Members of the Ottawa Japanese community are experiencing a range of emotions with the 9.0 (Richter scale) earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck the northeastern area of Japan. Contact with family and friends in Japan have been difficult due to inoperable landlines and cell lines. The best information sources have been through twitter and internet. After 24 hours, most members of the local Japanese community have been able to make contact with family and friends in Japan, but there are still a few individuals who have no word from the Sendai and the northern most areas of the impacted area.
In order to allow members some time to privately reflect, the Japanese community requests that all information inquiries and media interviews be done coordinated through the following individuals.
The Ottawa Japanese Community Association (OJCA)/Ottawa Japanese Cultural Centre (OJCC) will be involved in coordinating a number of fundraising events in the near future. The community is hoping to host a concert in April or May and will be seeking the help of the community. Those wishing to host events or activities to support relief efforts are encouraged to contact the OJCA President (Hitomi Suzuta).
Collection boxes for the Japan Earthquake relief will be available at select retailers and events in the Ottawa area next week. Those interested in providing a space for a box should contact Alex Okuda-Rayfuse at 613-237-1243 or Gabe Misaka at 613-897-4969. A listing of collection box sites will be posted on the OJCA/OJCC website: http://ottawajapanesecommunity.ca/ as they become available.
Canadians wishing to immediately support Japanese relief efforts are encouraged to make a financial donation to the Ottawa Red Cross. Cheques should be made out to the Canadian Red Cross with a notation: Japan Earthquake. Donations can be made in the following ways:
To receive the latest news or to support any on-going efforts within the Ottawa area, check the OJCA/OJCC website on a regular basis: http://ottawajapanesecommunity.ca/.