By Miranda Leitsinger, msnbc.com
One Japanese-American family has made a tough decision to leave their home in Japan, hoping they can one day return.
Josh McKible, a 46-year-old illustrator, will leave for New York on Friday with his wife and two children, a 2-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. McKible has lived in Japan for six years.
“The plan is to return, but we are going to wait and see how long it takes with the reactors and basically what the long-term outcome is going to be,” he said Thursday be telephone. “If it goes full meltdown, then it’s going to have longer lasting impacts than just a few weeks and who knows how widespread the radiation will be.
“It was not an easy decision because this is where we live,” he said, noting their home is in Chigasaki near Yokohama, about 170 miles south of the Fukushima nuclear plant.
Courtesy of Josh McKible
Miyuki McKible, Nico McKible, Josh McKible and Ike McKible
They made their decision after reactors at the plant began leaking radiation and feeling a strong aftershock. McKible also said he didn’t feel there was enough transparency or information about the nuclear power plant crisis. “For this reactor business, it’s such an unknown and you can’t see it and you can’t feel it and you can’t smell it,” he said.
So the family has packed up clothes, passports, medical papers and McKible’s computer.
“Our attitude is basically better safe than sorry. We have two little kids. ... If it was just me and my wife, maybe we’d be willing to take more chances but it’s just not worth it,” he said.
He said other neighbors also are leaving.
“There’s been kind of an exodus,” he said, and some emotional goodbyes. “There’s been some tears, and I mean we had a friend pretty much just basically crying saying, ‘Please come back, don’t leave forever.’”
They will stay at his mother’s house about one hour north of New York City.
“We just want to monitor the situation,” he said. “So it was hard leaving our house because we don’t know if … it might be the last time we live there.”