We'll be keeping a live blog over the next few days to ensure that non-Japanese speakers in the Tokyo area are up to date with the latest food, radiation and water information. Comments can be sent in via our Twitter account or by emailing the editor. Please note, by submitting a comment you are accepting that it may be edited for house style and used on this page.
The Tokyo Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health is calling for volunteers to help sort relief supplies for Tohoku on Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27. The sorting will start at 9am, and there is no need to make an appointment. Simply turn up (the address is 2-8-1 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku) and roll up your sleeves. For further details, click here.
Nikkei.com are reporting government plans to deal with this summer's inevitable energy strain, anticipating a 15 million kilowatt shortage. Ideas being put forward include daylight saving time, longer summer holidays (we'll believe that when we see it), and the building of new thermal power stations. See the original article here.
Putting the ongoing nuclear crisis to one side for a moment, a motley collection of grrrl punks, bass worshippers, jazz legends and hurdy-gurdy men will all be bringing the love to a Tokyo charity event near you this weekend, and we've handpicked the most essential for you here.
Following earlier reports that reactor three of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant had likely been damaged and was thought to be leaking high levels of radiation (NHK), Asahi News now says that the situation is being raised to level six on the International Nuclear and Radiological Events Scale. At the time of writing, however, the IAEA had made no such statement.
There's a rather amusing photo doing the rounds, and we're delighted to say that it's of everyone's favourite Tokyo Governor, Shintaro Ishihara, bravely demonstrating that the city's tap water is fit to drink. Looks like he's as convinced as the panic buyers are, then. We've pasted it below, though it originally surfaced on this Itai News page.
Despite having been given the all-clear by both the Metropolitan Government and the World Health Authority, it seems that Tokyoites are continuing to shun the tap in favour of the bottle. As of midday today, the top five sales charts on Rakuten - one of Japan's leading online stores - were occupied by various brands of mineral water. Stocks ran dry yesterday, as Yukio Edano called for companies to up their production rate. At the time of writing, Rakuten claim that they still have bottles in stock.
The ever vigilant Joseph Tame tweets this picture showing that, while the fish industry may be floundering, the toilet paper industry has never had it so good. 'They say that they get supplies in every morning,' says Joseph, 'but as soon as the doors open, an army of housewives clears them out.' Joseph snapped this pic at Daiei Department Store, Himonya, Meguro.
Perhaps the most coincidental link we've seen so far is a public advisory video, published on the Japanese Government Internet TV website, entitled Do You Know How Scary a Tsunami Is? Nothing particularly odd about that, we grant you, but look closely at the date this was posted - only one day prior to the disaster itself. Thanks to Conor Canavan for sending this in. You'll find the site itself here.
The Daily Yomiuri Online reports that prices at Tsukiji Fish Market have dropped by as much as 50 per cent in the wake of the quake, as demand from hotels and restaurants has fallen dramatically. See the original article here.
Regarding radioactive iodine in Tokyo water, the World Health Authority reports that, 'the standard for adults is 300 Becquerels per litre in drinking-water. In the very unlikely scenario that drinking-water was contaminated and consumed for an entire year at this level, the additional radiation exposure from this water would be equivalent to natural background radiation during one year or to one chest X-ray.' See the full article here.
When droves are people were leaving Tokyo last week, one public figure stood firm. 'I wouldn't leave, because I would be a coward if I did now,' he pronounced at the time. 'It's like a captain who abandons his ship.' And no, that wasn't Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara talking – it was TV personality Dave Spector. Ahem. The most important man in the capital talks about his pun-laden approach to disaster in today's Japan Times.
A report on Japan Today says that the Tokyo Bay Fireworks Festival has been cancelled this year out of respect for the victims of the recent disaster. The festival was due to take place on August 13.
Tokyo radiation, water and aftershocks information