10:55 AM - Daily life in Tokyo goes on at a subdued pace. No one is hurting for staple goods and many things continue to go on as normal (mail, trash pick up, etc.) But, fewer businesses are open, fewer commuters are on the trains, and people are not out very much. What seems to be settling in is an air of uncertainty. Every day we look at the news we are forced to work out for ourselves the meaning of the vague and often contradictory statements coming from the government. It doesn't help that many sources from the media are alarmist and trumpet false reports. At the same time the government tends to prefer to downplay everything. What this leaves us Tokyoites with, is a feeling of real uncertainty. Is the situation at the plants going to get under control or will it escalate? Will it be spewing highly radioactive materials over Tokyo for months to come? Is that a real possibility?
Uncertainty is not good. Imagine getting reports from the government that infants shouldn't drink the water 'today', but that the next day, it is perfectly OK to give your kids the water. Who among us would do that? So we ask, what is next? No one really knows. The result is that people can't get on with their lives, make decisions or even feel comfortable going to and from work. Businesses certainly can't have uncertainty like this hanging over their daily operations. If this drags out for months, and there are more and more events that spread even low levels of radiation, Tokyo could be in for very tough times.
Of interest to me was what happened to the USS Ronald Reagan. Apparently the crew "freaked out" about radiation levels. They had to decontaminate parts of the ship and steam out of the affected area. In retrospect, this must have been what motivated the hasty departure of the USS George Washington from Yokosuka. (Freak out on USS Ronald Reagan)