This blog was established to support the network of Japanese and Canadian colleagues and friends we have made as a result of the CJ and NRE Projects. We will use it to provide news of the events unfolding in Japan, support those whose lives have been upset by the events, and respond to those who are concerned about their welfare. Please use the site to pass on news and concerns as they arise.
The CJ Project was established by the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (http://crrf.ca) and the Organization for Urban Rural Interchange Revitalization in Japan. The NRE Project (http://nre.concordia.ca) was a CRRF and SSHRC-supported, 11-year project that built on the relationships established under the CJ Project. As a result of these initiatives we have held numerous exchanges - not only among research personnel but with local rural people as well. Our specific focus has been on the Japanese communities of Iitate-mura and Awano-machi - as well as the 22 Canadian sites in the NRE Rural Observatory.
Of particular concern is the town of Iitate-mura since it is situated in Fukushima prefecture - close to the epicentre of the quake and about 30 to 60 km from the crippled nuclear power plant.
Our Japanese colleagues report that Iitate-mura sustained only minor damage from the quake and none from the tsunami since it is located about 25km west of the Ocean and it is about 400-800m above sea level. Only one injury was reported and this was not serious.
Awano-machi is in the Tochigi Prefecture which is more than 200km from the epi-centre. They only experienced the tremors - with no significant damage.
The concern about the power station remains since it is still not under control.
If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to add to this blog - or contact me directly.