Masashi sent the following update regarding the situation in Japan.
"I have passed on your kindest offer to provide temporary housing space in Canada to one official working for Iitate. I am not sure if he is cognizant about our activities of the C-J project, but anyway I have transferred your generous message.
By the way, as of the nuclear power plant, the Japanese government ordered evacuation from the area within a 20 km radius from the plant in Fukushima, and for residents between 20-30km, to stay within their houses or offices.
Part of Iitate is locating within this 20-30km zone away from the power plant.
So the Iitate people are now very concerned about this situation.
According to Nobuhiro's information, residents living in this area have moved to Kanuma-city, Tochigi-prefecture. It is really a sort of coincident that these Iitate people moved to Kanuma-city which is an amalgamated city including Awano- town.
Thanks to fire-fighters' effort to pour water into the power plant and fix up the electric system in the plant, we can observe some symptoms of improvements. However, it is still unpredictable what it would take to solve the problems.
The toll of dead and missing is still increasing and has reached more than 20,000 today. This is the worst record of disaster after the WWII.
However, it is said that, almost 1140 years ago (869 A.D.), the same area was hit by almost same size of tsunami and earthquake. History repeats, but people easily forget because it is such a long time!"
I have also heard from Mao, one of our NRE alumni, who is currently in her homeland of Japan. She is working for Peace Winds, an humanitarian and disaster relief organization, that is providing services to those affected by the Japanese events. You can find out about Peace Winds via http://www.peace-winds.org/en/. Mao informed me that her organization has asked Peace Winds America to raise foreign funding so that people can receive tax deductions. Unfortunately, they are not registered here in Canada, but if you wish to donate to them you can do so through Peace Winds America via the link above. For those of you who wish to receive Canadian tax deductions, you can donate via one of the Canadian agencies providing support. I know that the Canadian Red Cross and OxfamCanada are among these groups.