Workshops and Cross-Cultural Dialog in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, with a Special Emphasis on Building Bridges with our Friends in the Survivor Community in Nagasaki


Click through older posts to see pictures
of our work in various cities, including
Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our Hearts Are with the People of Japan

Our students and I are  OK.
 But reportedly in Miyagi,  Hukushima, and Iwate
prefecutre etc

Really thank you for an email.

I shed tears to see a newspaper today

 10,000 dead people appear, and the disappearance
surpasses 100,000 people, too. And the refugee surpasses
440,000 people; We are shocked by these tragic events .

I want to do something for the people suffering from that
earthquake with high school students
Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said Japan is experiencing its greatest hardships since World War II as it tackles the aftermath of an earthquake, tsunami and a growing nuclear crisis.

Chris Hogg reports on the destruction wrought by the tsunami

Japan crisis 'worst since WWII'

He said the situation at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant remained grave, a day after an explosion at a reactor.

Japanese broadcaster NHK says the total number of confirmed deaths caused by the disaster now stands at 1,351.

But police warn that the death toll in Miyagi region alone could top 10,000.
Millions of survivors remain without electricity and authorities are stepping up relief efforts as the scale of the tragedy becomes clearer.

About 310,000 people have been evacuated to emergency shelters, NHK says.
'Most severe crisis' The cooling systems of two reactors at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant failed after the 8.9-magnitude quake struck off the north-east coast.

On Saturday, a huge explosion blew apart the building housing reactor 1, where technicians had been venting steam to cool the reactor. Sea water is being injected into the other reactor in an attempt to cool it.

The Japanese authorities have admitted that radiation levels near the damaged plant at one point exceeded legal safety limits. Tens of thousands of people are being evacuated from within a 20km (12.4-mile) radius.

At least 19 people are being treated for the effects of exposure to radiation. Workers in protective clothing have been checking residents as they leave the evacuation zone.

Meanwhile, Japan's nuclear energy agency has declared a state of emergency at a second nuclear facility, at Onagawa, after excessive radiation levels were recorded there.

It said cooling systems at all three reactors at the Onagawa complex, which were automatically shut down after the earthquake and tsunami, were functioning properly and the rise in local radiation levels might have been caused by the Fukushima leak.

"The current situation of the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear plants is in a way the most severe crisis in the past 65 years since World War II," Mr Kan said.

We are about 10km from Minamisanriku, where it's believed that as many as 10,000 people are unaccounted for.

I'm in a building that's being used as an evacuation centre - it's a primary school and there are about 250 people now sleeping on the floor of the sports hall. There isn't any mains power, there is a generator that has been set up for a couple of lights and blow heaters - but it is still bitterly cold.
The authorities have got diggers in place to try and clear the road a little further north from here. They need to get through to those towns and communities to see what they can do to help anybody who might still be alive there.

It does not mean that because 10,000 are unaccounted for they are necessarily all feared dead.
There will be people who managed to evacuate. But there is no power, no telephone network in this area - all of that has been knocked out.

If people have escaped to an evacuation centre they can report in with the authorities and that information is gradually fed back and collated. If they've gone to stay with friends and relatives who don't have power or telephones it's going to be difficult getting that information to the central authorities to account for who is where.

One woman who was in her car when she felt the quake told us that as soon as "the earth stopped shaking", she jumped out of the car, went into her home, grabbed her family, got back in her car and got out of town. But she said there would perhaps be many people who didn't move fast enough.
"Whether we Japanese can overcome this crisis depends on each of us.
"I strongly believe that we can get over this great earthquake and tsunami by joining together."
Mr Kan said the shutting down of the Fukushima plant and other power stations meant that electricity supplies were limited.

He said that from Monday there would be a programme of rolling power cuts that would also affect water and gas supplies and some medical facilities.

The number of troops helping with rescue work in the affected north-east coastal region is being doubled to 100,000, and they will be joined by 250,000 police officers and other relief workers.
International rescue teams are flying into Japan following an appeal by the government.

Rescue workers have found scenes of total devastation in isolated coastal towns north east of the main port city of Sendai, which was itself partially destroyed by the waves.


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