Nation’s unpreparedness ahead of disaster is blasted

Some of my Japanese friends have said, that if more people in Japan and more people in Tohoku, knew how to speak English well and communicate with non-Japanese, the rescue and relief efforts up north would have been
better, and gone more smoothly.

My own brother Graham, a doctor was thinking of going up north. But the
Canadian authorities were saying there was not much point as there were
not enough translators.

I admit I am biased. I own an English School in Minamiashigara City, and I teach English at Tokai University. That said, I do feel that more Japanese need to learn English very well, and feel that the present level
of English hurts Japan economically and even during a major disaster.

I feel very, very sorry for the people up north. I hope that we can
all learn something from this, and make Japan a much better place.

Japan Times Follows:

Staff writer

A month after the earthquake and tsunami obliterated cities along the Tohoku coast, Japan is struggling to limp back to some semblance of normalcy while coming to grips with the unprecedented disaster.

But critics say the country could have done more to mitigate the catastrophe.

“The tsunami and the earthquake were bigger than anything I have experienced,” said Ryohei Morimoto, an honorary member of the Association for Earthquake Disaster Prevention and a retired professor of volcanology at the University of Tokyo. Read More


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