“It is fortunate that Japanese people seem not to be inclined to show their stress and frustration in violent acts,” reports Michael Redmond 9P — who’s just been confirmed as a participating professional in this year’s U.S. Go Congress — from his home in Japan outside Tokyo. “Instead people did hit the stores with heavy shopping, stockpiling basic foods such as rice, milk, bottled water, etc. Most of these are back in the stores now, but water is still difficult to get.
“After the quake there was a local gas shortage including the Kanto (Tokyo) area as well as the earthquake-damaged northeast. In the damaged areas the problem was compounded by difficulty in the logistics of getting it there. Since the victims in the disaster area need fuel to keep warm and to evacuate they will be helped first, and we will be waiting a bit longer for the gasoline to arrive. Apart from the logistics, the gas shortage is caused by the fact that some important gas depots/refineries were hit by the tsunamis that attacked the whole Pacific coast. The earthquake damage was not so bad actually, but the tsunami was off the expected scale and nothing could stop it. Gas stations in my area, which have been closed since the earthquake hit, re-opened last Sunday. They apparently are getting gas and other necessities to the disaster areas now also.
“Since the nuclear energy plant has shut down, there’s obviously also a shortage of electric energy in northern Japan, not including Hokkaido, and we are subjected to scheduled power cutoffs. I’m not sure how far south this goes, but it’s at least as far as
Tokyo. The main inconvenience caused by the power cutoffs is that the trains are limited, in my case making travel to Tokyo less easy than usual.
“As to the go scene, people didn’t know about the power cutoffs or that the trains would slow down until March 14, so there were games as scheduled on that day, and some players didn’t manage to arrive in time and lost by forfeit. They postponed the March 17 games in Tokyo. Games were played on schedule on 3/24 and after, though some events have been postponed. Supposedly things will return close to normal next month.”
A boy waits in a line in front of a gas station in Kamaishi, northern Japan Monday, March 14, 2011 following the March 11 massive earthquake and tsunami. (AP Photo/Asahi Shimbun, Naoko Kawamura)