Noriko and James:”The new must-have”

By on July 29, 2011
It’s official. The hottest essential gadget ever to hit Japan is not the latest Play Station or an Ipad. It’s a Geiger counter. In just five months following the powerful earthquake that triggered a nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, the market price of dosimeters or pocket geiger counters has dramatically increased. The price of Russian made gadgets that used to be advertised in the internet for around ¥30,000 days after the Fukushima incident has recently skyrocketed to as much as ¥90,000 (depending on the brand), due to a shortage in supply. Owning one seems to have its advantages. Here’s what families in Japan are saying about their new toy!
The new must-have home accessory: a Geiger Counter
New parents James and Noriko Musgrove are part of a growing band of both Japanese and foreigners that have decided to invest in their own Geiger counter in order to bring a certain amount of peace of mind in the light of the current radiation situation.Ever since arriving in Tokyo, James has always been struck by the relative safety of the place when compared to other major cities in the world which is one reason why he and his wife, Noriko, decided to start a family this year. But along with many other new parents in the Kanto region and beyond, the events of March 11 have  called into question the decision to bring up a small child in East Japan.Just prior to March 11, Noriko still had three months left before the birth of their first child and like any mother, was enjoying the final stages of her pregnancy. Following the disaster, however, as one might imagine, those final three months became extremely stressful, not least because of the heightened radiation levels. But despite the turmoil, their beautiful son Liam was born in early June with no complications and life has continued, on the whole, as it would for any new parents, apart from one thing – the dark shadow cast by the spectre of radiation.Even with regular assurances from the authorities, the couple remained deeply concerned with the situation and as James says: “With such little agreement on the long-term effects of radiation on the young it is very difficult to find comfort in any statements provided so we felt that we needed to do something ourselves.” As a result, James and Noriko decided to invest in a Geiger counter so that they could judge for themselves the actual radiation levels found in the places they visit every day. After following the simple instructions accompanying the instrument, they are now armed with a valuable tool that allows them to measure radiation to ensure levels are not too excessive to put baby Liam at risk.Whether it be a stroll in the park, a walk to the shops or simply a picnic on the grass, Noriko, in particular, is now able to have peace of mind in the knowledge that she knows that Liam is safe. And if levels are high in a particular area, she simply returns home or finds a place that has a lower count level. The purchase has the added benefit of making Noriko and Liam the focal point for many of the other mums because they now realise that where Noriko goes, radiation levels are low. In addition, the purchase has helped ease the fears of James’ family back home but perhaps most tellingly is the point that James concludes with, stating that: “What better assurance can you have than to be able to measure actual radiation levels yourself?”


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