Saturday, March 19, 2011


Many Australians don't like the Japanese for what did to our Servicemen and their behaviour towards our allies. Still the generation that wrought those atrocities is nearly dead and guiltless generation has taken its place.

Whilst I have my reservations about Japanese culture, I've been quite impressed by the way in which the Japanese have handled the disaster. Where's the looting? Instead, the images that keep coming back are that of dignified people taking it on the chin.

I'm quite the proponent of nuclear power, especially of this form, and I don't suffer from the anti-nuclear hysteria that the majority of the population seem to possess. Still, it's one thing to overplay dangers and yet another to minimise them, and facts are facts, being around the Fukushima's nuclear plants at the moment is not likely to be conducive to one's health.

The Daily Mail reports on the Fukushima Fifty, a group of men who've stayed at their posts, at real danger to themselves, to try and limit the damage at the nuclear power plant. Officially they are being exposed to "regulated" amounts of radiation, but in reality, the doses they are being exposed to are probably much higher. What will happen to them, who knows for certain, but I image there will be a lot of early deaths from cancer.

I can express nothing but admiration for these men, most of whom it would appear, are volunteers. Tonight before I go to bed, I face towards Japan and raise my glass to them.

I can recognise courage when I see it.


Simon Grey said...

As to the nuclear power issue, it's worth remembering that everything has risks and rewards. Yes, as the situation in Japan reminds us, the risks of nuclear power are considerably higher than the alternatives. But the rewards are much greater as well, and certainly worth it, in my humble estimation.

Anonymous said...

I remember a commenter at Razib's blog remarked that the religion in Japan is "being Japanese". They cultivate a respect for one another based on their attitude that there is some sort of inherent dignity and fortune in being Japanese. A sort of reverence for who they. Kind of like telling their kids to "remember who you are". And by extension that their neighbor is as well. Like they are one big family.