Why charity doesn’t work for Japanese

The mismatch of charity is becoming serious.
As time passes since 311, though some people are already forgetting Fukushima disaster, some people are passionately making projects to help out Japanese, on the assumption that they want to evacuate.

However, most of the projects are facing the same problem that nobody applies for it.
There are several types of the charity projects.

1. Hosting Japanese family for a few months.
2. Hosting Japanese children for a few months.
3. Giving web service for Japanese people, such as forum or video sharing platform.

Project leaders guess if it’s because they are foreigners, Japanese people might be scared, or if it’s because of the lack of advertisement etc..
However, none of them is right.


What do Japanese want to do ? It’s “transporting their life style with 100% security”, not “restarting a new life”.

They are wanting to transport

+ Furniture and electric appliances
+ Car and hopefully house
+ Job
+ School

Because they underestimate / ignore the potential of living in the new world, such as meeting new people, giving new environment to their children etc.. they overestimate the cost of evacuating.

Actually if they try to transport their entire life to out of Japan, it would cost hundreds of million yen. They want a job before leaving or want enough money to live until they find a job.
They also want visa for the stability of life.
Unfortunately, there is no charity project which can offer jobs, money and visa even for one family.

Currently about 10,000 people evacuated to Okinawa. Most of them are mothers with children. Their husbands/fathers are working in Tokyo. Why don’t they jump out abroad ? Because even if they go abroad, they will have to come back to Japan in 3 months when tourist visa expires and the conservative Japanese society will not accept people who have once left Japan for evacuation. It would be really difficult for them to be employed again. What’s more, none of the radiation problems would have been improved by then. Considering the financial problem and the security of their children, they can’t make a huge leap easily. Because it’s very difficult, they try to ignore the fact. They don’t want to evacuate, so they don’t apply for the charity offers.

To make the immigration easier, numbers of people need to move as a community. Even if it’s difficult for individuals, number makes it easier. If they collect petition like they have been doing since last year, they might make a country give them the status of radiation refugee. Why they don’t work as community ?
One of the reasons why Japanese community doesn’t move is their sense of responsibility. Now most of the communities and companies are killing people by tying them up, but none of them helps people evacuate in the opposite way, which is very unbalanced.
It’s because those communities are locked in the bigger community “society” and their sense of responsibility makes it look like betrayal to leave the society.

To analyze this behavior of Japanese people, you need to understand what the “responsibility” stands for in Japanese culture.
It contains 2 meanings.

1. Don’t be hurt
2. Don’t hurt anyone

Japanese meaning of responsibility is slightly different from the one in a dictionary. Most of Japanese people don’t recognize it either.
In Japanese society, it is the highest valued not to cause any conflict. The meaning of responsibility therefore is defined in social context. It actually has nothing to do with benefit or efficiency.

However, trying to be responsibility is a very unique trait ofJapanese.
When being responsible means manufacturing high quality industrial products, it helps Japan grow in second industry like in 60s or 70s.

Japanese culture works like an individual’s mind. They have smooth and responsible face for others, but inside, they are in agony being tortured by themselves. Japanese mind-set is just like the one of a person with self-injurious behavior. Like a person who bites their nails, scratches their skin, pull off their hair, drinks till losing consciousness, sometimes looks like a civilized gentleman at work, Japanese act politely but they abuse themselves behind. It’s represented anywhere.
Criticizing their own culture is the proof of education and intelligence. Wherever they go, they can’t help comparing themselves to other people. Though they are very sensitive for the feedback of others, they love to hurt themselves.

This self-injurious behavior is making Japanese people more careless for radiation and reluctant to save themselves.

