sino-japanese relations

Earthquake in Japan

As I’m sure everyone’s aware of… Japan was hit by a huge 8.9 quake, followed by a series of tsunami waves that decimated many towns around Tokyo. And there’s the issue of radiation as well. Luckily, all of my friends there are okay for now and will hopefully be safe in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, in Nanjing…

We’re pretty far away, so we didn’t even feel the quake here. I still have the awful expat tendency to live in a bubble and missed the news about the quake until a friend phoned me about in two hours later. China has sent aid to Japan in the form of a rescue team.

The majority of people I’ve talked to here have been keeping Japan in their thoughts, worried about the lives lost and long term damage. On the internet especially, people have been voicing praise about how orderly Japanese civilians have been during the chaos. Unfortunately, there are a few people (Particularly some of the younger kids that can’t quite explain why they hate Japan) who are cheering for Japan’s misfortune; Nanjing and Japan have a pretty sketchy history, in case you didn’t know. But the most heartening thing is that for every person who has reveled in the destruction, many more have told him or her to more or less shut up and grow a heart.

However, there has been some fear going around the city in regards to the radiation, particularly between tech-savvy 20somethings. A text message went around today about not going outside in the ‘acid’ rain without a rain coat, lest you get radiation poisoning.

Allow me to give you the rundown I gave some Chinese pals today:

1) ‘Acid rain’ comes from the use of coal, not radiation.
2) Regardless, a rain coat won’t protect you from the amount of radiation that you’d want to evacuate a city from anyway.
3) If people in Tokyo aren’t being evacuated, surely Nanjing is okay.
4) Weather usually hits China BEFORE Japan and moves in a west-east motion anyway.

We’re too far away to feel tremors, but for the most part everyone is keeping an eye on the news.