: I think my foreign friends on Facebook are more scared than me

Q: Do you trust official information about Fukushima?

A: Not at all, I think the situation is much worse but they don’t want us to panic.

Q: Are you ready to leave Tokyo?
A; If i did not have an important exam this week, I would join my older brother in Shimane.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.