Any Hesitation in Travelling to Japan at the moment?

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Toula, Jun 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    Japan is a place I have always wanted to visit. As it turns out, there are opportunities for us to return to the US via Tokyo. However, my husband is saying it would not be a good idea due to the radiation links.

    Just wondered if anyone had any good info I could sling his way to try an bring him around to my way of thinking as I would adore to get there on this trip.
     
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  2. jbcarioca
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    I will happily go to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hokkaido, Ryukus or anywhere else in japan other than the area around Sendai. The risks are primarily in that area. Outside, in Tokyo, there is still the odd power shortage. It is a good time to visit Japan precisely because of the overblown fears IMO.
     
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  3. Wurm
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    Wurm Silver Member

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    As a data point to give to your husband, the Metropolitan Opera just concluded a tour of many of the cities mentioned by jbcarioca. Over 300 people (singers, chorus, orchestra, stage techs etc) went over, with no ill effects. A couple of panicky solo singers cancelled, however, most all of the scheduled soloists went, including international superstar Diana Damrau, who, after consulting experts, took her six-month old son along (seen here with tenor Rolando Villazon):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Lufthansa Flyer
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    there's an MP member, SendaiBen who frequents these message boards, you may want to consider PM-ing him. He lives/lived in Sendai which was at the epicenter of the disaster
     
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  5. HiIslands
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    My publisher and editor, who lives in Tokyo just visited me. I asked him about travel to Japan and he said there is no reason not to go.

    If your husband is worried about "radiation" then perhaps you could convince him to go to the Osaka/Kyoto/Nara area, which is wonderful to visit and far, far away from the troubled nuclear power plants.
     
  6. NYBanker
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    While I would have no issue going to Japan (Tokyo and points south/west), having 300 people go recently and have no I'll effects doesn't offer me any particular comfort. At this point, there isn't a question of immediate visible harm (ie: people aren't falling ill in Tokyo every day), but rather it is the longer term impact which is in question by some.

    Again, I'd be comfortable taking what I consider to be the very limited risk in Tokyo today.
     
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  7. Wurm
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    NYBanker, the reason I think that the Met group's trip might be a valid thing for the OP to mention to the spouse is that this was not a voluntary leisure trip. Except for the soloists (who are essentially free-lancers), the great majority of the participants were permanent employees, who are also members of very powerful labor unions. Met management and the unions gave VERY careful consideration to all of the safety issues (especially from the legal-liability standpoint of sending their employees and members into harm's way) before determining that there was absolutely no reason to cancel or cut short the tour.
     
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  8. NYBanker
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    I agree that it is clear there is not evidence of immediate problems coming about from travel to most of japan. While I don't know the full scope of the diligence and research that they did as to the longer term effects, the concept of this group - or their labor unions - performing even fairly extensive diligence on the matter gives me no incremental comfort. I don't doubt, however, that the organization cares deeply for its employees.

    As to their legal liability, NY, like most states, holds employers strictly liable for harm to employees. This means, in a nutshell, that the employer is responsible for what happens, even if out of the employer's control. Against that, absent gross negligence (a high standard), employees cannot recover punitive damages from their employer. Getting a simple report from their travel provider saying things were ok to go would probably be sufficient to protect themselves from a gross negligence claim. Workers comp coverage would protect them from ordinary claims.

    I'm glad you find comfort in their trip. I too am generally comfortable with travel to most of Japan. We will probably have to agree to disagree on the applicability of their trip to the "is it safe to go" question.

    Do you have plans to go? (I've really been thinking about it - but haven't pulled the trigger.)
     
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  9. Wurm
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    No present plans - not because of any perceived danger, but because my limited overseas leisure travel time is pretty much all devoted to chasing "modern" ("regie") opera productions in Europe (a style generally not done in the U.S.).
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    I was bound for Tokyo on March 11 and got diverted to an AFB and then subsequently Osaka. And I just transited through Narita twice this past week. Obviously, each stay was only 2-3 hrs, but I would not be concerned about staying in Tokyo or further south for vacation.
     
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  11. sniklec
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    I was in Kansai less than two weeks after the earthquake, and there were a number of reasons (both good and less good) for staying put. I'll be there (Kansai and points west) again in August, and the main thing keeping me from going to Tokyo is the expected decrease in air conditioning use due to TEPCO's power-saving measures.
     
  12. RichardInSF
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    I was in Tokyo about 6 weeks ago and everything is pretty much back to normal. There will be some transport reductions and lessened a/c during the summer in order to reduce the probability of roving brownouts.

    Radiation levels are basically at the same level as prior to the earthquake. If you want to avoid environmental risk, I'd suggest a better choice would be to avoid Shanghai or Beijing due to air pollution.
     
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  13. jhflau11
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    I'll be head to there next week thanks to the Delta fare. I've been following the Tokyo Radiation Levels page on Facebook. People living in the Tokyo area taking radiation levels around the city. The numbers they have been getting have been pretty stable for a while.

    http://www.facebook.com/Tokyo.Radiation.Levels
     
  14. taiwaned
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    Radiation is not a worry but the continuing high value of the YEN makes it an expensive place to visit.
     
  15. MSPeconomist
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    This is not a pleasant time of year to be in Tokyo. It's likely to be very hot and humid. While big buildings (hotels, offices, department stores, major museums, etc.) are all air conditioned, the subway system, temples, smaller shops and small restaurants are likely to be miserable for people used to AC. Walking around in the afternoon will not be pleasant. IMO NRT Terminal 1 is not effectively air conditioned either.
     
  16. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    Still debating whether or not we will go to Tokyo.

    However, by default we may end up there as we are looking for a points redemption to get back from Australia to San Francisco and it seems the most readily available flights go via Tokyo.
     
  17. weegiewife
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    I'd go in a heartbeat if I could find a good fare out of the UK - right now fares out of my airport are higher than I can swing.

    Having said that, I was in Russia when Chernobyl went (really) and haven't had any ill effects yet.....
     
  18. RichardInSF
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    Right now, the exchange rate is a bigger hurdle for US tourists than any earthquake damage. As I write this, 1 USD is buying fewer than 79 Yen and there are no signs of government intervention to move it back to more reasonable levels.
     
  19. JALPak
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    perhaps tainted beef is enough of a reason not to go for now?
     
  20. Kalboz
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    Our own Wandering Aramean has been blogging from Japan for the last several days with great reporting & photos.
     

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