The sense of responsibility and the self-injurious behavior are like front and back, both are connected to each other, and they are in proportion. The more responsibility he is, the more self-abusive he is whether it’s a community or an individual. This is one of the reasons why Japan has high suicide rate.
It explains why men don’t evacuate. As above, there are numerous numbers of risks to evacuate, money, job, career, education of the children etc.. but rationally thinking, death is the worst risk. However, most of them don’t evacuate from Tokyo etc. They think they don’t want to evacuate. That’s because they are always pressured to be “responsible”. Deceiving themselves feeling fear and ignoring radiation is their way of self-abusing.
Like the patient of self-injurious behavior feel some kind of pleasure when they cut their body, those responsible people feel somewhat pleasure by exposing themselves to radiation. It is sometimes the sense of heroism, content feeling of hard working, self-devotion, or self-pity. Not to mention, it can be woman / wife/ mother or community / company too. The more they lose, the more pleasure they feel.

This is why commuting trains are still full of salary man in the morning, and there is black substance on the ground.
There are 2 types of evacuation. One is the individual evacuation, and the other is the evacuation in the community. Individual evacuation is very costly if they try to transport their life style in Japan, and is very risky if they try to rebuild their new life style which is not the taste of Japanese. Probably it’s beyond what charity can do. Therefore they need to evacuate as community. The larger the community is, the easier it would be. It would be the best if they make a country admit the status of radiation refugee. Number is power.
However, as individuals hesitate to evacuate, communities / companies do hesitate. So far, none of the Japanese company has tried to move with their employees. It’s from the self-abusive culture as the shadow of their being responsible.
Responsibility has the very emotional meaning in Japan. Now that evacuation can be seen as betrayal, they are required to be more “responsible”. Japanese government is provoking the sense of unity. It makes them more recognize “responsibility” .
Because the self-abusive attitude is in proportion with being responsible, they are even feeling pleasure to kill themselves by radiation, which makes them want not to evacuate.
No matter how much you pull their hands from the outside, they won’t come out anymore. Now the sense of unity, self-injurious behavior and group mind are all having synergistic effect. They need a psychological shock.



  1. I tried to tell people in Japan that their country is being irradiated with radiation, they told me that they don’t like what I say and then they just block me on social network.

  2. Great explanation there, this kind of psychology is what leads to all our national disasters of the 20th century. Mankind has much to learn and I pray we don’t need a world wide nuclear event like unit 04 collapsing to wake them up…

  3. Hello Mochizuki Lori, I hope you are well and able to concentrate on the positives of your move. YOU ARE A JAPANESE and WORLD HERO. You have faced up to your responsibilities as a japanese citizan and tried to show the way to others, despite the risk of losing everything that makes you who you are.
    You are not a father though and so all the reasonings and arguments you present about the Japanese staying put,keeping on keeping on, don’t take in to account their children.
    Most parents would risk everything for the sake and safety of their children.
    That’s what I can’t understand or forgive…..if you know about the effects of radiation how can you keep your child there.
    And they do know because they have sent their wives and children to a “safer” place.
    It’s not good enough, as you know, to take half measures ….to try and please everyone at once.
    Your country, your countrymen….they know whats happening and they are sacrificing their children in a hundred different ways everyday! I am sorry. I know it sounds hard hearted and I am sure I would be no better but to move their families away but not away from danger….what is the point except to save face in the future…we tried…a little bit….not good enough!
    If they are aware of the danger they must rise up in their communities and their families and stop the lies , the deceit , the waste of lives, the waste of money.

    1. I agree with what you say about the Japanese needing to stand up and help fight The Nucluar Power Industry, but with that being said so should everyother human being on this Earth!! This issue is a global issue not one nations burden.
      They have already lost so much and need the strength of others. To know that they are not forgotten and how important they are to the world as a whole. And if we watch this beautiful nation go down and not change our ways. Well, when it’s finally in our backyard don’t expect to have any mercy from this deadly energy.
      We are being warned now by “Mother Earth” to start making changes or distuction will be upon all of us. We all need to make a change! We all need to be concerned! But most will say, What can one man do? We need to shut down the power! We need to take two or three step back and learn new approaches to the mistakes we’ve made!
      Japan don’t back down! Get the power shut down! Lead us in a victory! Be our strength so that we in turn can be yours!

      waiting on the world to change

  4. This also apply to foreigners who stays a long time in Japan.

    Most of my friends are living the same way as Japanese people, since Japanese society is very hard, instead of what it looks like as a tourist.

