Message from Japan Civil Network (JCN)

To all the people around the world who supported the relief work for the Great Tohoku Earthquake victims

At the half-year mark of the Great Tohoku Earthquake that hit Eastern Japan this March, we would like to take the opportunity to express our deepest gratitude for the warm support we received from so many people around the world.

In all its history, Japan had never experienced such a massive earthquake and tsunami. Tens of thousands of precious lives were lost. Those who survived lost loved ones, homes, and jobs, but despite continuing difficult circumstances these survivors are working steadily towards rebuilding their lives. We continue to support the over 600 Japanese NGOs currently working
with the survivors within and outside the disaster-stricken areas.

The English proverb “A friend in need is a friend indeed” also has its equivalent in Japanese.

Among the many overseas relief agencies that rushed to Japan during the very early stages of relief operations were those that partnered with local Japanese NGOs and provided them with vital financial assistance. There remain many such agencies that continue to work for longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction in the affected areas. Furthermore, over 1,000 individuals traveled to Japan from abroad to volunteer in the disaster stricken areas. Together with Japanese NGOs, foreign medical teams bravely entered Fukushima at a time when radiation risk levels were still unclear. Messages of encouragement came pouring into Japan from around the world, including countless letters and paintings of encouragement and contributions sent in from thousands of children living in developing countries. In total, Japan has received donations and aid from more than 120 countries and territories worldwide.

Now is the time that people from the affected areas must face the vast challenges of long-term recovery and reconstruction. In particular, radioactive contamination in Fukushima and related consequences have become not only more pressing but also a global issue that must be addressed by all global citizens. Japanese civil society will continue to support the people from the disaster areas; we hope you will join us in this collaborative effort.

Meanwhile, new disasters and conflicts emerge everyday all over the world. In order to repay the goodwill that we have received from around the world this time, we renew our vow to base our aid efforts on our empathy with those who suffer from such calamities.

We hope we can all support one other and continue to cooperate as global citizens living together on the same planet.

Thank you very much for your incredible support and encouragement.