Japan’s Shipowners Association, JSA, fears that false information and rumours circulating on the internet, including maritime-related discussion groups, will slow Japan’s recovery from the recent series of devastating tragedies that hit the country.
In a letter to the International Chamber of Shipping/International Shipping Federation the JSA says: “…we are afraid that, if we leave prevailing of such rumours, it will disturb the early recovery of normal lives for the survivors, who are desperately in need for the hearty aiding materials from all over the world. Such situation should never be allowed from humane view points. The rumours will also eventually bring irrecoverable serious adverse economical results, which may include jeopardizing of seafarers’ stable employment”.
The JSA quotes a coastguard warning:
“Dangerous Area Designated
2nd RCG Headquarters Local Warning No.13
Promulgation TIME 161420 JST MAR.
HONSHU, E-COAST, FUKUSHIMA PREF COAST,
WITHIN 30 KILOMETERES OF FUKUSHIMA NA1NUCLEAR ELECTRIC POWER.
VESSELS ARE ADVICED KEEPMORE THAN 30 KM FROM THE PLANT.
And Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) :
“Currently, the level of radiation in Tokyo City and Yokohama City were as shown in the attachment at very safe level to health.”
The country’s Ministry of Education has also issued an appeal: “Incorrect information concerning 2011 Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake in the form of chain emails, electronic bulletin boards and mini blogs is being circulated. Please check to see whether this information is correct by checking reliable sources of information such as the websites of government agencies or of reliable media, and please do not panic through these chain mails, etc.”
Says MAC: Sadly, pranksters have been circulating rumour emails and contributing to some mariners forums. Typically these are in the form of ‘forwarded’ emails which do not provide sources for the claims made in them, or even give a false source.
Japan has enough pain on its hands. Do not forward emails unless you have determined that the information is accurate.