• Caloundra, Australia


Christopher Johnson’s Dec. 18 Timeout article, “Lone holdout’s first nuclear winter looms in Tohoku,” is a very poignant and provocative story. It’s good The Japan Times continues to run stories about Fukushima, reminding the world that the tragedy is far from over. It is a travesty that the government has not supported Naoto Matsumura. What a brave individual.

To disregard his own health and safety because of his commitment to the animals in his locality is phenomenal. It’s a shame that the higher-ups do not have such altruistic perspective.

The level of corruption, cronyism and nepotism that seems to hold sway in Japan continue to amaze me. From my perspective, it feels as if there is no honesty or transparency in Japanese corporate or government hierarchies. In quieter times no one notices or cares. But in troubled times, it’s glaringly hard to ignore.

How can a nation that has been so successful allow so many utter failures of organization and competency?

Case in point is the tainted-beef scandal. I would have thought it fairly obvious that allowing the sale of beef from anywhere close to Fukushima so soon after the March 11 disaster would result in people being exposed to dangerously high levels of radiation. Yet, somehow it happened. Heads should roll, but no. Instead a few dubious officials offer up a couple of glib comments about the dangers of radiation being overrated, and everyone forgets about it.

Maybe it’s time for the Japanese equivalent of the “Arab spring.” We just need a few more people like Matsumura to join Facebook and Twitter, or Mixi — a few more people to give a crap, rather than all the clones you see gazing in the mirror for an eternity getting the fringe just right or hurrying for the next department store sale.

Keep up the good work — keeping the English-speaking world informed of what’s going on in Japan.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

chris bohm

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