One Year Later
Commemorating the Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania invites you to join us in marking the one-year anniversary of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan's northeast coast.

The following is a compilation of links having to do with the triple tragedy in Japan. They are listed here as a resource for your information, not an endorsement.

Please use the links below to quickly jump to the content areas:

Events      (return to top of page)

A Moment of Silence
On Sunday, March 11, 2012, Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul General of Japan in New York, will remember the anniversary by joining others in a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m., the same time that the earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan.

Share your thoughts on the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania Facebook page, and please join us in the moment of silence.

braguinsky_86Japan on the Cross-Roads: Economics and Politics after the Tohoku Earthquake
The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh joined to host an event to commemorate the anniversary on March 9, 2012. The breakfast briefing was titled “Japan on the Cross-Roads: Economics and Politics after the Tohoku Earthquake” and featured Dr. Serguey Branguinsky, Associate Professor, Social and Decision Sciences, Engineering and Public Policy Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University.

Click here to watch the event.

Earthquake Relief Efforts
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JASP and Brother’s Brother Foundation Joined Forces
Just hours after the earthquake on March 11, 2011, the JASP and Brother’s Brother Foundation (BFF) joined forces to begin disaster relief fundraising efforts to aid victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

The total funds collected were $540,884.53 from 2,327 donors and 2,452 donations. It was a priority of the effort that the donated funds were distributed promptly and that 100% of donated funds were used for aid. Those goals have been reached.

The generously donated funds were allocated to two nonprofit organizations in Japan on the front lines of relief, recovery, and reconstruction in Tohoku. Dennis Unkovic, JASP Board of Director, visited both organizations on behalf of the JASP/BBF efforts and is seen in the photos below with representatives from Ashinaga at their headquarters in Tokyo, and with Mr. Ozawa from Rotary Foundation International at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

The first organization, Ashinaga a Japanese NPO that builds and oversees a number of orphanages and youth homes in Japan, has received a total donation of $250,000 to plan and erect a youth center. It is hoped that within the next 18 months the main facility will be completed along with several smaller outlets, all of which will be located within the affected area in the Tohoku region. More than 1,800 children have filed applications to be part of Ashinaga’s project.

The second fund recipient is Rotary International Foundation, Japan to whom $290,884.53 in funds have been distributed to purchase replacement medical equipment for Rikuzen Takada Hospital. This facility had served the 25,000 area residents until the tsunami wiped out the community and 10% of the population.

The JASP/BBF efforts in collecting donations for Japan relief have ended. We will continue to monitor the progress in both organizations and will post updates on the JASP web site. Thank you for your interest and generous support.

The following is a summary of a report from Ashinaga:

The Tohoku Rainbow House project is progressing nicely.Dennis-@-Ashinaga

  • The Rikuzen Takada Rainbow House Construction project office is set up in Rikuzen Takada City, Iwate Prefecture. The House Trailer was set up at the rented ground 10 minutes walk from the temporary City Hall.
  • This office is providing home-visit counseling to the orphan families in the surrounding area, day and weekend programs for orphans, and families to meet others, etc.
  • As of November 2011, in Ishimaki City, Miyagi prefecture, they were renting a two-story ex- Mitsukoshi department store building as a temporary office and start programs.
  • Facilitator training sessions: Four two-day sessions were held in May, June, July, and October. 113 volunteers finished the course.
  • 14 programs were held in total, reaching 200 orphans and arents/guardians.
  • Ashinaga-newsletter3Number of household participated: 61 families, 78 children, 45 parent/guardian.
  • Home visits: 67 families. Miyagi prefecture: Sendai-23 families, Natori-5 families, Higashi Matsuyama-5 families, Ishinomaki-13 families, Shioda-1 family, Shichigahama-1 family, Yamamoto-3 family, Shiogama-1 family Iwate prefecture:
  • Rikuzen Takada- 8 family Rikuzen Takada Orphans/Families Gathering: 29 families participated: 44 orphans, 22 parents/guardians. The area covered: Rikuzen Takada to Kamaishi.

The following is a summary of a report Rikuzen Takada Hospital:

Rikuzen Takada Hospital, through the Rotary International Foundation, has ordered all the medical equipment that was requested. Everything is progressing on schedule.

The temporary clinic was completed on July 24, 2011. The clinic for Rikuzen Takada Hospital houses the Orthopedic Surgery, ENT, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Pediatrics and respiratory medicine. They provide home visits for 100 patients.

