A Note on the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake
Today, I am writing to reflect on the earthquake which struck Japan on March 11th, now known as the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake. Three weeks have already passed and northern Japan is still struggling. The main city struck in the earthquake was Sendai (仙台市) and for those who have read Capturing Chinese Short Stories from Lu Xun's Nahan would recognize that Sendai is the city in which Lu Xun studied medicine while in Japan. Lu Xun did not start his career as an author, but instead dreamed of being a doctor and nursing China back to health. He won a government scholarship and took to Japan to study medicine. He was the first foreign student in Sendai and the city of Sendai celebrates this fact. Lu Xun is just one of the many connections between China and Japan. Hopefully, both sides can use this crisis as an opportunity to heal relations between the two countries. We all know that China-Japan relations are anything but simple. Japan has a lot to offer China and China has a lot to offer Japan. The tsunami and the following nuclear crisis is what did real damage in Japan. The buildings withstood the earthquake mostly intact. Schools acted as evacuation centers and business could move back to normal except for a lack of fuel and other supplies. Japan undoubtedly has some of the best seismic design in the world. The whole country is seismic territory so they benefit from a countrywide awareness of the danger. China, too, sits along many fault lines. The Sichuan earthquake in 2008 exposed that one fault near Tibet. During the year of Mao Zedong's death (1976) a fatal earthquake struck Tangsha, which is near Tianjin. The Tangsha earthquake killed hundreds of thousands and might have been the most deadly natural disaster to ever strike. Cooperation in seismic design and preparedness is just one way the two countries can continue to move their relations forward. Here is to hoping so.