#1 Posted by PandaBear (1379 posts) -

So after the tsunami and the power plant meltdown, which is still going on by all reports as the leaks continue, I'm wondering how safe Japan is to travel to? My general feeling and what I've read is don't go - it's more dangerous than we know and if the mutated sea life is anything to go by the country is in pretty bad shape. BUT it seems people still travel there and there's obviously a ton of people there...

I'm just wondering what the facts are... and people's anecdotes. Have you been recently? Are people in Japan worried?

I'm not some crazy shut-in who's scared of the world, I've travelled a bit and want to do more ... just curious really.

#2 Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials (2430 posts) -

Yeah I was there for a month over the summer, and now I've got ears growing all over my back.

It was never really a 'thing', at least not for the vast majority of Japan. No Japanese person I've met seemed worried about it.

#3 Edited by erhard (436 posts) -

No.

#4 Edited by hejklyscha (33 posts) -
#5 Edited by TruthTellah (9422 posts) -

@pandabear: The radiation in Japan is still "a thing", as it remains an ongoing situation. But... if you're asking whether it's safe to travel to Japan, sure it is. Go visit Japan.

Most of Japan is fine. It's a big country. I wouldn't recommend going to check out around Fukushima, but if you're worried about negative effects from a short visit or even months there, well, then you're getting worried for little reason. There are real concerns in Japan, but they are in specific areas. And any larger issues for the nation are years-long and not something that would generally impact someone visiting. If you're worried about seafood, just make sure to buy locally and not get seafood from areas you're worried about. Japanese cities are usually pretty good for local sources.

The crisis is real, and efforts continue to minimize the long-term negative impact. But as far as you going there for a while, unless you have plans to visit Fukushima, there is little significant danger. Go visit Japan and enjoy yourself. It's a big, interesting country.

#6 Posted by PandaBear (1379 posts) -

How about, you know, doing some research? (yes, its a "thing")

I don't remember saying I'd done no research. You can read whatever online, and finding a Wikipedia page is pretty fucking easy, but I don't know what it's actually like on the ground for a typical person. And you don't either by the sounds of it.

Yeah I was there for a month over the summer, and now I've got ears growing all over my back.

It was never really a 'thing', at least not for the vast majority of Japan. No Japanese person I've met seemed worried about it.

So there't not like news reports on it? Like radiation updates or news on what's happening at the plant? I'm trying my best to not sound like a nut... I just think if it happened where I live it'd be news for quite a while.

#7 Posted by SomeJerk (3362 posts) -

Only news coverage are local protests against how the local government covers up and bullshits about eating crops and fish from the area, and some anti-nuclear campaigns around the country that disregard how bad state the plant was in and that the disaster was inevitable.

#8 Edited by ryanwhom (290 posts) -

No the ground isnt slightly greenish and fish dont have three eyes, because radiation doesnt work that way. But birth defects on the whole are certain to rise and the average lifespan is probably shortened. No you can't physically feel it or anything cus this isnt scifi but yes exposure to that level of radiation over a set period of time will fuck you up. That Japan isn't dealing with it doesn't mean it went away. But if it puts your mind at ease, the level of radiation it leaked into the pacific means most people on the west coast are fucked up too and we're not dealing with it either. So if you're in Cali now drinking the irradiated water it probably makes no difference, damage is already done go ahead live your life. The nuclear disaster in Japan was at least on par with Chernobyl which is still unlivable and very likely much further reaching in the long run.

So let's say its dealt with in the same way a corpse is dealt with by throwing it in the basement. It'll be a few day before the stink but until then its like nothing ever happened.

#9 Posted by Hunter5024 (5904 posts) -

You should go because maybe the radiation will give you superpowers.

#10 Edited by TruthTellah (9422 posts) -

@pandabear: As I noted, it is safe to visit Japan. Your concerns will mostly be regional; so, unless you're planning to go to the Fukushima area, you're very likely to be perfectly safe. The primary issues relate to long-term threats over many years, not if you are just coming to visit.

If you need some specific information on radiation, perhaps this recent update on radiation and food safety in Japan will help you understand that it is not something you as a visitor have to be that concerned about when considering a trip: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eq/eng/04_recovery.htm

If you have more specific questions, I can try to find whatever there is to help explain further, but in general, the answer to your question is "the radiation is still an issue for the plant and surrounding area, but it is not a major issue for someone coming to visit other parts of the country". So, please don't let concerns over the nuclear plant crisis keep you from visiting Japan.

