Waiting for the Other Shoe

Maybe I’ve read too much post-apocalyptic fiction, but I keep wondering when the food is going to start running out. Cities are enormous food and water deserts without continual resupply, and Tokyo and the surrounding Kanto area for tens of kilometers around are enormously urban. So far, the only shortages have been due to people buying too much, not because things aren’t coming in. At least in Tokyo the infrastructure is intact, though fuel is in short supply. We’re still getting fresh vegetables, fruit, and meat, but I don’t know if the fuel shortages are going to change that. I’m simply not sure if there’s going to be a problem soon, so I’m not sure what kind of measures are reasonable. If it were a zombie invasion, or The Change, I’d know that it was time to start stockpiling weapons and food; buying, borrowing or stealing other supplies; and getting the hell out of populated areas. When there’s not anything obviously wrong, it’s hard to guess what I should be doing to keep my family safe and supplied. Hoarding doesn’t seem justified, though other people obviously disagree or there wouldn’t be empty shelves and long lines at the supermarkets.

I’ve considered sending my wife and baby out of the country for a while, maybe even to the US. Two problems with that are: Narita is closer to the problem area, and I’m not sure how strict immigration is going to be on the other end. It would be one thing if we weren’t married and didn’t have a kid, but non-citizens in relationships with Americans are sometimes considered to be at high risk for illegal immigration. My wife knows of at least one woman who was denied entry to the US when she was engaged to an American because she “tried to enter the country under false pretenses” by saying she was there for a visit when she was planning to get married in the US. They weren’t planning on living in the US, so they hadn’t applied for a long-term visa because technically it was a visit.

Considering how capricious TSA and Homeland Security can be, I’m not sure if she would have a problem or not. Could be that I’m worried about nothing, but the worst case is that I spend a lot of money to send them to safety, and have some officious prick decide that the rules on that particular day dictate that he won’t allow my wife to enter the country without having applied for and been approved for long-term residence. Then they’d be kept in custody and have to come back on a different flight, costing us more money and not even getting the benefit of being in a safe place.

We might go to stay with my father in law in Sapporo for a while during spring break, when I have time off for a week or so. It depends on whether things are still unsettled here by then.