For Victims & Families of 3/11 & 9/11

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"Amazing Grace" in uchinaguchi (the Okinawan language) by Ayano Uema


The following is the article by Ms. Palwasha Arbab, the Program Asssitant at Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan.

Ms. Arbab and Mr. Allan A. Calma, the Deputy Director, Disaster Management Programme,  Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan, visited Tohoku from February 12th to 14th this year.

"Bringing Hope to the Mothers in Iwaki"

Radiation is invisible. We can’t see it. And fear of the unknown is worse than that of the known. Mothers and volunteers working at Tarachine, a local organization managed by a group of novices in Iwaki, Tohoku region, realize that emotion shared by the affected communities of the Great East Japan Eathquake 2011. 

With this realization they have initiated projects which involve purchasing and using of radiation measurement equipment for the human body, soil, vegetables and most lately, thyroid examination equipment, to help people know what the level of the affect is. 

This helps reduce the added worry and concern that parents and particularly mothers have been experiencing about their children’s surroundings and food consumption since the Earthquake.

Tarachine with aid from JEDRO, have so far purchased and ordered equipment that measures radiation and have successfully been using it in Iwaki. They have also organized seminars with specialists speaking on Radioactivity and its effects, for the community. Through one of these seminars, they also learnt about increase in thyroid being a potential long-term effect on children from a specialist on nuclear radiation in Chernobyl. 

This small but extremely efficient agency is working on regularly organizing visits to Okinawa (an Island in the southern province of Kumejima) for children and families of the affected communities to rest and breathe out the radiation from the body and soul. As the immune system of these children is believed to be better in areas outside Tohoku, these visits are physically healthy and vital for the community to release stress.

Yoshida, an Iwaki resident and a staff at Tarachine, expressed that even though there is no pre March- 2011 record of thyroid levels in children of the area to compare the post-disaster thyroid examination results with, it is important to measure it consistently to identify any change in levels in the future. 

Life for children in Iwaki has become restricted post the Great East Japan Earthquake. Children in Iwaki and their parents now have to think twice before what they choose to eat or drink and where they choose to play. 

Yoshida feels that her children have in fact become less fit, their energy levels being low and has observed a significant decrease in their appetite and concentration level. She senses that due to their frustration with not being able to play and live the way they did, they become agitated more easily. 

Mothers in the community visiting Tarachine have shared the same feelings and agree that the situation is giving them unnecessary stress. At times, they expressed the extreme concern for the health and safety of their children even leads them to paranoia.

Iwaki, however, is fortunate to home devoted women such as Ms. Kaori Suzuki, founder of Tarachine, and all those volunteering at the Centre. These women genuinely understand the situation and concerns of the people, particularly mothers of the area and with aid from international organizations, such as JEDRO, are striving to fully address them.  

At, Tarachine, mothers visit to get themselves, their children and food items regularly examined and they come here to talk about their concerns freely with each other. Here, they feel emotionally at peace. They know they can talk here and have someone listen to them without judging them of being obsessive or paranoid about the risks of nuclear radiation.


"Torii" Ashored In Oregon

"Oregon state park staff removed an unusual piece of debris from the ocean shore near Oceanside in Tillamook County. The 16' long object is made of heavy wood and has been painted red, though it is now partially covered with marine organisms. Its shape resembles the top, horizontal part of a type of free-standing arch found in Japan called a torii. A torii is used to mark the entrance of a sacred site." reports the Salem-news website.

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School Kids Visit U.S. To Convey Thanks

"Elementary and high school students from Miyagi Prefecture were given a special send off at Japan’s Narita Airport on Monday afternoon as they set off for the U.S. in order to convey messages of thanks for the efforts of those involved in relief operations following the 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami in Northeast Japan." reports the Japan Today website.

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Fishing Boat To Be Taken Apart

"A fishing boat which was carried several hundred meters inland by the March 11, 2011 tsunami in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, will finally be taken apart and removed." reports the Japan Today website.

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Charity Bike Ride Ffrom Tokyo To Minamisoma

"From April 19 to April 21, 10 British and Australian expats will cycle approximately 330 kilometers from Tokyo to Minamisoma in Fukushima Prefecture, hoping to raise 1 million yen for the Save Minamisoma Project." reports the Japan Today website.