#11 Posted by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

It's a thing for 10 000 more years.

#12 Edited by development (2573 posts) -

@pandabear: Well, first off, I'd say don't base this kind of decision off the un-sourced advice of a video game forum. Find some legitimate sources and get your information from there.

Here's an article, written yesterday, that says "yes," it is a "thing."

#13 Posted by TruthTellah (9422 posts) -

@pandabear: Well, first off, I'd say don't base this kind of decision off the un-sourced advice of a video game forum. Find some legitimate sources and get your information from there.

Here's an article, written yesterday, that says "yes," it is a "thing."

I'd agree that him doing even further research is good, but that article doesn't address the "thing" he appears to be talking about. He's asking whether it's safe to go to Japan at all, not whether the crisis is still real. Of course it's still a thing. The question is whether it's safe for someone to visit anywhere in the entire country of Japan, and the clear answer is yes. For a short-term visitor that isn't going anywhere near Fukushima, there is little to no threat. It is safe to visit Japan.

#14 Posted by punkxblaze (2990 posts) -

We are all going to fucking die.

#15 Posted by TruthTellah (9422 posts) -

We are all going to fucking die.

That's a true statement. Eventually.

#16 Posted by development (2573 posts) -

@development said:

@pandabear: Well, first off, I'd say don't base this kind of decision off the un-sourced advice of a video game forum. Find some legitimate sources and get your information from there.

Here's an article, written yesterday, that says "yes," it is a "thing."

I'd agree that him doing even further research is good, but that article doesn't address the "thing" he appears to be talking about. He's asking whether it's safe to go to Japan at all, not whether the crisis is still real. Of course it's still a thing. The question is whether it's safe for someone to visit anywhere in the entire country of Japan, and the clear answer is yes. For a short-term visitor that isn't going anywhere near Fukushima, there is little to no threat. It is safe to visit Japan.

Yeah, most likely. My memory of the last readings I read of the radiation levels being put off in Japan were saying there were pretty low, enough to be almost negligible to tourists. You'd probably get more radiation from eating a banana.

#17 Edited by TruthTellah (9422 posts) -

@development said:

@truthtellah said:

@development said:

@pandabear: Well, first off, I'd say don't base this kind of decision off the un-sourced advice of a video game forum. Find some legitimate sources and get your information from there.

Here's an article, written yesterday, that says "yes," it is a "thing."

I'd agree that him doing even further research is good, but that article doesn't address the "thing" he appears to be talking about. He's asking whether it's safe to go to Japan at all, not whether the crisis is still real. Of course it's still a thing. The question is whether it's safe for someone to visit anywhere in the entire country of Japan, and the clear answer is yes. For a short-term visitor that isn't going anywhere near Fukushima, there is little to no threat. It is safe to visit Japan.

Yeah, most likely. My memory of the last readings I read of the radiation levels being put off in Japan were saying there were pretty low, enough to be almost negligible to tourists. You'd probably get more radiation from eating a banana.

Indeed. Well, and most major cities. You can see actual recent radiation readings at the link I attached in my previous reply. Outside of areas right near Fukushima, your exposure won't be much different being in Japan than anywhere else. How long are you planning to go? Don't let something like this keep you from visiting somewhere in the country.

#18 Posted by Jothel (935 posts) -

Just lived in Tokyo for a year, no ill effects there at least but in some parts of the country, it is very much still a thing

#19 Posted by LukewarmGravity (13 posts) -

Currently been living in Osaka since August, it's perfectly safe.

While stories on it do make the news, I have yet to hear anyone actually talk about it unless I bring it up.

#20 Edited by Khronikos (69 posts) -

There are plenty of updates regarding this situation. You have to visit alt news sites because for obvious reasons the major news outlets don't say anything about it. The Japanese elite have basically swept it under the rug.... except they can't. I feel very very sorry for people who think this whole thing has just blown by. In ten years you won't be feeling that way when cancer rates are sky high. Has Chernobyl taught the youth of today absolutely nothing?

For what it is worth this is basically the only site I can find that updates its info on Fukushima: http://enenews.com/

Some people apparently don't like the site. I really don't care either way. People trusting the Japanese government on whether it is safe to go there are being highly misleading is all I can say. Do your own research and protect your own health. Do not leave that up to people on internet forums. If you are just visiting it should be okay but I am no expert and would never claim to be in this situation. Purely a personal endeavor.

