Following the horrific events of March 11, 2011 when Japan was hit with one of the biggest earthquakes in earth’s history, the country was crippled to the literal point that a crisis of near unimaginable proportions ensued. The tsunami that swept through Japan’s coastal communities damaged properties, killed people, and rendered the land useless. From pool tables to cars and homes, the trail of destruction guaranteed that Japan would be reeling for many more years to come.
And so, the question is asked: is Japan still in crisis today?
The answer is actually fairly more complicated than a simple yes or no. On the one hand, Japan has been resilient enough that it has managed to restore order to the hardest hit areas of the earthquake and tsunami. While some of the infrastructures damaged during the event continued to lie in ruins like a modern Africa safari, the government has undoubtedly performed well in making sure some semblance of normality is restored. People may not have resumed their old habits of going out to buy Kratom but at the very least, they are in a good position to pick up whatever is left of their lives and move forward.
On the other hand, this is about the best news that you can take from the Japan tragedy of March 2011. First, the crisis at the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Reactor has continued to hover like a bad cloud over Japan. Like in the famous iPhone game temple run, government officials cannot seem to distance themselves from the mistakes and failings of managing that disaster. While control of the situation was eventually wrested from the jaws of tragedy, Japan now faces a future where there is constant clamor for closing its nuclear facilities for fear that another earthquake will lead to a more serious crisis. Without having to push the issue too much, most know that a First World country like Japan will not do well when confronted with the prospect of a power shortage. That remains to be an area that requires a concerted and lasting effort for resolution.
Beyond that, many of the country’s hardest areas continue to wallow in the aftereffects of the tragedy. What used to be bountiful farmlands in Fukushima prefecture are now barren due to the dangers of nuclear contamination. Some farm-to-market roads remain damaged and useless. Many scenes are worthy of a foto canvas when it comes to chronicling the country’s sad plight. People have lost their homes and are now fearful of moving back because of the prospect that the tragedy repeats itself. The fact that Japan is a hotbed for earthquake activity as it sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire certainly does not improve matters.
So, is Japan still in crisis today? In very technical terms, no; but in human and societal terms, yes! Such a complex and far-reaching tragedy promises to leave behind lasting scars that cannot be remedied by government action or assurances via toll free numbers.
Only time will tell if Japan can truly bounce back from this horrific tragedy. It will, most likely! The hope is that when it ever does happen again, Japan and many other countries will be ready for a second run.