This was a comment today from someone with whom I am currently working. They went on:
'Given the concerns re radiation, the severe shortages of food and petrol (in Tokyo as well as the NE region) and the power cuts across the whole country, would it not be a better idea to postpone?'
It's an understandable question. It would be crass and insensitive not to be aware of the terrible events unfolding in Japan at the moment, and my trip to Kyushu (across the Bungo Channel) is only a few weeks away.
I spoke yesterday to the travel agent arranging our trip. They advised us not to be hasty, but to wait and see how events develop in the next couple of weeks. As my main interest is in the south, a long way from the Fukushima Daiichi site, the risks should be minimal as long as things don't get much worse between now and April. Japan, and Bungo, will in all likelihood be my final journey for the book, and I'm keen not to delay the completion of a project which is now in its third year, if at all possible.
On the other hand, Kyushu has its own volcano...