The Foreign Media and Foreign Aid

March 21, 2011 11:39 PM

I have had frequent interviews with the foreign media ever since the earthquake earlier this month. The first interview this morning was with the BBC International radio station.

"There is a web article claiming that the Japanese government is purposefully lying in order to prevent the panic of the public. What is your opinion, Mr. Kono?"

I find these accusations to be ridiculous. First and foremost, no one knows who wrote on what media. "It is true that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is not dealing with lingering issues effectively, the government isn't centralizing its homepage, and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and TEPCO are holding press conferences respectively. However, they do not lie," I answered.

Yet, I find it very odd that the Japanese citizens do not criticize the government's responsive.

They often say, "if we had the time to be putting blame, we would be providing water, food and the gasoline to the hundreds of thousands that had to evacuate."

However, isn't criticism necessary for the success of democracy?

BBC then asked me what I thought about the French rescue team who arrived in Japan but had not received such a request from the Japanese government.

After confirming with the government about this, it seems that Japan was still verifying the specifications of the protective clothing offered by the French rescue team. France claims that Japan is too strict about the specifications whereas Japan affirm that they can not have people working in protective gear that might not withstand radiation.

Since they came all the way from France on terms of good faith, the media should report more on their supportive actions within the country.

On a side note, the following countries were active in sending relief teams to Japan: South Korea, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, the U.S., China, the U.K., Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Mongolia.

Countries still working in Japan include France, Russia, Turkey, and South Africa.

Countries that are planning to come include Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sweden and Luxembourg.

Countries that have aided Japan by sending relief supplies include China, Taiwan, Mongolia, India, Canada, the Maldives, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, France and Israel.

Thank you very much!