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Back to listMar 14, 2011

Soka Gakkai Relief Activities Continue in Northeastern Japan

Fukushima SGI Earthquake Relief Volunteers provide food and drink to those housed at the Fukushima Culture Center in Kooriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture March 12

In response to the devastation caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunamis, Soka Gakkai's relief efforts continue throughout the affected region. One thousand people have now sought shelter at the Soka Gakkai Tohoku Culture Center in Sendai City, the regional emergency coordination center for the organization's relief efforts.  A further 2,500 people stayed overnight on March 12 and received emergency supplies including food in 20 other local Soka Gakkai culture centers throughout the Tohoku region.

Fukushima SGI Earthquake Relief Blankets being delivered to the Tohoku Culture Center in Sendai City, March 12

Hearing that one group of Sendai City residents who had gathered together in a public place were badly in need of food and other necessities, local Soka Gakkai leaders set off with a carload of food and other supplies in search of them. They were able to locate and assist around 100 people in this way.

Support from different regions of northern Japan continues to reach the affected areas.

On March 12, Soka Gakkai members in Niigata Prefecture sent generators and fuel oil to help keep the Tohoku Culture Center in operation. On March 13, they further dispatched water, portable toilets, emergency food supplies and other necessities to the center as well as Soka Gakkai centers in Fukushima Prefecture including Iwaki City. A youth representative from Niigata who helped deliver the supplies commented, "Niigata was hit by a huge earthquake several years ago, and we were able to rebuild thanks to the support we received from throughout Japan. It is now time for us to reach out to those in need."

Aomori Culture Center Members at the Hachinohe Culture Center in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture, load up supplies for the Iwate Culture Center in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, March 13

Cars carrying relief supplies such as emergency foodstuffs and water which had been stored at the Soka Gakkai Hachinohe Culture Center in Aomori Prefecture arrived at the Soka Gakkai Iwate Culture Center in Morioka City on March 13. Youth members patrol the Iwate center through the night so that evacuees can sleep soundly.               

In Yamagata Prefecture, relief efforts continue. Soka Gakkai members from Yonezawa City delivered truckloads of food and daily necessities, arriving in Sendai on the evening of March 13.  

Aomori Culture Center Setting up a generator at Katsuta Culture Center in Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Prefecture, March 12

 

 Trucks containing relief supplies continue to be sent from the Soka Gakkai Headquarters and other parts of Japan, and additional Soka Gakkai staff and members of the organization's Doctors' Division are being dispatched to support relief activities.

Soka Gakkai Culture Centers in Chiba and Ibaraki Prefectures are also being used as emergency shelters in areas where there is no electricity or water supply. In several cases, generators have been provided by people in the neighborhood, and local residents have pooled food supplies in order to provide meals to those gathered at the centers.

[Adapted from an article in the March 14, 2011, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]