Soka Gakkai Relief Efforts in Response to Kyushu Floods
At the start of July, the southwestern island of Kyushu in Japan experienced record downpours which caused torrential floods and landslides, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a message of encouragement to those affected by the disaster as well as to those engaged in relief activities: "Our admirable members in the affected areas are doing their utmost to assist in any way possible, serving as a great source of support and strength in their communities . . . Let's all send a rousing cheer of support to our fellow members in Kyushu."
Soka Gakkai centers throughout the central Kyushu prefectures, such as Kumamoto, Fukuoka, Oita and Saga, were used as emergency communication centers to provide emergency relief aid and shelter to evacuees.
At one such center in Kumamoto Prefecture, some 350 people, many of them youth, formed volunteer groups to help clear rubble and debris on July 15 and 16.
On July 17, Soka Gakkai members in Fukuoka Prefecture took part in cleanup efforts in the cities of Yanagawa and Yame. Elsewhere, members volunteered in the cities of Hita and Nakatsu in Oita Prefecture on July 5.
[Adapted from articles in the July 17-18, 2012, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]