Rev. Taka Talks about Mindfulness at TED x Kyoto

Monday, March 28, 2011

For Critical Thinkers: Economic Damage in Hokkaido and Kyoto after the Earthquake and Tsuami

Hokkaido is one of the non-affected areas by the earthquake and tsunami and is 628 km (384 miles) away from the Fukushima Daiich Nuclear Power Plant. However, the Hokkaido Tourism Organization announced that the economic damage to the tourist industry in Hokkaido is estimated at about 100,000,000,000 yen (12,226,000,000 U.S. dollars/874,000,000 euro) between March and June and that these losses were created by the cancellations of foreign tourists. Because of this economic damage, many local businesses, which specialize in foreign tourism, might need to lay off many of their workers and some of the businesses will even go bankrupt.

Kyoto is another area not affected by the series of natural disasters and is 725 km (450 miles) away from the nuclear power plant. Like Hokkaido, the economic damage of the tourist industry is even bigger since Kyoto is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. Over 50,000,000 tourists (1,000,000 foreign tourists) visit Kyoto every year. Due to these economic losses, many workers in the tourist industry have already lost their jobs. More people might loose their jobs. Some hotels and guest houses might even go out of business. The situation in Kyoto is very similar to that in Hokkaido or even worse.

If more businesses go bankrupt and people become unemployed in western Japan, Japan lose its ability to rebuild the disaster areas in northern Japan. It will take about 5 years to rebuild the basic infrastructure, and 10 - 25 years to rebuild cities like Ishinomaki and Kesennuma in the disaster areas.

Japanese people are grateful for the aid sent from all over the world. But at the same time, the remaining businesses in the non-affected areas need to keep their strength to support this long-term reconstruction process of northern Japan. Many foreign governments should lift their unnecessary travel alerts for western Japan. Also, critical thinkers should recheck the correct travel information and the actual situations in the non-affected areas in Japan, and visit there and support the remaining economy to speed up the recovery of northern Japan.

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