Brighton men tells of life after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami

Posted On 11 Apr 2011 at 7:35 pm

A Brighton man has described how his life in Japan has been turned upside down by the earthquake and tsunami a month ago today.

Martin Dean, 36, had the chance to be flown back to Britain after the natural disasters struck on Friday 11 March.

But he and his Japanese wife Akiko, 31, and their three-month-old daughter Juno stayed.

They wanted to help his wife’s parents and they didn’t want to leave behind the family’s pet dog – a poodle called Chibi.

Mr Dean runs a language school in the city of Soma, 26 miles from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.

His story was told in The Sun today.

Mr Dean, an English teacher who moved to Japan nine years ago, said: “Japan is my home”

Although the tsunami didn’t reach his quake-damaged house, the family cannot be sure whether the remains of the coastal city of Soma have been contaminated by radiation.

The family have been checked for radiation and given the all clear.

Mr Dean and his wife managed to find her parents and they initially stayed in emergency shelters.

He even braved subzero temperatures to sleep in their car with Chibi as the shelter did not allow dogs inside.

The family are now in a temporary flat 150 miles from their home.

The disaster claimed the lives of eight of his students and since the first quake and the tsunami there have been more than 400 aftershocks.

He said yesterday: “There is only so long we can remain in limbo.

“At some point we have to start our lives again.

“The government say it will take months to make the nuclear reactors safe.

“Do I really want to bring up my daughter in that environment?

“A third of Soma has been destroyed by the tsunami and if there is even a 1 per cent risk from radiation, I don’t think we can return.

“We are emotionally drained.”

In an earlier report, The Sun quoted Mr Dean’s mother Ruth, 63, of Brighton, saying: “He is very brave.”

  1. everprecious_dee Reply

    I take my hat off to the guy!
    Very few people in today’s world that would want to stay and help others.
    Indeed, this guy deserves a medal!
    Seriously, in times of trouble, family, no matter from which side always comes first.
    Well done!
    I sincerely hope that things will improve for everyone in Japan.
    Ganbatte!

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