I’m a native born American of Japanese and Dutch decent. Our family house has been in Nagano prefecture in northern Japan for over 800 years. It is close to the earthquakes. That said, I no longer have relatives in Japan.
The images of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan are beyond words. It doesn’t matter what your heritage, your ethnicity nor your history of where you’ve lived. This is a human tragedy.
I have friends in Japan. One is a magician, one is a missionary and one is the exchange student “daughter” of one of my best friends in Texas. We have heard from the first two. They are fine. We have not yet heard from the exchange student daughter. We are hopeful that her electricity and communication are simply not working. We hope. We pray.
What can you do or I do? If you believe in prayer, pray. Until things become more clear I say “wait” on sending money. There are many established organizations that we can trust. But until the authorities can assess the needs, wait to give. That said, we can try to purchase items that are made in Japan. You can plan a trip to other areas of the country so that your tourism dollars are added to the tax base. As for our extended family we are planning a ten day trip to Japan this summer. We hope to have 25 of us going.
The next best things we can do? Take inventory of your home. What supplies and plan do you have in place should you loose electricity and water for six weeks? There are lots of web sites that can guide you of what you should have and where you can find the supplies. Start stocking up. It’s another way to show your family that you love them.
These are my thoughts. I hope that none of us are every faced with anything like we have seen in Japan. Pray, support their economy and prepare your household.