Tokyo: many embassies are re-opening but it leaves a sour taste
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Northeastern Japan was hit by a devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis in Fukushima where radiation is still a major concern. However, for many embassies in far away Tokyo it was time to leave “their so-called friends in Tokyo” and to flee.
Now many embassies are returning and knowing Japan and its quietist policy then little or nothing at all will be said. Despite this, these embassies, international companies and Japanese nationals who left in panic despite Tokyo being so far away from the epicenter; did not care about their implications nor did they think about helping their friends or people who may need help.
Instead, they rushed out and hindered the economy of Tokyo and Japan because such scaremongering fed on itself and this had implications for the entire economy.
Also, many foreign nationals like myself desire to be treated equally in law, family law, and to be accepted into the various communities that foreign nationals reside in Tokyo and throughout Japan. However, to my amazement many embassies left Tokyo in panic and this was followed by some multinational companies who downsized and tens of thousands of foreign nationals were reported to have left either the Greater Tokyo region or Japan itself.
Therefore, this created enormous strains on foreign nationals who remained loyal to the city we reside in and cherish. Also, many politicians are against foreign nationals having the vote and given the fact that dual nationality is not allowed for adults then clearly most foreign nationals will not renounce their place of birth.
The mantra within the current political system and within political circles is that only naturalized Japanese nationals must be given the vote and the factors given are various. However, after watching and hearing about “foreign flight” in Tokyo and surrounding regions then they may have a point. because I feel that these embassies, companies, and individuals, have stabbed not only Japan in the back but also the foreign residents who desire to make Japan their home.
I am sure that various embassies will skulk back and give various mitigating factors and provide an enormous amount of spin. Likewise, individuals and companies will offer lame excuses but the facts speak for themselves.
Not all foreign nationals have “stabbed Tokyo and Japan in the back” and many are doing voluntary work or getting on with their lives. Also, Modern Tokyo Times tried to encourage our readership that Japan was fighting back and we highlighted the positive side like the brave firefighters in Otsuchi, fashion companies in Harajuku helping communities who were hit by the earthquake and tsunami, and a host of other articles in order to show that “the heart was strong.”
Sadly some of the international press and internal press in Japan got carried away with all the doom and gloom and they magnified the radiation threat to scaremongering levels.
This scaremongering took away the real focus which should have been on helping the communities of Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, and all areas which were hit by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake.
However, for people who “abandoned the ship” which was suddenly hit by the earthquake, tsunami, and the ongoing nuclear crisis in Fukushima; then they put enormous strains on the economy of Japan and Tokyo which is the main economic powerhouse.
Tourism also declined rapidly and the government of Japan had to invest vast sums into the stock market in order to create stability.
The embassies of the United Kingdom and America, and others, stayed fully operational and the British gave sound advice throughout the crisis and at all times they supported the Japanese government.
However, others who fled for various factors are now coming back but it leaves a sour taste because they abandoned Tokyo and communities that they said they respected. Yet actions speak louder than words and I, and many other foreign nationals with similar thinking, find the whole episode demoralizing and they have hindered the inter-community relationships which they claim to support.