The Tokyo Foundation is very grateful for the warm words of sympathy and support that have been conveyed to us from our friends and colleagues around the world in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11 and for the generous donations that have been offered for the victims.
Aftershocks have largely subsided in Tokyo, but the situation along the Pacific coast of the Tohoku region remains grave, as nearly 115,000 people who have lost their homes have been forced to move into temporary shelters, often far from their former communities.
The crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant is still ongoing, moreover, and radiation levels continue to be a cause of concern. It has caused a severe power shortage in eastern Japan, including the Tokyo metropolitan area. The recovery and reconstruction effort is likely to become a very long process owing to the vast geographical scale and severity of the damage.
To address these realities, The Nippon Foundation is providing both immediate relief and middle- to long-term reconstruction support in an accountable and timely manner.
In terms of immediate aid, members of The Nippon Foundation staff were on the ground in the affected areas soon after the quake, working closely with NGOs to deliver food, water, and other supplies, as well as providing such services as warm foot baths and clean water for the evacuees. They also set up centers to coordinate the activities of various volunteer groups and have been securing medical supplies as well specialists, including doctors, nurses, psychotherapists, and sign language interpreters as paid volunteers to support the people of the disaster-stricken areas.
The medium- to long-term plans are focused on children who were orphaned in the disaster, disabled individuals, the elderly, foreign workers, and others whose needs are sometimes overlooked in difficult circumstances.
News and information about the Nippon Foundation’s relief and recovery efforts, dubbed the ROAD (“Resilience will Overcome Any Disaster”) Project, can be found here:
To help finance these efforts, the Tokyo Foundation is requesting that donations be made to The Nippon Foundation/CANPAN Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. Gifts can be made either online by credit card or bank transfer. Total donations received as of May 26, 2011, was over 1.5 billion yen (approx. 19.5 million US dollars).