    1. Yes, in my articles, the definition of “Japanese” is people living in Japan to share the mind-set regardless of the DNA type.

  5. Thank you for another interesting article that helps us understand the Japanese people ! I hope someday you write articles about the education of children, because I guess that all this must be rooted in the way children are reared.
    Hundreds of millions of people on this planet would like to leave their own country because of hunger, poverty, war, persecution,…but rich countries like Japan, France, the USA, have always refused to welcome most of them. So there will be no miracle for Japanese people, especially since people from Belarus, confronted with the same radioactivity, have never been able to expatriate. One reason is that the image of the nuclear industry would suffer enormously if millions of people officially became radiation refugees.
    I remind you that there is one country whose president said that he would gladly welcome all the people from Japan : Russia, whose president Medvedev last year said that they could populate and develop Siberia. But would Japanese people prefer to live in Siberia than to get ill and die in Japan ? Would you spend the rest of your life in Siberia ? What do Japanese people think of Russia ?

    1. I thank you for another insightful comment. Now it’ boosting my brain tired from all the SFP4 confusion.

    2. Wow, you gotta love Motherland Russia for it’s kindness.. I think the people of Japan should take Russia up on the offer because then it will open doors to the whole Radiation Refugee thing, If Russia is willing to accept and call them this other countries are bound to happen.
      As for creating communities I think there needs to be a point of contact on both sides so that communication is done effectively. How does one communicate with the people directly there? When will the world see the effects of this and change our ways? The Earthquakes are getting stronger and more frequent eveyday. When will we as a race quit using this energy? What makes us think that this won’t happen again? Can we just shut our lights off for one day in refelection to the lives lost in Japan?
      I don’t know where the world is heading at this pont but if it was my vote, I would shut out the lights so that I could live with clean air.

      waiting for the world to change

  6. hi, these texts i posted in chat and want to post it here ,too. :…

    i have to say something about the “responsebility” of the other great nations on the world. they all f*** up their people how they only can. Don t you think. And what the Japanese are doing at now is as responsilbe handling as all them together worldwide where nkeplanst are built in earthquake regions. And if you have a look at the nuklear industry and this article for example http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24275 many things get more “clearly”. …

    I had often to move in life only in my country but 14 times from childtime on. i know such feelings.
    MaryW i have to say that you are not experienced that way but you make a good job. go on and perhaps try to unterstand a little bit more please like try to feel after how it is to have to leave home , country and your hole life…

    The Japanese people of course want to be accepted with their culture at all. Not only like an programm to imigrate people , thats a lot different view. I think everybody who do not want to leave his home but have , got the exactly same fears, dont you?

    I mean many german specially the little bit older are exavtly the same way but not so athletic 😉 . But seriously it shows a soical problem which is layed down at a basic line of all industriel countries society. But this will change when money will more and more will be inflated. So there is perhaps the “shock” you meant Iroi. But I thinkyou could spell it a bit different like “lose monetary minded standards”.

    It is very good to see the movie “Ghost Dog” for western view and try to untersand.
    The main issue is that at the point when he open minded goes into a conflict it is the point then he must die and kills himself.
    This shows and explains many things and principle.

    Best regards,

  7. I understand it is not easy to evacuate for three months and return back. This is a legislative issue, but I would have at least tried to to look what is possible in case it gets worse… because being prepared and having ideas does help in that case.

    So I made a proposal to mothers of Fukushima and a french organization last June which consists in renting a bunch of holliday apartments on a small mountains in Switzerland. This way price can be discussed and japanese mothers could come together. So with very small children it is more easy. If children are in age to go to school, then try to get a instuction board or a school teacher in the group so children can pick up school quite easily when they return. Organize a multiple age class is possible.

