On the day of the earthquake, I was working at my seventh floor apartment in an area where a lot of Western people live in Tokyo.
As soon as it started, I took the stairs to the ground. It was around 2.40pm and time for kids to leave their elementary schools.
On the roads many children were lost and crying and many Western women spoke to the strange kids and hugged them. Impressive scenes.
Many people stayed at their office that night or walked home, taking more than two to six hours. I left home to pick up my wife, her sister and her colleagues by car.
I left at 6.30pm and came back with my wife at 2.30am – it normally takes 45 minutes. My mother came back from golf at 3am.
Our biggest threat presently is a risk of distribution of radioactivity and secondly, another big earthquake.
Even we Tokyo citizens cannot be too optimistic. The Meteorological Agency is predicting the same magnitude earthquake will break in a few days and it could damage a lot of tall buildings at the centre of Tokyo.
Radioactivity is 22 times more than usual in the air around Tokyo and almost all the attention of Japan’s government and media is on this issue – leakage of radioactivity.
The blow-up of atomic power plants is causing lack of electricity. Many train lines have stopped. Almost all petrol stations have run out. Many supermarkets are also closed because of lack of products.
Even now it is quite hard to call by mobile phone. Normal telephone lines are much better.
One of the things that’s touched me the most is support by other countries including Korea and China who are not necessarily friendly to Japan and what especially impressed me is the rescue team from New Zealand.
One of them, after arriving in Japan, said: “We’ve just been helped by a Japanese rescue team at Christchurch to a great degree so we are very happy to pay our debt.”
– Gota Ishii