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Suicides add to despair in Tohoku disaster zone

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By Shingo Ito

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rest in peace mate... I cant understand the torment someone would have to be going though to take their own life.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Honestly, I could weep. There just seems to be no end to their suffering. I couldnt even start to comprehend what hundreds maybe thousands of people up north must be going through. Officialdom sat on their butts in cosy Tokyo are stillconsidering. I darent imagine what would happen to Japan if Tokyo suffered the same fate.

Those poor,poor people.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Oh, yeah! Will we see the suicides top 35,000 this year?

-18 ( +2 / -19 )

Japan’s government has said it is considering providing mental health care for victims

To the government of Japan: You guys are always considering, considering, considering. It's been over FIVE months now. How about some ACTION??? I want to kick all your @rses so hard.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

The government has done nothing to help these people, no action has taken place, no planning, no restructuring, NOTHING... these people are still living in shelters... this is UNACCEPTABLE from the government.!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The only psychiatric help and counseling these people have been given has been done by volunteers. It is a true disgrace that the j-gov just sits on their butts considering helping these people.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@Disillusioned

The only psychiatric help and counseling these people have been given has been done by volunteers. It is a true disgrace that the j-gov just sits on their butts considering helping these people.

and then you have these scum-leeches captured on video, more evidence to prove that our corrupted/draconian/shameless Japanese government is a DISGRACE indeed!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVuGwc9dlhQ (courtesy of TokyoKawasaki)

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

They have don hardly anything for the people or animals in this area... really doubt they ever will. The Japanese government disgusts me.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan’s government has said it is considering providing mental health care for victims

"Considering" is a good first step... one that should have taken about two to three hours.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

nonono the Japanese government is too busy guys, they dont have time to help, they have to prepare for the elections and try to get rid of Kan. pfffff wish someone would do something about this government full of babies

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I think I would have done the same, having lost everything and having to live in a shelter on the floor for months is just inhuman. Those poor people need to be shown that they are needed in society not cast away somewhere doing nothing. All advice by shrinks won't help at all. We all bear responsibility towards those people.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tragedy for all involved, to be sure, but something's not right with this story. A 64-year old farmer, surrounded by family members, hangs himself less than two weeks after the disaster has begun?

I, like many, have been touched by suicide; for some, crushing failure makes death seem attractive; for others, there are underlying issues. This poor soul seems to have been afflicted by the latter.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No, I would not have done the same,because I have hope that does not depend on posessions. Yet I feel deep sympathy for this family. But I do not agree with those who are just blaming the goverment, without doing something themselves. That will not change anything.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

But I do not agree with those who are just blaming the goverment, without doing something themselves.

Easy to say. Many people have a fulltime job trying to support their family, not easy to do something. While the people in the government make easily 10 times more cash as people here and have more power to do something about this situation, not to mention THEY are the government and should act in these situations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To the government of Japan: You guys are always considering, considering, considering. It's been over FIVE months now. How about some ACTION???

I really hope people read my post before reacting to it and fully understand what I'm saying.

It took our management company two and a half months to finally replace our broken air conditioner. TWO AND A HALF MONTHS of discussing and considering all options. In this country this is normal practice.

Anyone who thinks this monumental event is enough to get the Japanese government moving with purpose is kidding themselves. Support from the government will come when monkeys fly out of our a$$es! Expect years, perhaps decades of discussing, monitoring, and assessing the issue before anything meaningful is done.

This government and bureaucratic system doesn't disgust me as someone mentioned above. I would expect nothing less from the powers that be to act in any other way than they have been. Incredibly cynical I know but what reason do I have not to be given the state of things and the actions of those in charge.

It would take a mass suicide of at least 10000 farmers in front of the diet building for politicians to do anything.

It is up to us, the everyday citizen, visitor, resident, to help in any way we can. If we want anything done in this country we have to do it ourselves.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Hanging oneself should never be equated to suicide! Never. The author needs to correct that. It's not up to politicians to solve everybody's problems.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Hanging oneself should never be equated to suicide!

You what???

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“I believe his suicide was an act of protest, like seppuku,” Funny, I consider it an act of stupidity, like cleaning a loaded gun.

I am not without sympathy for this man and his loss. There are however, others that lost more. Granted, everyone has a breaking point and perhaps this man reached his which could be higher or lower than another person's in the same situation, but I really cannot fathom taking one's own life over a loss of property when the family remains alive and in tact. Think of the anguish this man put his family through. His suffering is over. Their's is compounded.

If he really wanted to protest, he should have remained alive and a thorn in the ass of TEPCO and the government for decades to come. Instead, his family will be marginally compensated, and he will be forgotten.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Nippon Nation

Hanging oneself should never be equated to suicide! Never. The author needs to correct that.

HUH how is hanging ones self not suicide. I think you need to look up the definition of suicide. Or isnt hanging a Japanese enough way of doing yourself in?

It's not up to politicians to solve everybody's problems.

Agreed but it is the politicians responsibility to solve peoples problems when it is the Governments pathetic mismanagement that cause the issue that leads to the suicide. Say like their incessant bumbling over the Fukushima disaster.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"TEPCO has argued that the scale of the tectonic disaster could not have been foreseen."

Ummm... yes, it could. Choosing not to 'see' the warnings TEPCO was given doesn't mean something could not be foreseen. TEPCO was warned on a number of occasions about the potential for a very large scale, large magnitude earthquake and they simply chose to ignore the warnings as well as safety regulations in general.

Saddest part is that they are going to get away Scott-free. Well, the employees will mostly suffer and lose their jobs, but the management, like Shimizu, will get fat packages and retire while the company goes bankrupt (and then of course they're be the weasels that will simply change the name -- probably something as original as 'TEPCO2' -- and keep things going as usual).

And here we have these poor, neglected people killing themselves as a result of a companies negligence and criminal activity, while the government sat back and did nothing except collect kickbacks. Sad story.

Nippon Nation: "Hanging oneself should never be equated to suicide!"

What? How do you figure? The man killed himself, therefore it is suicide. What would you call it?

"It's not up to politicians to solve everybody's problems."

It's up to the politicians to do their jobs, which they are not. Instead they are bickering over Kan's resignation and who should take over.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nippon Nation: You need to get a better grip on the language you're posting in. Hanging oneself is suicide therefore hanging oneself is equal to suicide.

As for the government not being responsible for solving everyone's problems, I agree, but how about them solving at least one or two and not creating any more?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Suicide is the most selfish act I can think of. Certainly people are having a hard time but offering yourself and having your child discover your body? Unforgivable. Weak people kill themselves, the strong fight.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

“It’s as if heaven and hell exist in the same community.”

That's a powerful statement. It is hard for everyone in Japan right now. We share the victims pain.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@sojherde

No, I would not have done the same,because I have hope that does not depend on posessions. Yet I feel deep sympathy for this family. But I do not agree with those who are just blaming the goverment, without doing something themselves. That will not change anything.

I haven't read something so retarded(the statement, not the poster!)like this, in a very long time.... So, "we the people" of Japan, can not and should not complain/blame our goverment?! Do we have to bend down and take it? Shut up and keep silent? What are YOU trying to say? Doing something yourself when you have ZERO support from your own government does not really change anything, believe me.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@lucabrasi

Hanging oneself should never be equated to suicide!

You what???

At first I didn't get it but now I do....ROFL!!!!! (>w<)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Unforgivable. Weak people kill themselves, the strong fight.

Yes, tmarie, but some people are psychologically weak, just like some people are physically weak. Do you find it "unforgiveable" that paralysed people can't walk as well as the able-bodied?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Over one hundred thousand deaths from Chernobyl are attributed to depression, suicide, drug overdose and alcohol. I hope people have learnt from the wealth of information and help is going to these poor victims.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Went there last week for charity work, I was so speechless for what I have seen. Theres a lot of things that are never shown on TV so horrific and devastating I cant help but cry. A man who guide us for cleaning said gov officials never visited that area since 311. Instead this up government are arguing about Kans performance and who should be the next PM. Its lies and deceit, theyre pretending everything is okay. But for what? Economic restoration? How about the people who are suffering in those places that looks like a ghost town with unbearable stinky smell? Did they ever think about them for a second, not to mention Ozawa is from Tohoku but his focus is somewhere out there. Why?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Some people on here have some real issues if they mark this: "That's a powerful statement. It is hard for everyone in Japan right now. We share the victims pain" as being 'bad'. I think some posters just get upset when people retort their statements and mark everything as such.

Anyway, the statement is correct -- those are powerful words, and I think we ALL (politicians aside, evidently) feel for the people who are suffering. If I didn't feel like I'd be a hindrance, I'd be happy to go and volunteer. As it is, I still believe that TOO MANY physical bodies volunteering in a disaster zone can lead to more danger than good in some cases, and for the poster who said that it's easy to criticize the government while we 'do nothing ourselves', well, lots of people are donating money and doing things locally to help out.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I went there last week for charity work, I was so speechless for what I have seen. Theres a lot of things that are never shown on TV so horrific and devastating I cant help but cry. A man who guide us for cleaning said gov officials never visited that area since 311. Instead this f****d up government are arguing about Kans performance and who should be the next PM. Its all lies and deceit, they`re pretending everything is okay. But for what? Economic restoration? How about the people who are suffering in those places that looks like a ghost town with unbearable stinky smell? Did they ever think about them for a second, not to mention Ozawa is from Tohoku but his focus is somewhere out there. Why?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

to be honest, only 16 people committing suicide in june is a surprisingly low number, considering the national average per day is about 82 people. i think this actually shows the resilience of the people living in the affected areas. "ganbarre" says it all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A family nearby took their brother in. He lost his wife, three kids under 5 years old, his business, house.. everything. He's been walking around in some kind of stupor. Semi comatose like state for months. Everytime I saw him, usually in the front garden of his sister's house, I just didn't know how to react or respond to him. Neither did his family here in Tokyo. His pain and grief was tangible. You could see it lined on his face. He suddenly disappeared a couple of weeks ago. His sister confided in me that they expected the worst. They found him last week back in his ravaged home town helping to clear debris and rebuild. He's talking about adopting one child whose family he knew personally. This child also lost all her family in the tsunami. Unless you actually lived through it, how can be judge the people who did and are still living through it. Yes, we will here about suicides and despair but don't forget the incredible tales of resilience that beam out through it all too. Sorry....was so moved by this gentleman's story.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I meant to say " Hanging oneself should'nt be equated to seppuku!" And the government didn't bungle, they just lost foresight on how best to solve the problem. It was the media blitz that created this huge story in the first place, and caused a lot of widespread misinformation.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

So sad when a person reaches a stage in their life that suicide is prefferential to trying to cope with grevious problems.Family and friends are left behind to cope with the aftermath, wondering if there was anything they could have done or said to prevent the tragedy.Its all over now for Tarukawa and but not for those who love him.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

** Unforgivable. Weak people kill themselves, the strong fight.

Yes, tmarie, but some people are psychologically weak, just like some people are physically weak. Do you find it "unforgiveable" that paralysed people can't walk as well as the able-bodied?**

Are you actually trying to make a comparison?? Killing yourself and letting your children is not excusable. Ever know anyone who killed them self? Ever known anyone who has had to deal with a suicide? Speak to them and see if they agree with your analogy. There are people to talk to, help you can get. Sadly, people who are paralyzed can't often be helped while those psychologically can.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

letting your children find you...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nippon Nation

I meant to say " Hanging oneself should'nt be equated to seppuku!"

Sorry to disappoint but suicide is suicide whether you call it a fancy name like seppuku or just plain topping yourself it is the same its taking ones life. There is nothing romantic or brave about killing yourself it is an act of desperation a act of someone that needs help nothing more.

And the government didn't bungle, they just lost foresight on how best to solve the problem. It was the media blitz that created this huge story in the first place, and caused a lot of widespread misinformation

Hate to disagree but your response is typical of the denial that allows the useless idiots in power to continue with their disgusting actions in this disaster. The government and TEPCO have bungled this from the beginning and continue to do so on a daily basis but you believe what you want. That sand gets annoying when it goes up your nose though!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Spidapig24<< Ever read David Hume? Pick up a literary piece sometime, and read it. Suicide can be disgraceful and, yet a dignified way to end one's life, depending on the reason. Not everybody can commit suicide. It's definitely not for the squeamish.

You could never disappoint me, and it's "ok" if you disagree with me.

There was a lot of misinformation out there and the Japanese government did respond as quickly as they could be mobilized, which I think is far better than your country's track record. When government intervention was required over Katrina, you're government sat back an allowed chaos to engulf the entire city, causing a major international embarrassment for the same reasons you accuse the Japanese government for not acting in a timely manner. It was the foreign press that created huge misinformation gaps full of fear, and spreading your ignorances like you are doing on this board.

The Japanese government did not bungle this up!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Nippon Nation

There was a lot of misinformation out there and the Japanese government did respond as quickly as they could be mobilized, which I think is far better than your country's track record. When government intervention was required over Katrina, you're government sat back an allowed chaos to engulf the entire city,

Funny about that but its not my government as lm not even from the US. In my country when there is a natural disaster or man made disaster there is a prompt investigation and heads roll if there was any wrongdoing. Unlike your country where in the midst of a catastrophe they start fighting over who will be the PM.

Oh and as we have seen most of the misinformation has proven to come from the J government and TEPCO. Radioactive food anyone?

It was the foreign press that created huge misinformation gaps full of fear, and spreading your ignorances like you are doing on this board.

Its actually funny but most of the foreign media that you claim caused misinformation was actually fairly accurate in the long run unlike your incompetent fool of a government and as for spreading ignorances, its only an ignorant person that believes the government has done a good job

The Japanese government did not bungle this up!

Correct bungle is to light a term they right royally stuffed it totally along with the country and the peoples health but hey keep believing

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This made me cry. It's so sad.. RIP

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just wish he did more to fight Tepco. While I don't condone suicide it would be nice if people can talk about it first with their close family and find common ground to fight together before going through with it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What Japan needs more than anything is the hope, peace and love that comes from knowing Jesus. Nothing would help the nation more swiftly and more dramatically than the proliferation of the christian faith throughout the land.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Cripple your farmers and you cripple your country. RIP...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@tmarie - suicide isn't always a simple running away. For some, they feel they are sacrificing themselves to HELP their families. In this case, Hisashi Tarukawa (let's dignify him by using his name) knew his livelihood was over and he would no longer have any means of supporting his family. So maybe he committed suicide to enable the insurance to be paid out to his family (it's been stated on another thread that the insurance does indeed get paid out in suicide cases).

I agree that suicide is wrong, and that's what western culture and its Judeo-Christian tradition teaches us. But in Japan, it may be seen as a selfless, not a selfish, act. Whatever went through his mind at the time, it's a tragedy all round.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Very sad and a waste. My close friend just got back today from a big Miyagi/ Iwate tour and said in places like kessennuma he saw ppl sitting in cars looking at the sea bawling their eyes out. Suicide is the last thing these tortured folk should have to contemplate. Japan needs a Ghandi.. Someone to march these shattered people to Tokyo en masse and humiliiate this country into looking after its own. Platitudes and false figures cannot bring tohoku back.The government allowed Tepco to lie to them unpunished for 40 years. They must be made to share the suffering of these folk who are still lied to daily. Some huge charity organisations cannot work because the plods in the govt have to ok every action they do. This is fact.public image is more important than helping those in need.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Idiot, I 'll never understand how someone can take their own life, it's so selfish. There is ALWAYS something to live for and things can ALWAYS get better.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@spidapig24

Foreign media outlets created a lot of hysteria over this how bad the radioactivity was here. More harm was done than good because - the foreign press- placing Fukushima on the same level as Chernobyl. This is clearly wrong and a total misrepresentation of what's happening on the ground.

But, here's the reality, though, Japanese still buy agricultural products from Tohoku, and will continue to do so no matter how much foreigners like you spread your lies. The Japanese government acted in the interest of public safety when it withheld certain pieces of information that may have done more harm then good, and by not allowing hysteria to consume people. It's not uncommon any developed nation to withhold such information from the general public that may threaten public safety, thereby preventing mass hysteria - something the foreign press does a lot of. It's none of your business anyway, and maybe it's time for you to reevaluate why you came to Japan. Radiation levels are still within normal limits. Don't go around spouting your disrespect of Japan's government and its handling of this situation.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

"“I would only slow you down. I will evacuate to the grave.”" I don't know what to say to this, other than RIP

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TEPCO took away Hisashi Tarukawa's livlihood in his eyes I can only assume it was all over.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In reading other comments I have to say I really don't think Mr. Hisashi Tarukawa's suicide would have occurred if the TEPCO incident had not occurred. Religion and ideology aside please if being surrounded by his family could not make him stay here on earth alive to pickup and start somewhere else than. There's nothing else left to say.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tmarie : How insensitive and ignorant. You don't know anyone with severe depression. That's great.

This poor man's whole life collapsed around him and he couldn't see any way through it. RIP Hisashi Tarukawa.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Nippon Nation

@spidapig24

Foreign media outlets created a lot of hysteria over this how bad the radioactivity was here. More harm was done than good because - the foreign press- placing Fukushima on the same level as Chernobyl. This is clearly wrong and a total misrepresentation of what's happening on the ground.

But, here's the reality, though, Japanese still buy agricultural products from Tohoku, and will continue to do so no matter how much foreigners like you spread your lies. The Japanese government acted in the interest of public safety when it withheld certain pieces of information that may have done more harm then good, and by not allowing hysteria to consume people. It's not uncommon any developed nation to withhold such information from the general public that may threaten public safety, thereby preventing mass hysteria - something the foreign press does a lot of. It's none of your business anyway, and maybe it's time for you to reevaluate why you came to Japan. Radiation levels are still within normal limits. Don't go around spouting your disrespect of Japan's government and its handling of this situation.

You see, this is the kind of silly nonsense like that one above stated by this poster, that makes me realize how many people are trying to pass themselves as "japanese" in this website in order to give us (real japanese posters) a bad name and make us look like we are all racists and xenophobics. The above statement is really shameful and out of line. The "you foreigners" type of remark is not only utter nonsense, it also gives out the real identity of these so called Japanophiles. Spreading hatred and racism in these forums. What a shame! People should be addressed by what they are, just people! Not by their race, nationality or creed!!!!!

So Nippon Nation, you nearly convinced me but....Nice Try though!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Nippon Nation

The Japanese government acted in the interest of public safety when it withheld certain pieces of information that may have done more harm then good, and by not allowing hysteria to consume people.

If that statement was true, me and my family (All natives from Ishigakijima, Okinawa) wouldn't be contemplating pack up our belongings and leave Japan for good! We DO NOT want a CORRUPTED/DRACONIAN/DECEITFUL government that lies, deceive and withhold evidence from the people. Consider your thinking before posting in this forum. You DO NOT speak in the name of all Japanese people (including Okinawans!) 笑わせるな!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Nation Nippon

and maybe it's time for you to reevaluate why you came to Japan.

And you tell all your Foreign friends(providing that you have some) this?!? LOL

I didn't know we were in Cuba or North Korea!!!! We are in JAPAN!! People are free to come here enjoy, stay if they want or go back to their countries if they want. This is not SERBIA and HERZEGOVINA!! Ok?

Xenophobes are the ultimate disgrace of our country. There's nothing to be proud about being one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All readers back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nippon Nation

Foreign media outlets created a lot of hysteria over this how bad the radioactivity was here. More harm was done than good because - the foreign press- placing Fukushima on the same level as Chernobyl. This is clearly wrong and a total misrepresentation of what's happening on the ground.

Yeah sure, didnt the Japanese government actually raise the level of the disaster to the same as that of Chernobyl? Or is that just foreign media hype too. Arnt the Japanese government finding radiation spread around Japan, arnt they also finding people and food are more contaminated than they first announced. As said in the foreign media early on. Funny how all that doom and gloom that you complain about in the foreign media seems to be fairly accurate when the J government finally get around to admitting things.

But, here's the reality, though, Japanese still buy agricultural products from Tohoku, and will continue to do so no matter how much foreigners like you spread your lies.

Oh really, l seem to see a lot of Japanese concerned about produce from Tohoku. If you care to actually look around you may even see the reality that even your countrymen are worried about the produce. Seems to me its just the pro government apologists like yourself that spread the lies by downplaying the truth and not accepting reality.

The Japanese government acted in the interest of public safety when it withheld certain pieces of information that may have done more harm then good, and by not allowing hysteria to consume people.

So by blatantly lying about the general publics safety they where acting in the best interests of the public. Wow thats an interesting way of looking at the reality that the J government are a self serving, lying, incompetent bunch of hacks. But you believe what you want.

It's none of your business anyway, and maybe it's time for you to reevaluate why you came to Japan.

Yes it is my business because l am living in Japan and therefore it affects me and my family. So l have every right to criticize and question. Unlike you and your blind subservience l have the ability to question what l dont agree with. That is the thing about the country l am from if you dont agree with something you question it you dont just go along with it. You really should try it sometime. As for reevaluating why l came to Japan, l came for a reason and when that reason ceases to be l will leave Japan. In the meantime it is where l live and as such l have every right to question and critisise what l dont like just as l do in my home country. Its called democracy, you should look it up sometime.

Don't go around spouting your disrespect of Japan's government and its handling of this situation.

I will do as l please, l dont believe the Japanese government handled this disaster anywhere near good enough and infact l think their whole approach is a joke. They are more interested in point scoring and leadership fights than helping their people and being truthful about the reality. But if you disagree thats your choice, just because l critisise the government doesnt mean l dont like the country. I infact do like aspects of Japan and enjoy my time here but like my home country when something annoys me l will use my right and complain about it or critisise it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

All readers back on topic please. The subject is suicide. Please refrain from petty sniping at each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Moderator:

With all due respect, you may not think that my replies to Nippon Nation as well as Spidapig24's replies are not related to the article but I think that what we're are trying to do is to make sure this human being that committed suicide, Hisashi Tarukawa, 64, won't be forgotten by exposing the corruption, deceit and incompetence of our Japanese Government. I'm sorry if I sounded harsh on the Poster in question, but we can not and should not remain silent when such deceitful things are posted:

The Japanese government acted in the interest of public safety when it withheld certain pieces of information that may have done more harm then good, and by not allowing hysteria to consume people.

Time to spread the real truth and expose these bureaucrats that care more about their fat checks than evacuating the remaining children and people in the irradiated zones. World image and Money over human lives, that's our government.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It was the media blitz that created this huge story in the first place

Mcalpine, it was actually the huge earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incident.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Ayler

It was the media blitz that created this huge story in the first place

Mcalpine, it was actually the huge earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incident.

I sort of noticed that too, LOL!! Thank You, Ayler (^_^)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ Bluewitch..Hear hear!

It IS my business what goes on in this country. I've invested 13 years so far of my life here. I work and pay taxes. I have three young children who if we remain here, will be funding certain folk's pension later on in life. As for the government withholding information for my own good. Newsflash- I am not a child. I am an adult. And as an adult and a mother to three young children, it is my basic right to make important decisions that affect myself and my family's future. That choice was taken away by officialdom. If I want to expose my kids to possible danger, hubby and I decide. Not some bureaucrat miles away.

Five months after, people are still in abject despair. Trying to come to terms with losing loved ones and their livelihoods. Let's not add insult to injury by pulling out the big brush and trying to whitewash everything. It isn't going to help them. The 'I'm allright Jack' mentality has a habit of smacking you in the face at a later date.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese government is like an idol group, they project an image. People who expect swift action from japanese government, don't understand the bureaucratic machine this goverment is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

**Tmarie : How insensitive and ignorant. You don't know anyone with severe depression. That's great.

This poor man's whole life collapsed around him and he couldn't see any way through it. RIP Hisashi Tarukawa.**

That is a very large and incorrect assumption on your part. Have you ever thought that perhaps I did know someone who off'd themselves and saw the issues the family left behind has to deal with? More so the person who found the body?

Selfish.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Dears... all discussion makes me more concerned about the radiation risks... :( So someone from JT friends please tell me your rating on radiation risk in Tochigi... I m living in Tochigi (Nasu) area. I dont have much contacts in Japan, so someone who knows current situation pls reply...

On the topic, I m very sorry for Hisashi-san. But I think he should have given some fight, than giving it up... Let his soul RIP. Fact is, Japan got a high suicide rate, where as India got a high road accidents... :) One race to death (Rash driving), and the other one dont want a race (Dont want to face the problem, and give up).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nippon Nation: "And the government didn't bungle, they just lost foresight on how best to solve the problem."

The government most CERTAINLY bungled; instead of taking charge they said they'll rely on TEPCO (a company renowned for falsifying information and for other scandals) for information and later acted surprised when it was announced that radiation had been spewing out of the reactors for days (remember Kan getting all upset?). The government should have been on the ball and known about that, as was suggested, from day one. Nope. How about leaving it up to local government to inform them about radiation in crops and livestock, only to find out much had already been shipped without proper testing and entered the food chain (and in some cases, blatantly lied about)? Nope, not the government's responsibility! The fact that they are taking no responsibility is a major bungle, my friend, as is the fact they want everyone else to do their work while they hmmm and hawww and say "taihen" and "ganbare". They didn't lose foresight, for they completely lack vision and the ability to see at all. They're not doing their jobs, ergo they are bungling everything up.

As for suicides, I agree with another poster that you can call it 'seppuku' if you like, but 'seppuku' is still suicide, and it's not honorable. These poor people are suffering greatly, and while I don't agree with killing oneself as an answer to one's woes, I am not in their shoes and cannot begin to fathom the pain they are going through. The government has bungled up there as well -- instead of providing proper shelter and quality psychiatric care, they once again fob it off on volunteers to do the job for them while they praise themselves and talk about 'coming together' and 'resilience of the Japanese people'. Hell, Kan couldn't even be bothered to make it there the first time for a visit because of a bit of rain, and when he did go he did nothing at all except spout obviously superficial encouragement.

Get these people into temporary housing or into places that have been abandoned, or relocate them to rural areas and help them repopulate the dwindling towns with their weed overgrown rice-fields. For those who can't or won't leave, get them REAL help and stop depending on others to do your work! (government). This is simply disgraceful.

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@smithinjapan<< The way you've portrayed the government as inept and incompetent is wholly inaccurate. The government made provisions for the thousands who were effected. Remember during GW, and over the holidays?

There were so many Japanese volunteers and government relief agencies who came to help with the clean up effort that they had to be turned away. You have no facts that can disprove that.

Japan didn't ask for your cereal, and pop tarts and other useless garbage that you donated; most of which was thrown away anyway. Utter useless stuff. We didn't need your charity. However, the man power you provided when you cleaned up the Sendai Airport was greatly appreciated. We could use your manpower, not your charity! We made that clear from the beginning and I think you know that.

Local communities pulled together and provided support, contrary to media reports. People were tended to and shelter was provided. That cannot be denied. The government did not bungle this.

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Nippon Nation,

The way you've portrayed the government as inept and incompetent is wholly inaccurate.

Actually many if not most people would tend to disagree on this point. The handling of the whole situation from tsunami to NPP to homeless has been handled like amateur hour. As l have said in the past foreign governments can learn a lot from the Japanese handling of this. Namely how not to do things

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@Nippon Nation a.k.a. McAlpine

@smithinjapan<< The way you've portrayed the government as inept and incompetent is wholly inaccurate. The government made provisions for the thousands who were effected. Remember during GW, and over the holidays?

There were so many Japanese volunteers and government relief agencies who came to help with the clean up effort that they had to be turned away. You have no facts that can disprove that.

Japan didn't ask for your cereal, and pop tarts and other useless garbage that you donated; most of which was thrown away anyway. Utter useless stuff. We didn't need your charity. However, the man power you provided when you cleaned up the Sendai Airport was greatly appreciated. We could use your manpower, not your charity! We made that clear from the beginning and I think you know that.

Local communities pulled together and provided support, contrary to media reports. People were tended to and shelter was provided. That cannot be denied. The government did not bungle this.

I just read this and I got dizzy, like passing out on the tatami. I had to read it twice in order to believe it. How shameless is to degrade and demean the help from other countries in the middle of a natural disaster, like the 9.0 mega-thrust earthquake we had. How horrible to speak like this from whatever they have donated to us. I could care less if they gave me "pop tarts" or "cereal" for a meal. I would be extremely thankful in my heart that at least I got FOOD, instead of nothing! I even had my husband reading this (using the translator!) and he was in shock afterwards. I was lucky that I studied in the U.S. and had the chance to learn English so I could type this today, but many people don't have that chance. There is no one in my family that would say such things about the foreign aid received. You have to be so twisted as to post something like that. There are thousands of children and babies dying everyday in the African Continent. I bet they would appreciate that "pop tart" a lot more than you.