    It makes an experience of another country.

    My three best friends and I would have been the local contacts, speaking English.

    I think this idea is suitable for different places in the world and internet is helpful for contacts as well as crossing local people once abroad. Skype means also a satisfying contact with father and family in Japan.

    It is obviously still useful to underline or enlarge the possibilities so I post this here. Up to now I have never recieved any answer even if I leave email and phone number several more times also in my comments… through your above expanations, Iori, I understand a little more.

    Now I am preparing heavy exams, so I cannot handle any organization now, but I am sure it can be self organized by willing japanese. Good luck

  8. Bonjour,

    J’espère que vous comprenez le français ou pourrez faire traduire mon commentaire car je suis trop nulle en anglais pour exprimer mon ressenti.

    Tout d’abord, je vous félicite et vous remercie pour ce blog.
    Vous n’imaginez pas à quel point le drame que vous vivez tous me bouleverse.

    Je suis très émue en lisant votre messsage. J’aime ce sens des responsabilités qui manque de plus en plus à beaucoup de français alors que c’est une vertu indispensable, mais je découvre aujourd’hui, la souffrance qu’il implique lorsqu’il est poussé à l’extrême.

  9. This article gives me a lot of answers, that have been torturing me for more than a year now. Japanese people are programmed to be the slaves of authorities forever. Just like Europe was held captive “under the name of God”, for centuries. However, european people managed to break free and understand the value of the individual, as opposed to the value of the community/country.

    I tried explaining this to my Japanese friend once, but he was too close-minded to understand. He insisted that because the Japanese are “responsible”, they create such high quality industrial products and this is the quintessence of their life. Sure, but the car you created won’t kiss you goodnight and won’t hold your hand when you sleep.I think the Japanese are a nation deprived of love and deprived of their own feelings and thoughts. It’s so sad. But I’m glad there are cases like yours, who are able to think out of the box. Keep up the good work, you’re the light in a very very dark place.

  10. Thank you for this informative information. It helps me to understand the Japanese people and their culture a little bit better.
    And it makes more sense now that you have explained it this way. I just had a few thoughts on your article many be you or someone could help me to expand on them.
    • What does it take to get the people refuge status?
    • And how big would the communities have to be?
    • I understand the since of community in staying together but, there are people that wish to leave, and what about the children?
    • How would you create an out for those who choose it and how to create communities for people to go to?
    • I think those are some thoughts that could help create something more stable for the people. Rather than individual cases. There are farms and plenty of land all over the world, we just have to ask the right questions to create the right solutions. Your people are not forgotten and their are people who care and wish to help, just finding a way is all we need.

    • And are the people then contaminated after they have be in Radiation?
    • And what would that mean to the people that aren’t contaminated?
    • Are these reasons also that make evacuation difficult?

    These were a few things that crossed my mind after reading you article.
    Thank you for your insight and desire to share the truth.


  11. It’s almost as if they are being tested for their character, and if they don’t pass this test, they die. If its happening to them, how long before it happens to the rest of us? A lot of people are writing books about the dozens of different ways modern cultures around the world are endangering themselves, setting themselves up for collapse.

    If you want to live, you have to have the mind of a survivor. You can’t afford to let vanity or self pity get the better of you.

  12. Iori

    How about Japan criminals and Mafia? Do they have the same understanding of responsibility? Are there any signs of they evacuation? How about infant mutations? I believe it must be some already. Is this not scary for Japan people? Is this strange feeling of “responsibility” among young generation to?
    Just to visualize and summarize some problems ahead, here is link (pictures)from Chernobyl evacuation zone. http://www.angelfire.com/extreme4/kiddofspeed/ they are informative, and “must see” category. For some these pictures may help to decide to evacuate. Thanks for you efforts.

