Two Messages from Prime Minister & Mainichi Japan about Assistance received from Overseas - 感謝！
From: Highlighting JAPAN<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: "Human Security"
Date: Thu 03/31/2011 21:23:23 JST
E-mail Newsletter "Highlighting JAPAN" No. 36
The Japanese government and Japanese people extend a sincere thank you for all the offers of help and support received following the 2011 Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake.
Message from Prime Minister Naoto Kan Regarding Assistance Receieved from Overseas
Countermeasures for 2011 Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake
Message from Prime Minister Naoto Kan
Regarding Assistance Received from Overseas
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I would like to express my most sincere appreciation for the condolences and assistance Japan has received from approximately 130 countries, more than 30 international organizations, and people all around the world in response to the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake.
The rescue workers, search dogs, and nuclear power experts from various countries, as well as the human resources support from the U.S. Forces in Japan and others, assistance with food, medical supplies, blankets, and other supplies, and offers of assistance from over 670 NGOs and other organizations have all been profoundly uplifting to the Japanese people, who have come to realize acutely that "a friend in need is a friend indeed."
Japan faces an unprecedented crisis, in which an incident at a nuclear power plant has transpired in addition to the enormous earthquake and tsunamis. I firmly believe that, receiving such cooperation from the members of the international community, the Japanese people will mobilize their wisdom to recover from these challenging circumstances through their collective efforts and thereby successfully overcome this trying time.
On behalf of the Japanese people, I would like once again to express my deepest appreciation upon having received this truly tremendous outpouring of cordial assistance from around the world.
Prime Minister of Japan
U.S. rescue teams dispatched to the tsunami-ravaged Iwate Prefecture cities of Ofunato and Kamaishi were taken aback by the devastating scene in front of them. But what they found more striking were their encounters with the locals.
"I haven't got much," said a woman whose shop had been reduced to rubble, as she offered rice crackers to the workers.
Likewise, a member of a Chinese rescue team in Ofunato recalls being thanked by local passersby for traveling such a long way to help, receiving candy and snacks from them. Another worker who tried to buy food at a convenience store said payment was refused when the shop staff realized the customer was helping in relief efforts. The worker ended up being given instant noodles and rice balls for free.
Such acts of compassion among the Japanese in the face of hardship have touched the hearts of many overseas, but those in other countries have been showing plenty of compassion themselves.
Present and former residents of an orphanage in Malaysia, for example, raised money through a donation drive. The money, along with a message of encouragement, was delivered to the Japanese Embassy in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, 40 Pakistani children with thalassemia, a blood disease also known as Mediterranean anemia, and the head of a welfare organization donated 10 soccer balls to a Japanese Consulate for Japanese children in the disaster areas.
Japan has received words of gratitude and encouragement as well as monetary donations from developing countries in Asia grateful for the support Japan has provided them in the past, both during normal times and after disasters have struck.
Elsewhere, poor students living in Brazil's impoverished regions have offered change they collected in empty cans, while an 8-year-old from Sweden was talking about wanting to use allowance money to send water to Japan. There was also a taxi driver in Poland who refused to accept fare from Japanese passengers, and a Russian gentleman who disappeared after dropping off a massive amount of money and wishing Japan well.
In the post-earthquake days, people's kindness and compassion have been seen in small acts everywhere. We hope that with these acts, the sadness enveloping the areas affected by the earthquake, tsunami and other crises will be healed. ("Yoroku," a front-page column in the Mainichi Shimbun)
(Mainichi Japan) April 1, 2011