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The Issue Of Radiation With Nris In Japan

Because of the earthquake that struck Japan early this year

, many NRIs in the Indian community in Tokyo have been seeking information on the effects of nuclear radiation. Relatives waited with bated breath as to the condition and safety of their NRI relative in Japan, as the world is inundated with news reports of the devastation wrought by the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear incident.

The Fukushima Nuclear Reactor was severely damaged in the intensity 9 earthquake earlier this year. The world was witness to the 33-foot tsunami that overwhelmed the area. The real danger still remaining though is the meltdown of the nuclear reactor in the region. While there is an international coalition that has been working feverishly to contain the radiation, the effects have been described to near-Chernobyl catastrophic numbers, with its consequent effects still to be felt for years to come.

The NRIs in Japan mainly come from Gujarati and have been closely monitoring the government efforts in containing the radiation especially after the explosion that rocked the nuclear plant reactor 7. Many have been updating themselves with as much information on radiation poisoning as well as other dangers resulting from the disaster that struck their new country of residence.

Many of the Indians in Japan are IT professionals who have come to the islands with their families. There are nearly 23,000 Indian nationals currently living throughout Japan. While many are employed in the IT sector, other Indian nationals also are employed in trading, importation of Indian handicrafts, garment production, precious stones and marine product manufacturing.

The highest concentration of Indian nationals in Japan is located in Edogawa Tokyo. This area is very near the IT offices where most of the Indian nationals are employed. While it is quite a distance from Ground Zero, there are still many problems that can result from the uncontrolled radiation spewed into the pristine environment. These include high levels of radioactive cesium found in seawater and plant life around the area. Food thus grown in the prefecture was deemed unfit for human consumption, thus destroyed.

In Tokyo, tap water had high levels of radioactive iodine that can prove harmful to infants when ingested. While the whole of Japan still await the fallout from the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in economic terms, the Indians in Japan still continue to trudge on to earn their keep in the one of the richest countries in the world.

by:Bobby Castro

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