    1. Deformation is already starting. will update you with specific data but not now. Yakuza ? I don’t know. The top of them might already have evacuated and low class members might be still working in Japan to pay “tax”. I think fear is more important for them than responsibility.

  13. Japanese culture aside, I still think the same thing would happen anywhere else. If people aren’t absolutely forced into doing so, they don’t want to give up their current lifestyle (unless it already sucked).

    We’ll probably see lots of people rushing to evacuate or accepting offers when tons of them start visibly dropping dead in the middle of the street. By then, it’ll be too late. This is basically how humanity reacts to everything.

  14. Great explanation, Mochizuki. And confirms what I’ve been able to interpret.

    The idea of transplanting your /whole/ life, as if in a parcel, to another land is impossible. I myself am in the process of emigrating but I understand a lot about where I am going and it is just myself, retired, and my wife who came originally from the other place. We have resources, and we also know the adjustments. But talking about 30 million or 130 million people is different, and maybe there is a background subconscious acknowledgement of this.

    There /is/ plenty of land on Earth; and, in the science fiction literature, there are many examples of programs thought out for the engineered diaspora of a refugee nation. Unfortunately, the geopolitics of these days seems to be more about destruction than anything else. Anyway, well done the Russians for offering an alternative although Siberia is a harsh place and unsuitable for a life of luxury: well, it might reward a hard working and unselfish refugee.

    Resting chin on hands, I have to say that the sort of psychosocial needs you describe, and the changes required for the survival of your people, are resolved usually only by the appearance of a charismatic leader.

    History also shows us that charisma is a rather dangerous property, in the wrong hands.

    Well, anyway, best of luck. And praise for your work.

  15. The way I see it, the real victory here will be getting the Japanese to transform their thinking. Regardless of where they go or don’t go, if they keep on trying to live life like normal things will only get worse. They’ve all already been poisoned and need to be treating their cells with antioxidants, minerals like magnesium, calcium and born, and vitamins like C, E, A and D. [That was not medical advice or a diagnosis, just the honest opinion of a concerned pregnant American who’s country is also being dosed by Fukushima against her will.]

    If they can just change their mindset and open their eyes they will be so much better able to defend themselves and awaken their community. But they need to get mad and stick their heads out their windows and yell, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” – to borrow a line from a famous American rant.

    If I could say anything to the Japanese people I would say this. Stop being polite and acting “normal.” Stop saving face and thinking about jobs and pride. Stop ignoring your food, water and air. Stop hanging out with radiation deniers. Show the world you are upset, take notes on all the glaring local hints of radiation damage around you and show everyone what you have uncovered.

    Take photos of anything thats mutated and send the pictures to people like Lori at Fukushima diary. Stand up for yourselves and your country. God bless.

  16. Peace to you Mochizuki.

    Is this not a case of where duty stands and is expressed in the heart of the nation and in the individual?

    It is clear the individual’s duty is to support society; and society, as represented by the government, is to support all the individuals.
    Individual duty is very strong, which is the strength of the nation, and is a very desirous ‘face’ and representation to other nations.
    But national leaders have confused their duty to do what’s best for society with economic gain and power; as if that were best.

    The bottom line is survival, and for some, they do see that the ultimate duty is for survival of themselves and their families; because that results in the survival of their society. Obviously without individuals, you have no pieces from which to make a society.
    But the great inertia of government which preserves the status quo, which translates as preserving the place of those who are leaders in society, will expend the very thing that gives them their place, the population.

    If it is tradition that has lead to this dilemma, where the conflict of immediate duty has obscured ultimate duty, then a figurehead of ultimate traditional authority must inform society what duty takes priority and how it must be followed for the survival of that society.
    It is fortunate that Japanese culture has that arbiter of duty in the person of the Emperor.