China just banned all imports of shellfish from the US West coast. Sure, it is arsenic or whatever but these 'new' things happening on the West coast are highly unusual to say the least and they keep happening VERY frequently. That should tell you all you need to know about how safe people in other countries think the situation is pertaining to our US food.

Other countries have actual radiation bans on Fukushima food for good reason. The US West coast is going to get the brunt of this radiation storm in the Pacific for years to come but all will be affected. This isn't over by any stretch of the imagination. It is just beginning. How much this will affect Japan as a whole or the West coast as a whole no one knows at this point. All we can do is report what we find and sadly the nuke industry doesn't want much of this getting out.

It's funny though how much propaganda and simply not reporting things in national news will convince people there is no problem. Still, a lot of this will eventually make national news it always does at some point.

#21 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1627 posts) -

Yes, radiation is a problem.

#22 Edited by troll93 (391 posts) -

@pandabear:

If it helps, I just finished a 20 day holiday in Japan about two months ago, and I have yet to grow an extra head. In all serious though, it is a very minor risk. I suppose if you plan on going for a swim in the reactor it would probably mess you up, but short of that, you are fine. The main concern for radiation is long term exposure, as in years. Another example, on another holiday in Europe, (was stationed there for work 8 week on 2 week off) I went to take a tour of the chernobyl site. I spent a full day in the 'radioactive zone' including Pripyat, and when I got back to Germany the doctors said that I was suffering no injuries. However, I would avoid eating food sourced from around Fukushima, but other than that, Japan is fine.

In short, there is nothing to worry about for a trip to Japan, just don't swim in the reactor pool. If you don't take my word for it, take the word of the Australian government who say it is all good, and what do we have to benifit by lying? http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Japan

"The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) assesses that the radiation levels in most parts of Japan, including Tokyo, are within the normal range of variation of background radiation."

#23 Edited by punkxblaze (2990 posts) -

@punkxblaze said:

We are all going to fucking die.

That's a true statement. Eventually.

You ain't the only tellah of truths 'round these parts.

#24 Posted by AthleticShark (1198 posts) -

It is still very much a big issue. You might not seen anything glowing or with multiple eyes, but it is not exactly healthy to be around the area where shit went down. The effects can take a while. Even being exposed to a tiny amount over years will in the end kill you.

Let me put it this way, I would not want to eat any fish/ anything grown in Japan for a LOOOOONG time.

#25 Edited by Xeiphyer (5608 posts) -

Don't visit the nuclear plant maybe, that place is still pretty unsafe. The rest of Japan is completely fine. The internet is mostly full of fear mongering nonsense articles.

#26 Edited by ModernAlkemie (368 posts) -

You are probably in greater danger from the higher dose of cosmic radiation you receive from being in an airplane at altitude for several hours.

#27 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (1136 posts) -

Yes very much still a thing

#28 Edited by EXTomar (4921 posts) -

I hate to point this out but there is radiation everywhere. It is coming from sky. It is coming from the ground. Unless you want to go to disaster area, you will probably get more radiation flying to Japan than anything else.

#29 Posted by Addfwyn (1945 posts) -

I live in Japan, I have lived here since the earthquake and for years before it. I even spent time doing volunteer work in Fukushima immediately after the earthquake. I am fine, and Japan is totally safe. As is most fish from the pacific ocean, if you have been avoiding eating those too. We aren't mutating, our food is safe, our water is safe, and quite a few cities here actually still have lower radiation levels than some other cities that did not experience any such disaster.

I wouldn't recommend taking a trip to see the reactors at Fukushima or anything, but general tourism? Yeah you are fine. Unsurprisingly, the internet likes to make it sounds like Japan is sinking and we are all dead. Maybe they just have competing business interests, I really don't know, but it's safe here.

If it makes you feel better, I would recommend reading this. It is from a specialist who did research onto the waters after Chernobyl...aka the probably best person on the planet to ask about this.

@khronikos: "Alternative" news sites, like "alternative" medicine, are mostly bogus. The reason people don't like enenews.com is because...it's junk. It is a website that mysteriously came into existence only immediately after the March earthquake with a pretty obvious agenda, that often makes up sources or uses discredited sources. I know you aren't necessarily one of the people fear mongering with some hidden agenda, just letting you know why thats not really a valid source to rely on.

