After twelve hours, one express train, and one subway ride later, the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs student delegation has made it to Tokyo!
We made our first stop at the Ministry of Environment where we have a briefing on the reconstruction progress post earthquake and tsunami. One of the government's main concerns is the contamination caused by the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. It is currently unclear how much radiation the Japanese people were exposed to, but the priority remains getting them back to where they once lived.
Because Japan is a small mountainous country in relation to the United States - smaller than California - the displaced people cause a great imbalance on the land to population ratio. There is absolutely nowhere for them to go. Consequently, the government has three initiatives it's committed to:
Although our meeting with the minister was short, we retained great insight into the challenges the government still faces one year later after 3/11.
We look forward to continuting our journey and sharing our experiences with everyone!