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Japan's post-tsunami tourism industry haunted by nuclear fears

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Obviously the tourism head is goin to say its safe. Why should we take his word? Get an international non governmental org that has nothing to gain to vouch for you guys and maybe then i could b persuaded. Sorry j govt and tepco, uve lost your credibility and our trust.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

"Fears about the effect of leaking radiation from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant 110 kilometers south have all but stopped the influx of visitors from China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan."

These aren't "fears" at all, but rather people taking precautions. The govt announced 3 full meltdowns in June; then they said radiation released was more than double original estimates; in June they found plutonium in an 80km radius. They only announced it 3 months late, yesterday!

Google maps shows its on the coast north of Fukushima plant, at almost exactly 100km (62miles) away. We know, based on Greenpeace and govf tests on water and fish, that there is a problem with the nearby water, air etc. The levels at that specific city may be lower than others, as the map zichi linked shows, but the article says the disaster must be contained and people must feel safe FIRST. Why do these Japanese blame foreigners for their economic problems? Really its heir fault not foreigners.

But they blame "foreigners" and "Chinese" and "Taiwanese"and "Koreans". Enough of the foreigners (especially Asians they blame for everything) being responsible for "fears". They don't feel safe. The thing isn't "leaking" it's pouring out/gushing radiation at 1/4th march levels. All they cafe about is heir economy. That is pitiful and a disgrace. This is a terrible selfishness that says "expose yourself to radiation so I can make a living". Don't blame foreigners Blane your criminal govt and businesses.

Btw, they're talking about Asians, and you k ow whenever there's a problem you can blame Chinese (seems like a pattern), Koreans etc. The grammar

0 ( +6 / -6 )

i was in mastushima 2 months before the earthquake and tsunami. it's kind of an eerie feeling knowing i was there shortly before the worst natural disaster in japans history struck.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But he acknowledged transport was not the main thing keeping visitors away. “We need to do away with harmful rumors associated with the nuclear plant,” he said

THIS is our main issue, but these are not "rumours" - which suggests false info being bandied around - in a lot of cases it is actually the truth. I donT see anywhere in the article that foreigners are being blamed for the lack of tourism, but I CLEARLY dont see the government being blamed either, and they SHOULD be. If they had been upfront and honest from the start, these "rumours" wouldnt have been able to get a foothold.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Tis a pity. I was there this past July and it was beautiful there. Loved the cruise, the restaurants and the aquarium (though that was still kinda filthy). It seemed pretty crowded - couldn't tell that tourism was down. I hope they rebuild fast.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good job, hysterial activist media. By creating irrational nuclear fears, now you are giving the suffering province another slap in the face. Journlist agitators must be proud.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The article is hardly blaming foreigners, it's not blaming a group of people to mention they aren't coming around much anymore.

I didn't think foreigners necessarily visited Tohoku that much in the first place, it always seemed more of a domestically oriented destination. When I have traveled through the area I've only seen a few foreigners, and hardly any westerners.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ah, the old 'harmful rumours' again. Radiation is not a rumour, it's a physical fact. If people choose to avoid it that's their prerogative. I hate the whole "people should avoid being careful because it hurts the feelings of those effected" concept that thrives here. Until people address the facts and try to resolve the issues instead of just asking people to ignore them nothing will change one bit.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It's a pity that radiation kills you-otherwise I would be taking my next vacation up there!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Anyway, this may not fly well, but did anyone stop to think that the negative press this kind of thing is getting in international circles and with foreign celebrities/athletes is a good thing? That's usually the only way Japan ever changes -- when they're pressured from outside. The government and TEPCO will continue to ignore the facts and screw the locals, but if enough foreign stars and athletes make the headlines for avoiding what the J-government insists are merely 'harmful rumours', they'll eventually become so embarrassed that they'll try to address the problem. The world can only take so much "we promise to be transparent, so please don't listen to harmful rumours and please buy our products to prove they're safe", we want ACTION to actually remove the danger!

Clearly, the locals are hurting more than anyone, but it's the government that needs to fix it, not the ignoring of 'harmful rumours'.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Even without the nuclear disaster and radiation problem because of the extensive damage by the earthquake and tsunami there would still have been a dramatic drop in both national and international visitors. It happened following the 1995 earthquake in KObe City, and probably it took more than ten years to rebuild the tourist industry.

