Posted by: grantmiho | April 16, 2011

The Perplexing Place for Japan’s Government

To start, this is the first time we have written about a politic subject on our blog. Yet, the present situation in Japan demands that we pray for those leading this nation. For all the concern for the many people serving up north with the victims, those in leadership in Tokyo also are and will play a significant role in how the country recovers and copes with what we are experiencing. Though we have no experience in politics, we can only imagine who complex and sensitive it must be for them to lead and speak in times like this.

Here are a few challenges we feel are happening and require prayer:

1. When US had only a few cases of mad cow disease several years ago, Japan quickly banned the entire US supply from being imported. It seemed an overreaction, but they seemed like they wanted to protect their people. Tough for American farmers, but understood. This serves as a backdrop to Japan’s present response.

2. Japan has lightened the radioactive limit on food products, partly due to their previous severely strict policy but also to cope with the major loss and shortage that would be facing everyone here if they held tight control on what could or could not be sold. Highly radioactive food has been burned, but many things are still finding their way onto shelves in grocery stores. Luckily, stores indicate where the produce comes from, so you know if you want to buy it or not (though it doesn’t help for Grant that he can’t read where they come from 😦 ).

3. We have heard that milk from up north has been all combined for processing. This might be due to some having low levels of radiation and other batches with higher levels. This allows it to all pass inspection and not be wasted; though this doesn’t help with our concerns of what we are buying.

4. Since Tokyo is the seat of government, entertainment, finance, business, etc., we must imagine that they fear pronouncing too much concern that would cause unrest in the 25-million plus residents living here. Imagine Washington DC and NYC being emptied of all residents for fear of safety! That could bring the nation to its knees, kill the economy, and slow any chance of recovery. Thus, we understand how delicate they must be in communicating about what is happening and how people should be responding.

5. The current government has built their platform upon the idea of “Transparency.” Yet, many are confused by what national news, government reports, and foreign news is reporting. While some may be overly sensational, others might be too covert with details; leading to distrust and concern among the people here.

For these reasons, please continue to pray for Japan and especially those leading the country. Radiation levels in air and water seem to be decreasing in Tokyo and Yokohama, the US Embassy has issued that things are becoming safe again, but the situation still remains sensitive. It is hard to know how long these fears will loom here. Pray that they will be able to lead honestly and wisely.

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