JAPAN RELIEF UPDATE
(Editor’s Note: As a public service, we welcome updates of fundraising drives for the Japan relief effort from organizations. Likewise, announcements or press releases of future events related to the effort. Email text and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is every 15th of the month.)
Golfer Ishikawa’s Winnings
Golf phenomenon Ryo Ishikawa, 19, announced on March 30 he was donating all his tour earnings this year to the Japan earthquake relief efforts, USA Today reported. According to wikipedia, the top-ranked Japanese player in the World Rankings also pledged to donate an additional 100,000 yen for every birdie he makes this year.
Capital Hearts Fundraiser
A coalition of 30 Washington D.C.-based organizations, known as Capital Hearts for Japan (www.facebook.com/capitalheartsforjapan), raised nearly $16,000 on March 26. Japan. Over 300 watched local performers, took part in a silent auction, the night’s main event, and heard remarks from Ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki and former U.S. Cabinet Secretary Norman Mineta. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Save the Children. Nearly 250,000 remain displaced and over 27,000 have been reported missing or dead, according to a recent United Nations report. Approximately 100,000 surviving children have been affected and are at risk as a result of the recent earthquake and tsunami.
Regarding funds for the Japanese relief effort, AAA-Fund Reception Event Coordinator Lida Peterson said, “I have $1,080 in cash and check, but I also know some people decided to give online.” The event took place April 5 in D.C.
Japan Relief Fund
On April 18, in collaboration with CityZen restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental, Asia Society Washington held a fundraising reception and auctions with Relief International. Relief International is a U.S.-based non-profit organization helping the victims of the March 11 disaster in Japan. $175 of $250 of the ticket price would be tax-deductible. A silent auction followed the remarks by Ambassador Fujisaki. The benefit was inspired by CityZen’s Executive Chef Eric Ziebold.
Japanese Tea Ceremony
On April 22, Chado Urasenke Tankokai Washington DC Association and Japan-America Society of Washington DC held Chanoyu Introduction-An Introduction to Japanese Tea Ceremony. Fee was $10. All proceeds will be donated to Care for Japan, established by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA for Eastern Japan relief efforts.
Concert for Japan
Rockville, Maryland–A Choral Concert to Support Victims of the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami was held on April 23. A reception followed the concert, which was free, but contributions were encouraged. The concert featured the Japanese Choral Society of Washington (www.jchoral.org), in association with Japan Commerce Association of Washington, D.C. Music Director was Kimiko Shimada. Composer and Pianist: Makiko Chiba. Violin: Heinosuke Voelkel. Soprano Solo: Kimiko Shimada.
LIFE & Discovery Benefit Event
Maryland–In honor of Asian Heritage Month, LIFE and Discovery will be accepting donations for the relief efforts in Japan on May 6, 3:30 p.m.-5:30 pm. Venue is Bernard W. Brown Community Center, located at 629 North Market Street. Info: Call (301) 694-6838. Event features performances, arts & craft items and a “white elephant sale.” L.I.F.E. and Discovery (L&D) Inc. is a 501 C3 community-based agency whose mission is cultural and language enrichment, minority health advocacy and community development.
Human Touch ‘GlobalGiving’
Long Beach, CA–Human Touch, LLC Chief Executive Officer David Wood has announced the U.S. market leader of innovative massage chairs, would help raise money for Japan relief efforts. It is donating a generous portion of the proceeds from its HT-5020 WholeBody Massage Chair sales to GlobalGiving Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to unleashing the potential of people around the world to make positive change happen.
L.A. Benefit Concert
Los Angeles, CA–On April 23, the Thousand Hearts Benefit Concert (www.thousandhearts.org) was held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. 100% of the net proceeds will go directly to the hardest-hit prefectures of Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi. The show is produced by Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Aid Project, a nonprofit organization established by multi-cultural community leaders throughout the State of California. Grammy-nominated and internationally-renowned Japanese jazz group Hiroshima, featuring international J-Pop star Mika Todd and MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew Season 3 Champions Quest Crew, headlined the show.
JAPAN IN THE NEWS
Japan: Nuclear Crisis Level Matches Chernobyl
Tokyo–On April 12, Japan compared the crisis severity of its nuclear plant with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, according to an Associated Press (AP) report. The high radiation leaks have contaminated the air, tap water, vegetables and seawater, the report added, and the raised level meant the leaks have environment and health impact.
The service concluded with each interfaith representative offering prayers.
Photo by Donovan Marks
Interfaith ‘Prayer for Japan’ Held
at Washington National Cathedral
By the Japanese American Veterans Association
Washington–Marking one month since the 9-magnitude earthquake and the resulting tsunami, Japan Ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki and clergy of the Buddhist, Shinto, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Christian faith participated in an interfaith prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral on April 11.
Attending the service were U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye and his wife, Irene Hirano Inouye, high-ranking government and private sector officials, Japanese American veterans and community members, and the general public.
Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III said in the invocation. “We, at the National Cathedral, join with people across the nation and around the world in continuing to pray for a country sorely tried in the past month, that its people may be strengthened, and that in the fullness of time they may rebuild their lives.”
Ambassador Fujisaki said, “Never has mankind experienced three catastrophes together–earthquakes, tsunami and a nuclear disaster.” He expressed condolences to the Taylor Anderson family in the audience. Anderson was an English teacher who lost her life in the tsunami.
Fujisaki said the struggle to search for the missing and control of nuclear reactors continues and the reconstruction has started. He spoke of two encouraging signs: “The resistance and conviction of the Japanese people, and the goodwill and assistance extended by people and governments around the world, especially by Americans.” Because of these, he added, “Japan will come back stronger than ever.”
Music was offered by Miyuki Yoshikami, koto player (traditional Japanese harp), soprano Kimiko Shimada and the Cathedral singers. After the service, Ambassador Fujisaki stood at the exit to express Japan’s appreciation to each attendee.
At Freedom Walk, Fujisaki Thanks Japanese Americans
Washington, D.C.–At the annual Cherry Blossoms Freedom Walk on April 2, Japan Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki said: “We are struggling every day…trying to take control of the situation. This is really a horrendous task, but we are consoled by one thing. The Japanese people are taking this as graciously as possible, as courageously as possible.”
He noted: “Certainly, we are helped by people around the world...People are extending so much goodwill and contributions, which we badly need. The Japanese American people are really showing solidarity with Japan, and we appreciate that. As you know, Japan is a strong country. One day we will overcome this…As a nation, we have to overcome this, and we will.”
“The Japanese American people are standing with us in such a difficult moment in our history,” he concluded. “I will remember this friendship and solidarity for such a long time. Thank you very much.” Freedom Walk was sponsored by the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation and the Japanese American Veterans Association.