Because of the fears over radiation it may take more than 15-20 years to rebuild the tourist industry back to the levels prior to 3/11.

They need to come up with some new ideas and thinking and concentrate on getting the national visitors back first.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why the comments abotu foreigners though? I highly doubt the Japanese are heading there in packs either.

Rumours? Ha! Until there is a competent government in this country that doesn't try to hide and lie its way out of everything, I will go with the rumours and take caution rather than blindly walk into a radiation zone. I feel for these people but they are nuts if they think the tourists are going to be heading back there in the next say, hundred years.

Mind you, I am sure some Japanese folks will buy into it and go. I certainly won't.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

At least the hotels and other staying places are near full with reconstruction workers and volunteers, who will also need to eat and shop. It will be only the places just for tourists which will suffer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its about 30min by train to Matsushima, then the tour is about 30 min, and back 30min. You can't get lethal dose of radiation for 90min in Matsushima, and the view is priceless. As they say, people suffer but from their own stupidity.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"Its about 30min by train to Matsushima, then the tour is about 30 min, and back 30min. You can't get lethal dose of radiation for 90min in Matsushima, and the view is priceless. As they say, people suffer but from their own stupidity."

...or the stupidity of others even.

Seems so few people learnt anything from chernobyl and all the international studies there concluding stress was the only real health problem. Good luck measuring radiation on your cheep Chinese made radioactivity meters that give false results and add to your panic again.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

There's probably more radiation in Tokyo than Matsushima?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Here's one tourist-to-be that will be on his way in the early spring. It hasn't been the radiation threat (or rumour) that has kept me away, but the equity markets failure which has bitten into my travel funds. Nonetheless, I'll be there, visiting friends in Sendai and visiting places like Matsushima.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

One more question I have for the inns and sight-seeing spots 'hurting' from the disaster and fears of radiation: have they dropped prices to increase tourism? or are they still price-gouging and asking people to 'gaman' while they themselves lament and complain about the loss of revenue? My guess is the latter, particularly since they still have the business of the people doing the clean-up work and what not.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If the hotels are already full with reconstruction workers, of COURSE tourism will be down! "Hello? I'd like to book a room for a week in August... I see. No rooms available for the entire month, huh? OK I guess we'll vacation somewhere else this year."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The comment on the foreigners is valid. There are many celebrities and foreigners that have summer homes in Mastushima. This is an area that needs the tourism, it is a tourist town and it will be a safer environment than many others in the region; radiation levels are relatively low in this area (.10 measured at the doorsteps of City Hall). So go, go and enjoy one of the best vacations you will have. This area is beautiful.

concentratedsin - I too have that eerie feeling. My wife is from Shichigahama, and we have been to Matsushima several times, and I get that eerie feeling every time we think about the areas up there...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

naruhodo1 - The 56 year old woman from Scotland is the one who said, "I’ve been watching information on the Fukushima situation,” said the 56-year-old. “There was no problem coming to Sendai or Matsushima.”

So while the tourism head would like tourism back and is saying this, so are the foreign tourists... Just an FYI.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The harmful effects of radiation are known and this leads people to stay away.

To access Matsushima tourists from abroad would fly into Tokyo or travel through Narita or Haneda.

So, it would seem that access to a safe area may lead one to pass through a potentially contaminated area on the way

Official results of contamination in the Kanto area from the government are to be released at the end of this month.

However,various non official accounts of people with their own geiger counters have posted results on Mixi,Facebook and Youtube.Places well away from Fukushima such as Yokohama have shown elevated levels in the extreme.

Bloggers have also contributed to the debate by having their own private results posted.

A Tokyo blogger has recently posted some interesting pictures of environmental pollution on wildlife

http://p.twipple.jp/data/k/C/N/d/7.jpg

Make up your own minds as the the cause and then apply that to your travel plans................

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Gieger counters that are owned by individuals are not nearly as accurate as the professional/highly expensive ones. So continue to spread unnecessary fear by posting these kind of posts kurisupisu. Almost anything that can be afforded by the "common people" versus scientifically owned and funded, are not anywhere near as accurate as the scientific counterpart...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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