This is old news, about one or two months old. What happened is that the reconstruction minister responsible for rebuilding Tohoku said something that got him fired.
He said, “Tohoku de, yokatta.”
What does this mean?
It’s hard for me to translate, but literally, “It was good that it (meaning, the earthquake) was in Tohoku.” Obviously his meaning is “It was good it was in Tohoku because if it had been in Tokyo, that would REALLY have been bad.”
This minister, Masahiro Imamura, is NOT a native of the Tohoku region. He is a native of Saga, a prefecture way way way down south on the island of Kyushu–very far away from the Tohoku region. (I personally think of Kyushu as just a totally different world.) He will be replaced by a native of Fukushima Prefecture, thank goodness.
This is ostensibly a blog for children, so I don’t like to post links. However, for the first time ever, I will post English links to this news story. If you’re a kid on the internet, you can probably handle a few links, I suppose! Just don’t go crazy, kids, and go to weird sites that’ll corrupt your sweet little innocent minds.
These two links are to the Japan Times (an English language paper for news in Japan.)
This first link is about the scandal itself.
This second link is how people from Tohoku are embracing the use of the word “Yokatta” on Twitter, saying (basically) “Tohoku is good. It’s the most beautiful place evah.”
What do I think of Imamura’s “gaffe?”
Well, I do he’s an idiot. I guess I know what he possibly means…..better sparsely populated Tohoku than densely populated Tokyo! But considering that thousands of people died in the disaster, it’s not really something anybody can ever be happy about, or appreciative of. Lots and lots of people live in Tohoku. It’s not exactly a barren wasteland up here.
So many people died all along the east coast of Tohoku, so many communities were destroyed. I don’t know how that can ever be considered “good.” Sad is all it will ever be. I personally don’t live on the coast, so I can’t report on news from there very well….but hearing the stories from those regions breaks my heart.