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In response to the devastation caused by the magnitude 7.9 earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25 and ensuing aftershocks, Soka Gakkai Thailand (SGT), Taiwan Soka Association (TSA) and Soka Gakkai in Japan made donations to various relief funds in the days following the disaster.
On April 27, TSA Vice General Director Lin Ting-fung visited the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Taipei and made a donation of 1 million Taiwanese dollars (US$32,642) to support relief efforts in Nepal that are being coordinated by the Taiwanese government. The donation was presented to MOFA Vice Minister Vanessa Yea-Ping Shih who stated that TSA was the first organization in Taiwan to make a donation.
On April 28, at the Embassy of Nepal in Bangkok, Thailand, SGT General Director Navarat Chinomi presented a donation of THB500,000 (US$15,131) to Ambassador of Nepal to Thailand Khaga Nath Adhikari. Upon receiving the donation, Ambassador Adhikari expressed his appreciation to SGT for its quick response to the difficult situation Nepal is facing in the aftermath of the catastrophic quake. In addition, the Culture Ministry of Thailand requested SGT to co-organize a relief aid charity concert.
In Japan, Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada visited the Embassy of Nepal in Tokyo on April 30 and presented a donation of 5 million Japanese yen (US$41,774) to Ambassador of Nepal to Japan Madan Kumar Bhattarai. On the same day, Soka Gakkai Vice President Yoshiki Tanigawa visited the Japan Association for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Tokyo and entrusted 3 million Japanese yen (US$25,064) in aid for Nepal to Takanobu Himori, executive director of Japan Association for UNHCR.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a message of condolence to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala of Nepal stating, “My fellow members of the Soka Gakkai International worldwide and I are offering our prayers for the peaceful repose of the many victims who lost their irreplaceable lives. . . . Please know, too, that our thoughts are with those who were saved from this horrific tragedy, praying for their safety and well-being.”
[Adapted from articles in the April 27, 2015, issue of Soka Press Online, Taiwan Soka Association (TSA), May 1, 2015, issue of Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai Japan, and reports from Soka Gakkai Thailand (SGT); photos courtesy of TSA, Seikyo Shimbun and SGT]