"The project was set up by a group of expats in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and makes fortnightly trips to Minamisoma with donations of food and water to help the 7,000 residents who are still living in temporary housing units nearly 2 years after the tsunami struck."

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Major Fault Under The Nuclear Power Plant

"Significant portions of major geological faults running under Tohoku Electric Power Co.'s one-reactor Higashidori nuclear power plant in Aomori Prefecture are probably active, a Nuclear Regulation Authority panel said in a draft report Monday." reports the Japan Times

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"Revisiting Fukushima's Ghost Towns"

Here is a slideshow posted on the Bloomberg website.

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North Korea Conducted Nuclear Test

"North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Tuesday, South Korea's defence ministry said, after seismic activity measuring 4.9 magnitude was registered by the U.S. Geological Survey"reports the Reuters.

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Tsunami Arrived in Japan

"Tsunami 40 cm high were observed at Hachijo Island in the Izu chain off Tokyo Wednesday afternoon following an 8.0-magnitude earthquake that rocked the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, the Meteorological Agency said."  reports the Japan Times.

Solomon Islands (source: Wikipedia)

Tsunami about 10-cm high were also observed at Chichijima in the Ogasawara island chain, at Owase in Mie Prefecture, as well as at Kushimoto and Nachikatsuura, both in Wakayama Prefecture, the agency said.

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Japan may face a total nuclear shutdown

"Japan may face a total nuclear shutdown in the summer for the second time since the March 2011 Fukushima disaster as the country’s two operating reactors close for maintenance and tough new safety checks keep the rest of the fleet offline." reports the Japan Today website.
Ohi Plant (source:  Wikipedia)

"That could force Japan to import even more fossil fuels for power generation, adding to an onerous energy bill that helped push the country into a record trade deficit in 2012."

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BOJ Sets The Inflation Target

"The Bank of Japan announced on Tuesday its most determined effort yet to end years of economic stagnation, saying it would switch to an open-ended commitment to buying assets next year and double its inflation target to 2 percent." reports the Reuters.

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3 Trillion Yen Added To Reconstruction Budget

The government of Japan plans to set aside 4.5 trillion yen ($50.11 billion) for fiscal 2013, for rebuilding from the March 2011 disaster, adding 3 trillion yen on top of the current five-year framework for that purpose, the Nikkei reported.

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NCC-JEDRO Website Updated

NCC-JEDRO website has been updated by uploading several grant applications.

For details, click the above.


Debris from 3/11 Ashore in Washington State

"The dock that washed ashore on a remote Washington beach last month has been confirmed as debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan." reports the Seattle Times.

Debris near Mosquito Creek  (source:  the Seattle Times)

"The state Marine Debris Task Force says it was identified by the Japanese government through photos that showed a fender serial number. The dock came from the Aomori Prefecture and is similar to the dock that washed ashore last summer at Newport, Ore., also from the tsunami."

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Regional Bank in Fukushima Publishes English Booklets on 3/11

"Toho Bank, based in the city of Fukushima, has published English editions of two booklets on the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis."
reports the Japan Times.

Toho Bank (source: Wikipedia)

"The regional lender translated the booklets from the Japanese editions, published in March 2012 and issued 2,000 A4-size copies of each in English."


A Former Employee Fired After 3/11 Has Sued NHK

"A French woman has sued NHK, claiming it unfairly dismissed her after she took a leave of absence from work after the outbreak of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant disaster."reports the Daily Yomiuri.

Emmanuelle Bodin, a 55-year-old former contract worker at the public broadcaster, filed the suit Tuesday with the Tokyo District Court demanding NHK invalidate the dismissal and pay unpaid wages.

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18 Years since the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake

(source:  Fire & Disaster Mgt Agency)

"Events were held on Thursday morning to mark the 18th anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake in Hyogo Prefecture." reports the Japan Today website.

"The earthquake, which struck at 5:46 a.m. on Jan 17, 1995, killed 6,434 people in Hyogo Prefecture and neighboring areas."

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