    To do nothing is to lead to the eventual extinction of the nation and its culture. To stay and adapt to a radiation-soaked environment is to mutate the way the culture lives. There is no holding onto strict traditional culture in any case, whether there is evacuation or not.

    A great Diaspora is no solution, because the cohesiveness of groups, as you’ve said, is the backbone of Japanese culture; and a scattering and dilution of the population amid the world’s cultures will lead to the loss of the uniqueness that makes Japanese culture what it is. The isolation that Japan historically chose that lead to it being what it is, would be endangered.

    So, like you said, entire groups must evacuate and replant Japan somewhere else.
    That place must be picked very carefully; what was today an altruistic magnanimous gesture, will tomorrow be another Palestine. What’s generous now, could become the path to exploitation or conflict later.
    In the era of dwindling resources and population growth, who is going to surrender enough self-sustaining sovereign territory without either placing heavy obligations and indebtedness upon the settlers, or risking indigenous backlash?

    The world has run out of frontiers; and what little that has remained, has conditions so harsh that an entirely new culture would have to be developed to deal with it.

    What must be done? Fortunately, Japan is a technologically competent nation, and has all the wherewithal to accomplish whatever it needs to do.
    If for now, the decontamination is beyond them, then they have to remove themselves until such time as they can reclaim the land.

    Where to go? What frontier has the possibility of supporting an entire nation?
    I suggest the Emperor lead his people.
    Just like the historical decisions to pick up the capitol and move it, this time the move must be to something like floating cities. Perhaps an island chain to anchor the location. And start afresh, with the hope of return someday.

    Whole new technologies and industries will result; new ways of sustainable energy and food resources. A way of thinking ahead, rather than being entrenched in an untenable situation. Proactive rather than reactive.

    My prayers are with you Mochizuki.

  17. Your analysis of the Japanese mind is enlightening, but I have to agree with previous poster Sigh here. This is not about being Japanese — the same thing would happen anywhere. Why? Because radiation is invisible and there are no immediate effects. There’s no smog, no smell, no sudden sickness for the vast majority of people in Tokyo/Yokohama/Ibaraki etc. So it’s easy to convince/kid oneself that things are fine, or at least not bad enough to leave.
    After Chernobyl, did the Germans leave Germany? Did the Turks leave Turkey? Are Californians leaving California in droves because of reports of heavy radiation deposits there? No.
    People are attached to there homes, lives and communities. This is not about being Japanese. This is about being human.

  18. I was wondering about about a section in the forum where a Japanese lady would want to relocate to the US
    Im not sure something where someone had room in their home and could take in someone maybe with kids
    Something where people could list some info about them selves and were wanting to leave

  19. A brilliant essay. I love the way you see through the society you were raised in. Bravo!

    “In Japanese society, it is the highest valued not to cause any conflict. The meaning of responsibility therefore is defined in social context. It actually has nothing to do with benefit or efficiency.”

    Oh man, you hit the nail on the head. It’s the people who fear conflict who end up causing the most conflict, and benefits to anyone and efficiency in any way have nothing to do with it. Thank you and rock on, Mochizuki.

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About this site

This website updates the latest news about the Fukushima nuclear plant and also archives the past news from 2011. Because it's always updated and added live, articles, categories and the tags are not necessarily fitted in the latest format.
I am the writer of this website. About page remains in 2014. This is because my memory about 311 was clearer than now, 2023, and I think it can have a historical value. Now I'm living in Romania with 3 cats as an independent data scientist.
Actually, nothing has progressed in the plant since 2011. We still don't even know what is going on inside. They must keep cooling the crippled reactors by water, but additionally groundwater keeps flowing into the reactor buildings from the broken parts. This is why highly contaminated water is always produced more than it can circulate. Tepco is planning to officially discharge this water to the Pacific but Tritium is still remaining in it. They dilute this with seawater so that it is legally safe, but scientifically the same amount of radioactive tritium is contained. They say it is safe to discharge, but none of them have drunk it.


April 2012