Dear JASI Members and Friends,
By now, you are undoubtedly aware that on Friday, March 11, at 2:46 p.m. Japan Standard Time, an estimated magnitude 8.9 earthquake occurred just off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan. This is the largest scale earthquake to occur in recorded Japanese history, with widespread damage being reported, especially in the Tohoku region. The Tokyo area has also been affected. The earthquake has been followed by numerous aftershocks and tsunamis, including a devastating 33-foot high tsunami that swept through the town of Sendai and traveled nearly one mile inland. Hundreds have been killed with many more reported missing, and the death toll is expected to rise.
All of us have relationships with the people of Japan. Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathy go to the families, friends, and coworkers of those who have been directly affected.
The Japan-America Society of Indiana is establishing a statewide Japan Earthquake Relief Fund that will be available to accept donations early next week. In the meantime, donations can be made through the website of the Japan-America Society of Indiana at www.japanindiana.org. All donations are tax deductible and will be transferred in a timely manner to appropriate relief organizations assisting the affected areas in Japan.
Indiana has many connections to this northern region of Japan. Many companies with factories or offices here in Indiana also have facilities in the region that has been affected by the earthquake and tsunami, and a number of those companies have temporarily closed factories. Additionally, Indiana’s sister state, Tochigi Prefecture, has suffered damage, as has Kuji City in Iwate Prefecture, sister city of the City of Franklin.
For up-to-minute news coverage of conditions in Japan, you can find NHK broadcasts (Japanese TV) on their website at: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/
With millions in Japan without power, direct communication has been difficult. Japanese mobile phone companies have set up disaster message boards for their customers to post their location and condition. These messages can be viewed via internet by inputting the user’s cell phone number. The list is available on the website of the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago which serves a ten-state region including Indiana. http://www.chicago.us.emb-japan.go.jp/index.htm
The Japan-America Society of Indiana will endeavor to provide updates on the conditions in Japan and the connections to our members here in Indiana.