Southern Miss Japanese students talks about conditions in Japan

By Karrie Leggett

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -   Miloru Yada was horrified when he heard the news of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the destructive tsunami.

Yada is a student studying English and Polymer Science at Southern Miss. His family are in different parts of Japan and he learned of the earthquake from his wife.

"I talk with my wife through Internet chat, and she said now Japan is horrible because of the tsunami the earthquake," said Yada.

Yada says his wife luckily was not effected by the earthquake or the tsunami, but his parents who live in northern Japan had no power.

"The northern part of Japan is very cold. So, they had to spend their time inside their car," said Yada.

The big concern now are the nuclear reactors at Fukushima. Yada says with not a lot of word out on whether people have had high exposure to radiation he can only hope for the best.

"I think that is a very delicate issue, and I can not know the details. I hope that it is not very serious," said Yada.

Hoping it's not very serious is what Chris Winstead professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy agrees with. He says the containment holding the hot fuel is intact in the reactor, and as long as that holds there should be no dangerous radiation.

"Even though they have had to release some radioactive products. The full core of the reactor is not expose to the environment and probably won't be," said Winstead.

Winstead says as long as the reactors are not overheating Japan can avoid nuclear reactors melting down.

And an economic melt down is another concern according to David Duhon professor in the College of Business.

"The danger to all this I think is the world economy is fairly fragile right now. We are just getting out of a recession. We don't need a lot of shock this is a shock," said Duhon.

Duhon says Mississippi has a significant Japanese connection economically, especially with plants and that will surely be effected by the natural disaster.

"It is going to be interesting to see what happens with our plants. Nissan and Toyota plant. My thought is probably what we'll see is Japan shift production away from Japan in the short run," said Duhon.

Duhon says one positive to Japan's situation is the outlook of prices.

"The price of corn is dropping, because they are not going to be buying as much corn . The price of soybeans is going to drop . The price of oil is probably going to drop because that market for Japan is going to be taken off," said Duhon.

Copyright 2011 WDAM. All rights reserved.