The Daily Radiation Report

It has been four months since a massive quake and tsunami devastated Sendai and much of eastern Japan. Here in Tokyo, 232 miles from the epicenter, life is pretty much normal from a foreigner's perspective. There is little outward sign of one of the most severe natural disasters - and related man-made tragedies - to ever hit Japan.

I have been visiting my wife's family home in the Tokyo suburbs annually for more than a decade, and shortly after the quake, her family reported food shortages in the supermarkets and power shortages due to the nuclear power plant failures. Ā 

Today, the supply chain is back to normal, and power saving, not blackouts, is the norm. The signs of the disaster are subtle. Trains and shopping centers are a little darker. Kids come home from school with tips on reducing energy use. The big summer fireworks festivals have been cancelled due to national mood. And the daily weather report for Tokyo includes a radiation reading.

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