OTR Interviews

Desperation - and a Race Against Time - in Japan

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 17, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: It is not safe. That's what our government is telling Americans. The Japanese seem to be telling a slightly different story to their people. Here's what we know. The U.S. military is authorizing voluntary evacuations of family of defense department personnel from bases in mainland, Japan.

And 14 buses are now on their way to Sendai right now because they need to rescue Americans. Sendai is only about 65 miles north of the Fukushima power plant. Anyone within 50 miles is being warned by the U.S. to evacuate. And 65 miles terrifyingly close with the fires, explosions and wind blowing radiation.

Fox News correspondent Greg Palkot joins us live in Osaka. Greta, tell me about Osaka and what it is like there.

GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Osaka is sort of the Chicago to Tokyo's New York, sort of the second city of Japan. We are 250 miles south and west. It is where some of the Japanese in Tokyo were concerned about radioactivity levels or the threat of radiation. It is a civil, conservative people. When they decide to move, they move.

I think a point that Shep was making and a good one to make again here, is that we haven't seen panic. We haven't seen storms of people in airports and things of that sort. We've been seeing rather methodical movements.

But again, this is probably the biggest place that folks in the Tokyo area, which has about 39 million people this is the biggest draw of people who are concerned about the potential for some kind of calamity surrounding those stricken nuclear power plants.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have panic buying those? People are panicked so they buy all the water so it creates water shortage any of that in that area?

PALKOT: In this area, no. But certainly we witnessed that in Tokyo. Again the city itself is 13 million in the center we were seeing empty shelves and people not going out, so obviously people were staying inside and hunkering down.

What we also saw the Americans who were here are in line with the Japanese in being careful, being conservative, maybe not panicking. Today, for example, the second charter plane that the American embassy here has been scheduled. There's one that went out yesterday with about 100 people. But frankly, there could have been more people onboard if they had wanted to be. So I think the Americans are taking a little bit of a wait and see attitude too about where this disaster goes to.

VAN SUSTEREN: Greg, thank you.

And right now, American Ken Joseph is in Sendai helping with the relief efforts pleading for more help to come. Ken joins us on Skype. Ken, I was reading you said dinner yesterday was a roll and banana and that everyone gets one meal a day. You said it seems like the ocean came up and took everything back into the ocean. Tell me about Sendai and what you've seen?

KEN JOSEPH, RELIEF WORKER IN JAPAN: I'm here standing in front of disaster center. If you can see behind me, it is the Americans in the city lined up to get on buses. The situation is -- this is our 85th disaster. We've never seen anything remotely like this. The description you gave is that and far worse.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tell me what help you need.

JOSEPH: We are desperate. There's no fuel. There's no food. The stores are empty. And it seems like nobody is helping. We've been here for a week and there's been not one delivery of anything. They pulled out some emergency food they had in storm and they've been giving that out. But the real thing that is worrying us now is that when we most need help the people are afraid to come because of the nuclear situation.

VAN SUSTEREN: There's such vastly different stories we hear. Those in Tokyo talk about the calm and the people pretty much do their regular life. Then we talk to people like you out in these areas, and it is shocking.

JOSEPH: Yes, well, Greta, it is kind of a bit of both. Japanese are very well mannered and everyone has been good up until now. People are starting to lose it. We just had a fight signed the room we the people just have said that's it. We've been nice, calm, but you haven't taken care of us.

The calmness and goodness is based on a responsive government. When the government doesn't respond, the people are starting to lose it. We just had a fight just now. I stepped in to try and stop it.

But, real problem is this is a new government that has only been in for a short time. And you've got an earthquake, fire, tsunami, snow and the nuclear situation. It is too much at one time. And they can't handle it alone. We just really, really need help.

There's an American carrier right off -- not far from where we are. But we haven't seen anything from it. That's what people are getting frustrated about. They recognize the government has limitations but they don't see help coming from other places that could be doing it.

VAN SUSTEREN: The video we see we have such a limited view of what is going on. We are prisoner to the --

JOSEPH: Greta, Greta, it is like -- the best description I can give you it is like the pictures you see at Hiroshima. There is nothing there. People walking around trying to find out where a house used to be. It is just -- I've never seen anything like this. I was Baghdad, it doesn't remotely compare. We really, really, really need help.

VAN SUSTEREN: Ken, thank you. I hope we check back in with you again soon. You are there and you can tell us, thank you, Ken.

JOSEPH: Pray for us!