Mar 14, 2011

stay or leave?

There have been many reports of foreigners leaving Japan, and many governments recommended their citizens to leave Japan, or at the very least the Tokyo region.

Many (foreigners) have or are going to leave due to a varied array of considerations while others are staying on for different sets of reasons. Most of those who have left or are leaving plan to come back when the situation stabilized. Some might look at them as being fair-weathered or bailing from a sinking ship. Everyone is in a unique situation and has their own standpoint. There is no right nor wrong, heroism nor cowardice in the decisions that they made.

Although I admire those who decided to stay in Japan, for whatever reasons, I do have a question for them. How much "help" do they think they can provide by staying? Shouldn't they go back to their home country to ease the worrying of their families, even temporarily? By staying, they will be taking up the already scarce or rationed resources (food, water and other necessities) that should be given by the locals.

Indeed, the Japanese need all the moral support (エール, reads "yell" meaning cheer-leading shout of motivation) they can get, but most importantly, they need material support - food, water, blankets, medical supplies, etc. By staying, foreigners are competing with the Japanese for whatever limited resources there is. With a high sense of civility, the Japanese will share whatever limited resources they have and will go out of their ways to make everyone, including foreigners, comfortable.

Please remember that even the international rescue teams themselves, like those from Taiwan are bringing their own food supply so as not to put any further strain on the already limited resources needed for the affected areas. Why should one stay when one can't aid the rescue nor the relief efforts, but only "help" use up the resources?

So, if you can afford the air ticket and have the luxury/time to get away for a while, without affecting your studies or job (aka with approval from your boss/supervisor/professor), please consider the option of leaving Japan and going back to your country just for a while. Do it for your family's peace of mind while easing the shortage of food/water/resources that will definitely arise.

You can help by being in your home country and urging your fellow countrymen to provide aid to your Japanese friends. You can mobilize your family and friends to go on a donation drive. You can push for more donations, faster execution and better deployment of these much needed supplies. These are the things you CAN DO to help the situation.

You are helping by leaving (and not being a burden). 

This is my opinion.

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