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Disaster In The Land Of The Rising Sun

Talk about an unfortunate set of events.  Friday’s massive earthquake off of its northeastern coast was Japan’s biggest ever and the seventh largest in the world according to data from the United States Geological Survey.  The quake was massive.  It registered a magnitude of 8.9.  The quake shook Japan like a rag doll in the mouth of a pit bull sans lipstick.  I saw a video of tall skyscrapers swaying like palm trees, resisting the temptation to collapse and saving the lives of the occupants, but no doubt suffering significant damage that will require their soon to come demolition.  But the earthquake was just the preliminary.

Shortly thereafter the massive tsunami ravaged the island nation.  The massive wall of liquid force knocked anything manmade out of its path.  It pushed cars and trucks out of its way like so many Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars.  Huge cargo ships weighing hundreds if not thousands of tons were tossed aside like toy boats in a bathtub.  And homes and buildings were swept away as if they were made from a deck of playing cards.  The destruction surpasses anything seen in your typical disaster movie.  The landscape left behind looked as if it was violently raped and left for dead.  What was once a pristine coastline now looks like a war zone.  The earthquake powered wave of water reached onto the land like a giant hand and pulled thousands of people to their deaths out to sea.  And the unfortunate chain of events still isn’t over.

Like a script from a bad movie that just doesn’t know when the quit the crisis is compounded with the threat of a nuclear holocaust.  Several of Japan’s nuclear powered electric plants were damaged either buy the earthquake or more likely the tsunami or both.  Backup systems intended to keep the plants safe from meltdown failed.  Through their own series of unfortunate events, several of the plants have already suffered explosions as their cores have gone critical.  Radioactive gas or steam has either escaped or was intentionally released to prevent further damage to the facility and compounding the disaster.  A safety zone was erected around several facilities and the surviving population within was evacuated.  An untold number of people have been doused with radiation and will need to be checked and many will need treatment.  And with so many power facilities crippled, the government has instituted a program of electricity brown outs.

And all of this happened in just three days.  The wave after wave of calamities is enough to send anyone single nation into despair.  But if any nation of people has the ability to recover from this doomsday onslaught it has got to be the nation of Japan.  This tiny island nation went toe to toe with the United States in World War II.  The people here know how to sacrifice for the benefit of their entire nation.  Their children don’t have to worry about some politician cutting funding for their schools.  As a nation, they value education and know that their future depends on their children.  Japan is thick with capitalism, but the CEO of Japan Inc. doesn’t make five hundred times the salary of the average worker.  The CEO doesn’t get huge bonuses by laying people off and sending unemployment numbers higher in order to pay higher dividends to shareholders.

A doubt very seriously if a Japanese politician would ever make it to the big leagues by making the suggestion that public funding should be withdrawn from the tsunami warning system.  Regulations for the design of building’s resistance to collapse in an earthquake would never be relaxed in order to help somebody save a buck and make bigger profits at the expense of putting other people’s lives at risk.  A lot of people in Japan take their social responsibility very seriously.  People in Japan aren’t as likely to be quick to support selfish acts that could actually doom entire segments of their population to a second class citizen type of existence or, even worse, a third class status.

People in Japan think more of themselves, more of their neighbors, and more of their nation as a whole.  They will make mistakes; all people do.  But when those mistakes are made, the people of Japan will band together and rise to the occasion and meet the challenges that they face as a cohesive unit.  And when circumstances occur outside of their control, they will meet that challenge with the same fervor as well.  They may not be able to beat back a tsunami.  Nobody can.  But what they will do is recover as a nation.  They may have been knocked for a loop.  But there is a reason Japan is called the nation of the rising sun.

It won’t be easy.  The Japanese people have a long road to recovery ahead of them.  But it’s a fair bet that they will erase the scars of devastation from this past weekend.  They will meet this challenge.  Their country will recover.  That’s what can happen when a nation of people can put aside differences, exercise a strong sense of social responsibility, and work together for the benefit of everyone.  In all honesty, this disaster couldn’t have happened to a nicer country.

Monday, March 14, 2011 - Posted by | Life, Thoughts


  1. Just a quick question, and maybe this is stupid, but the last picture where it looks like a whirlpool…. what exactly was going on there?

    Comment by Mike Lovell | Tuesday, March 15, 2011 | Reply

    • Great to see you Mike!!!

      If it’s any consolation I was wondering about that myself when I first saw it. According to some expert on the news, that whirlpool was being driven by strong under currents by tides trying to rush back out to sea…


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, March 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. What’s up man?!?!? Great to see you still rocking something out on here! I take it business is keeping you busy? thanks getting back at my question right away.

    On a side note about disasters… April 30th, up here…my birthday #32…1st one that I’ve been single since I was a teenager. You need to come up and see me!

    Comment by Mike Lovell | Wednesday, March 16, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Mike!!!

      I like honey wheat and amber bock beers! Keep at least a couple cold for me. I promise…We’re going to do this!!


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Monday, March 21, 2011 | Reply

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