Report from Tohoku
By Douglas Erber, President, Japan America Society of Southern California
October 2011

Dear members and friends of the Japan America Society of Southern California, and generous donors to the 2011 Japan Relief Fund,

On behalf of our board of directors and board of governors, I want to thank you for your heartfelt and generous response to Japan’s greatest natural disaster, the Great Japan East Earthquake and resulting tsunami waves and radiation crisis. I have recently returned from a two-week trip to Japan, where I spent five days in some of the devastated cities and villages of Iwate prefecture, as well as a visit to Fukushima prefecture. Seeing the devastated areas and speaking with survivors was a life-changing experience and will remain in my deepest thoughts for the rest of my life.

Click here to read the complete report.

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Lessons of March 11: One Year On
NHK, Japan's sole public broadcaster, airs locally on Comcast channel 200 – WQED 2. Viewers around the world watched the 3/11 disaster unfold on NHK WORLD TV. One year later, NHK WORLD's journalists reconnect with people in Japan's devastated northeast to document the changes and the lessons learned. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/tv/special/311special.html.

Newsweek, Heroes of Japan's Nuclear Disaster All but Forgotten http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/03/04/heroes-of-japan-s-nuclear-disaster-all-but-forgotten.html

Then and Now: Photos of Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami Devastation. PBS – Frontline

News Articles     (return to top of page)

Japanese tsunami survivor, 79, looks ahead
By Ian Williams, NBC News correspondent

survivorWhen 79-year-old Junko Takashi saw the tide fast receding in the bay below her house, she remembered the warnings of her mother and her grandmother, that this was a sign of a tsunami. But still she hesitated.

"I lived on high ground, on the hillside," she said. "I never thought the water could reach here."

She decided to take no chances, and leaving all her belongings behind her, she climbed to higher ground. She didn't see the tsunami rolling in, but remembers the terrible noise – like a waterfall, only far, far louder, she recalled. By the time it was over, all that was left of her house were its foundations. Click here to read more her complete story.

Issuance of Commemorative Coins for the Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Project and the Contest of their Design
The Ministry of Finance of Japan has decided to issue commemorative coins for the Great East Japan Earthquake reconstruction project, issuance of which will be in FY2015. New designs for the commemorative coins will be selected from public proposals by the Ministry of Finance and Japan Mint.

Films      (return to top of page)

p4j_poster_final_20120203PRAY FOR JAPAN
Special Nationwide Charity Theatrical Engagement
March 14, 2012
Honors One-Year Anniversary of Japanese Tsunami Tragedy

PRAY FOR JAPAN takes place in the devastated region of Ishinomaki, Miyagi – the largest coastal city in Tohoku with a population of more than 160,000. Filmmaker Stu Levy – an American living in Japan - filmed the tsunami aftermath during his trips to Tohoku as a volunteer. Over a period of 6 weeks, he captured more than 50 hours of footage.

PRAY FOR JAPAN focuses on four key perspectives of the tragedy – School, Shelter, Family, and Volunteers. With each perspective, we meet victims who faced significant obstacles and fought to overcome them. Through these four vantage points, the audience is able to understand the vast ramifications of this large-scale natural disaster – and the battle these real-life heroes fought on behalf of their loved ones and their hometown.

For additional information, go to www.prayforjapan-film.org.

Light Up Nippon
Cheer up Tohoku and Japan with fireworks. An effort is underway to get donations and people together to bring back the firework displays to Tohoku.
Click on the video link to watch.

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
"The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom" is an Academy Award nominated film that looks at the springtime cherry blossoms that bloomed shortly following the disaster.

Survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan’s 2011 tsunami find the courage to revive and rebuild as cherry blossom season begins. A stunning visual haiku describes the ephemeral nature of life and the healing power of Japan’s most beloved flower. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_xxz5mneAo.

Web Sites      (return to top of page)

Japan Society
Japan Society will provide a venue for both individual and collective reflection. The day will feature programs for children and documentary films for adults. Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul General of Japan in New York, will offer remarks at 2:30 PM, and preside over a moment of silence for the lives lost in the disasters at 2:46 PM. If you are in New York City, please visit the Japan Society web site for more information on programs related to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. http://www.japansociety.org

Seven Strange Ways the Japan Quake Shook the World
Not only did the twin events cause widespread damage along Japan's coast — the quake was the largest in the country's history — but they also triggered effects across the globe, from the surface to high in the atmosphere. They even slightly altered the Earth's gravity. Here, OurAmazingPlanet reviews the strangest effects the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami had on our planet.

What does Japan mean to you?
A charity photographic exhibition is being created by you. Get involved by uploading your own photographs of Japan and/or voting for your favorite images here. www.myjapan.withtank.com

Anniversary Signature
The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania (JASP), established in 1986, is an association of individuals and corporations actively engaged in bringing the peoples of Japan and America together in understanding, appreciation and cooperation in order to promote a better relationship between the countries.

Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania
600 Grant Street, Suite 444 Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2703
Tel. 412 433-5021 • Fax. 412 433-5020 •

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