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Rebuilding Japan

March 13, 2011

It’s difficult to express my emotions about what has occurred in Japan this past week. I feel a need to do something in some way but it’s hard to know what to do. I wrote to a GMIC member in Japan to ask how things are there, and received back this message (with permission to post):

Dear Ms. Mariela,

Thank you very much for your kindly mail. I and my family and our organization members which is Sapporo Convention network in Sapporo are fine. We are all right and safe. But our member’s company have branches in Sendai city, we can not confirm they are safe or not.

In this case of big earthquake and Tsunami we never have any experience in Japan. We feel so bad, painful ,sad, and unhappy. Especially atomic-energy power stations had broken, which is we have worry about adverse effect of nuclear.

We believe  we can get over.

Best regards,
Yasushi Fujita

The focus on overcoming the devastation that they are facing is inspiring, particularly in light of so many frightening unknowns. So what can we do? I believe that there are two aspects to supporting Japan’s recovery: immediate aid, and long-term support to re-establish the economy.

There is an immediate need for financial donations. Resources for donating money include:

Long-term though, we need to start thinking about how we will help in rebuilding the economy.  I’m inspired by actions such as those by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists that recommitted to holding their annual conference in New Orleans in 2006 following Katrina.

To that end, here are three recommendations for supporting the long-term economic recovery:

  • Look at how you can commit or recommit to doing business in Japan or with Japanese companies
  • Ensure that aid you provide doesn’t inhibit local businesses from recovering
  • Work with experienced relief organizations and support their efforts

Please add further recommendations for rebuilding Japan in the comments below.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jen Mayville permalink
    March 14, 2011 6:08 am


    My name is Jen and I work for the Canadian Red Cross. Thank you for helping to spread the word about how people can donate to our Japan earthquake appeal. We really appreciate it.

    We would love to continue to connect with you. You can find us on Twitter (@redcrosscanada), Facebook (, and our blog is

    Thank you for your support!

  2. Judy Kucharuk permalink
    March 15, 2011 12:19 pm

    Thank you for posting that response from Yasushi. I was thinking of him over the weekend and wondering how he was and if he was near the area of the tsunami. Please let him know that his GMIC family is thinking of him right now.


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