#30 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3971 posts) -
#31 Posted by Veektarius (4983 posts) -

You can drink the water but don't eat the ice.

#32 Edited by Khronikos (69 posts) -

@addfwyn said:

I live in Japan, I have lived here since the earthquake and for years before it. I even spent time doing volunteer work in Fukushima immediately after the earthquake. I am fine, and Japan is totally safe. As is most fish from the pacific ocean, if you have been avoiding eating those too. We aren't mutating, our food is safe, our water is safe, and quite a few cities here actually still have lower radiation levels than some other cities that did not experience any such disaster.

I wouldn't recommend taking a trip to see the reactors at Fukushima or anything, but general tourism? Yeah you are fine. Unsurprisingly, the internet likes to make it sounds like Japan is sinking and we are all dead. Maybe they just have competing business interests, I really don't know, but it's safe here.

If it makes you feel better, I would recommend reading

this

. It is from a specialist who did research onto the waters after Chernobyl...aka the probably best person on the planet to ask about this.

@khronikos: "Alternative" news sites, like "alternative" medicine, are mostly bogus. The reason people don't like enenews.com is because...it's junk. It is a website that mysteriously came into existence only immediately after the March earthquake with a pretty obvious agenda, that often makes up sources or uses discredited sources. I know you aren't necessarily one of the people fear mongering with some hidden agenda, just letting you know why thats not really a valid source to rely on.

Then TEPCO itself needs to get real transparent about things. I don't trust any of these sites tbh. What I do tend to trust is readings here where I live in the US and so far the West Coast is experiencing some real weird stuff but of course we have no idea what from. The military is always making stuff up for their weapons tests. ENE news is pretty mysterious yes. For all we know it could be a government site misleading us the whole time. It's a good point though that people should view ALL sources before they make decisions on certain things. In 5 years we should all have an accurate idea on what the fallout of this thing will be. At that point even normal citizens will have measured things with decent accuracy in the food and air. My one main problem is the 'news' in the US is basically just there for the people who watch nothing but TV. I wouldn't put alternative news sites in with ENE news.

Alternative news sites that I go to are factual and actually report the news here in the US. Our mass market news is completely bogus; a shill for corporations. But I agree I only tread lightly on sites like ENE news. Creating fear is something that controls people and it makes do things they would otherwise not do.

#33 Posted by GreggD (4510 posts) -

@hejklyscha said:

How about, you know, doing some research? (yes, its a "thing")

how about just answer with no snark.

Dicks everywhere. I'm up to my ears in dicks. Dicks all over my face. But seriously, stop being such assholes, guys. He never said anything about multiple eyes on fish and all that, cut the guy some slack.

#34 Posted by dudeglove (8150 posts) -

Hey Japan! Maybe don't hire Bulgarians next time!

#35 Posted by TooWalrus (13255 posts) -

You can drink the water but don't eat the ice.

Take your Vitamin T with some lemon slice.

#36 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3697 posts) -

#37 Posted by Pepsiman (2488 posts) -

I moved into Japan after the earthquake and lived there until June of last year with the intention of returning soon. Like other Japan residents and tourists have said, most of the country is perfectly fine and as habitable as ever. I've mostly lived near Osaka, which is way the hell away from Fukushima and aside from some energy conservation stuff that the whole country has been undergoing in general, people have gotten by just fine. Food-wise, I felt even healthier than I do being back in the States because of my diet and I still ate a good amount of fish and whatnot. People over there aren't exactly keen on buying beef or anything from that area, either, so it's not as though people are actively eating irradiated food. News sites that focus on Japan like The Japan Times still do extensive coverage of Fukushima-related issue if you're interested in keeping track of what's happening from more firsthand native sources, with much of it available in English as well.

There are, of course, reasons to worry about what's happening up there. TEPCO has hardly been all that judicious about disclosing everything that's going on in the area without some serious prodding from the government and the nature of the disaster, to my understanding, makes a lot of the specifics of containing the fallout and shutting down the reactors a large question mark, with very smart people having to figure it out as they go along. But the rest of the country is getting by perfectly fine. The people are chipper, the food is great, and, for our purposes here, the games are plentiful. I'm not worried about what'll happen to me personally when I move back and in fact plan to eventually volunteer out in Fukushima to do my part to help it get back on its feet.

#38 Posted by HatKing (6060 posts) -

You should also consider visiting Pripyat.