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Asia closely following Japan disaster

While many cities are back to business, all eyes are on the news coverage. ATVN's Robbie Heeger reports from Beijing

China and surrounding nations are fully supportive of Japan’s relief efforts, said ATVN’s Robbie Heeger from Beijing Sunday.

Heeger is waiting to travel to Japan Monday morning.

He said the news is traveling at light speed all across Asia, and that those in Beijing are well connected to information as it develops.

“It will be interesting to see what’s really going on there,” said Heeger. “We’ve been hearing reports that it’s saved thousands of lives — the building codes, the safety measures that they already took.”

He was in the air en route to Tokyo via Beijing when the earthquake happened.

“When we got off the flight [to Beijing], we found out our flight [to Tokyo] had been canceled,” Heeger said.

Most of the information in Beijing is coming from other news reports available locally, according to Heeger, but he said he expects to hear more personal stories once he arrives in Japan.

“Most of our news is coming from the Internet,” he said. “When we get a chance to talk to some people, ask them if they’re families are OK, hear some stories about what’s going on ... it’ll be a much different scoop I believe.”

He said most friends say life is back to normal for most of the cities south of the Sendai.

“Here in Beijing people know about it, they’re concerned about it, but overall it seems like this is a Japanese problem that the Japanese government is dealing with as best they can, and the world is there to help.”

“It sounds like, because Japan is so well practiced for something like this, the parts that aren’t affected are capable of more or less going on with life,” Heeger said. “But there’s also no absence of crisis in the country.”

Heeger said, however, power problems could persist for quite a while and affect other cities — something that’s worried a number of residents in Japanese cities.

“There are rumors that we’re going to be looking at rolling blackouts potentially, in the entire part of the country,” he said.

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