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Tokyo: How has Japan changed since the disasters of 3/11?

by Julian Peters

Fumie Yoshihiro
Office worker, 29 (Japanese)

Young people have become more aware of government. They no longer keep their opinions to themselves and have found a voice through demonstrations, etc. Small communities have become vocal.

Martin Leroux
Musician, 25 (French/Filipino)
Japan seems to have become more compassionate and open to international relations due to the large number of foreign volunteers. The world in turn can now see Japan’s solidarity and strength.

Izumi Narita
Contract worker, 31 (Japanese)
People are more aware of the environment around them. Due to the power outages last year, they are more careful about not wasting electricity. We are also more prepared for future emergencies.

Scott Lemmon
Mechanical engineer, 28 (American)
I live in Osaka. Despite being on a different grid, the people of Osaka still saved power. They did this as a sign of empathy and unity with the east. There has been a sense of togetherness since last March.

Manami Takahashi
Songwriter, 31 (Japanese)
We’ve changed the way we view the world in front of us, especially with regards to family and friends. We appreciate how easily things can be lost and so have rediscovered their real value to us.

Tosh Aoshima
Self-employed, 29 (Japanese)
People’s attitude to life has changed. Whereas before they led a “safe” existence and procrastinated, now people seem more likely to chase their goals today and not wait until tomorrow.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp