Japan has always been a nation that many others look up to in their strives towards achieving a society that is happy and content with its position in things, which can stand up to most problems and smash right through them without a second thought. As a country, the Japanese are renowned for their extreme politeness, obedience and determination in doing what is expected for their proud country, a trait some see as borderline subservience, and others as the key to a successful government and industrial powerhouse.
However, it’s easy for us to forget the Japan has been through some tragically harsh times in its history, especially in recent times. I feel it a shame that, in many cases, we ignore these facts because of the developed status that Japan holds, sitting high as one of the most technically and economically advanced countries in the world, which can cloud reality. Japan has experienced horrible conflicts, extreme natural disasters and serious economic downturn, the last of which many of us had the pleasure of partaking in too, and now more than ever is this the case. Even so, despite their hardships, the Japanese people sure now how to rise from the ashes, more powerful than before and with an even stronger resolve to live on; it’s something of a personality that the entire world recognises. This however, seems to be changing.
The past two years have been undoubtedly hard for the humble nation. Recovering from poor economic climates, Japan was hit by one of the biggest ever recorded earthquakes, only to be followed up with an equally record-breaking and devastating tsunami. As the Fukushima-Daiichi plant blossomed radiation, thousands were relocated in an instant from the huge quarantine area imposed by the government, and even now many are not allowed back to their homes and see no hope of that changing anytime soon. Whilst this happened, horrendously high numbers of people were killed by the quake and tsunami, a combination of nature frightening in its ability to trash whole towns and render the landscape unrecognisable.
Despite this, the Japanese, although wounded, did what they do, and began to rise from the rubble, the composed and determined people we are used to seeing. We applauded them for their courage, and vilified their government. Now more than ever, the effects of this are being rapidly unwound. With all nuclear reactors shutdown in Fukushima’s wake, a shortfall of 30% in the nation’s electricity generation capacity was instantly apparent, and fears of blackouts nationwide set in.