Thursday 17

Woke up to read my emails and see that the British Embassy has told its citizens to evacuate. What has changed since last night?

I mail the office and tell them that I am going to take today off as a vacation (as originally planned), I then mail Jenny asking her what is going on, then make a call to the Foreign Office. They inform me that the risk has not changed and that they are just advising that people should leave Japan if possible for logistical reasons, as there are anticipated food shortages and transportation problems.

Jenny later phones me and says she was just as surprised when she heard the news; she thinks it maybe a political move, also we have to be aligned with Australia & the US.

The US has now chartered aircraft to help Americans leave Japan and authorized the voluntary departure of relatives of diplomatic staff. I decide to stay though, aslong as there is no threat to my health, I can’t leave Japan. I have discussed it with Shoko, she would lose her job if she left Japan, and she would also be leaving her family behind.

The confirmed death toll has risen above 5,000

Thursday evening I get a call from Jason – he just heard that my boss has just booked a flight to Singapore.