Ballarat-based Hakubaku production manager Akira Asai’s parents escaped the initial devastation of last Friday’s Japan earthquake and tsunami, but they could still face danger.
Kenzo and TamikoAsai live in Tochigi prefecture, 150 kilometres from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station that is in danger of exploding.
“They are trying to stay inside the house all the time,” MrAsai said yesterday.
“But the train is not running on time and there is a petrol shortage so if they wanted to get away if anything happens, they can’t really move.”
MrAsai said his parents could flee to his brother’s house, which is further away from the nuclear plant, but they may face being stuck in Tochigi — which is in the centre of the main island of Honshu and north of Tokyo — due to the transport difficulties.
“It is very concerning for me,” MrAsai said.
The Fukushima power plant was yesterday abandoned after another fire broke out in the nuclear reactor.
Tens of thousands of people who live within a 20 kilometre radius of the plant have been evacuated while people who live up to 50 kilometres away have been told to stay inside.
MrAsai said his parents, who are 72 and 67, were used to earthquakes, having living in Japan all their lives.
“But when they saw the effects of the tsunami, they felt terrible and now they are facing the nuclear plant problem.”
MrAsai has lived in Ballarat for the past five years with his wife and child and said he wasn’t able to return to Japan at the moment due to the current chaos and devastation.
However, he knows his parents will be well looked-after by his brother and other relatives if they are forced to move from Tochigi.