Frankly, It's a disgrace having to read such comments in this forum. Shameless indeed!

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Whilst still of indeterminate nationailty Mcalpine, I hope you are getting your jollies belittling both charity givers and receivers.

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Actually many if not most people would tend to disagree on this point. The handling of the whole situation from tsunami to NPP to homeless has been handled like amateur hour. As l have said in the past foreign governments can learn a lot from the Japanese handling of this. Namely how not to do things

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/05/the-great-eastern-japan-earthquake-assessing-disaster-response-and-lessons-for-the-us

"The response on the site by dedicated, determined and expert staff, under extremely arduous conditions has been exemplary and resulted in the best approach to securing safety given the exceptional circumstances"=IAEA

For the most part, Japan's handling of the situation is best summarized as "positive" for I would not consider it to go far as "handled like an amateur hour".

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One important note to consider is that, despite significant preparedness levels in Japan, the Japanese were unable to prevent the immediate death of thousands of people. One lesson is that there will always be limitations on a citizens, no matter how well prepared, when a truly catastrophic event occurs. There has been insufficient public discussion that would set reasonable expectations for citizens as to what might happen during a large event and just how much their government will be able to do for them.

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I agree that psychiatrict help isnt the answer to these ppls problems. If they are already mentally healthy then they dont need a shrink, they need practical help & handouts isnt what they need either although initially it is helpful. These ppl need the dignity & security of a job & home of thier own. If someone can get up, work, & take care of their family, this is mental health.

Since 90% of Japanese land isnt used, I think the gov. needs to find some liveable, unused land, prepare it for farming, & give it to the farmers to start a new life & new community. This helps the farmers & all of Jp b/c the farmers wont be producing food & selling it all over Jp spreading the radiation. Just evacuate the land & start over. For the businessmen, give them government loans to start businesses in these new communities & pay the young healthy ones to build the new communities to start generating instant income & making them feel like they are helping themselves & their own ppl. If they feel like they are saving their ppl & rebuilding themselves, this is the best mental health care a healthy person can get.

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"Japan didn't ask for your cereal, and pop tarts and other useless garbage that you donated; most of which was thrown away anyway. Utter useless stuff."

I have to agree with Bluewitch that this statement is an utter disgrace. If others read this statement & there is another major disaster, do you think anyone would want to help Japan? You could be harming a lot of future people in desparate need. I recall after this disaster in some locations, all the Japanese government gave was a rice ball and a cup of tea to people who lost everything. If I had to choose between a box of pop tarts and 1 little rice ball, Id pick the pop tarts any day. You have to remember too, it doesnt cost the government anything to give, but individuals who give it costs money. It comes out of their pockets that could be spent on their own children or their own needs but they chose to give to others instead. What a thankless, pathetic comment you made to those who gave. It is a disgrace, and I would like to believe you do NOT represent the Japanese feelings at all.

So to tie this in with suicide. Part of suicide is the feeling of hopelessness and isolation. When people see & understand that others care about them, and that they matter, then they are less likely to commit suicide. One way people try to express this to victims and encourage victims is by providing for their basic needs. If no one gave and no one showed any interest or care in all these victims, the suicide rate probably would be soaring through the roof, but because not just the Japanese but the international community came to the aid of these people, it gave some hope and encouragement, I believe, because it let these people know they were not forgotten and people do care. So those poptarts that some caring person gave DID matter.

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This is so sad! I am So sorry for all the People in Japan and my Prayers go out to you try to be strong though. Life is but a test remember that and all relegions see that! God bless you all

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@Bluewitch<<

The government made provisions for the homeless and those that were in need. City officials had no need for the tons of hand-outs, like cereal and pop tarts, etc,. All of these items were either thrown away or restocked somewhere in distribution centers only to collect dust. Powdered milk and other dry goods weren't necessary either, because the government provided plenty of necessities for the victims. However, there were some logistics concerns in heavily affected areas, and so therefore some victims may have been left out, that's why we are grateful for the U.S. Navy who graciously provided the much needed manpower for the clean up effort at Sendai Airport. Again, it's manpower we need. I can't stress that enough, not food!

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