Don't count out the Japanese. They will get through this current crisis and find a way to deal with their difficulties.
The radiation leakage will likely be localized. The lingering problem will be energy shortages for the Japanese economy and for the needs of Japanese families. The market reaction in Tokyo is much overdone. The real financial problem in Japan is Japan's sovereign debt and Japan's unreasonable commitments to old age pensions and medical care. Sound familiar? The demographics are not helpful -- Japan is an aging and declining population -- but that is a problem that most of the developed world faces.
The earthquake is not good news, but it is by no means as catastrophic for Japan as much of the media assumes. The sell-off in American stocks, more muted, is more reasonable than the 15 percent decline in the Japanese market during the first two days of this week.
The media is not helpful in this crisis, which is usually the case in crises of any description.