Today the members of JCI Japan, their families and friends are enduring one of the worst natural disasters ever to strike their nation. The 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of northeast Japan was the largest in the country’s history and the sixth-largest earthquake ever recorded. While the degree of damage has not yet been determined, more than 300 are confirmed dead, and more than 500 remain missing.
The extent of the catastrophe, however, is not measured by the force of the disaster, but rather its impact on the Japanese people. As JCI members committed to the belief that the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations, we extend our condolences and offers of assistance to help alleviate the impact of this tragedy on our fellow members and their families.
JCI Japan and its members are among the first to take action whenever JCI projects call for support. Whether when Operation Hope is activated to invest in sustainable recovery in disaster-stricken areas or when JCI Nothing But Nets raises funds to fight malaria, JCI Japan members can be counted on to respond. Today these same individuals are the ones who are most in need of our action and our sympathies.
I have been in contact with several JCI Japan members and have been relieved to find that there have so far been no casualties among those with whom I made contact or their families. We all hope that this trend will continue as contact is made with more individuals and as the extent of the destruction is evaluated.
On behalf of JCI World Headquarters, the JCI Board of Directors and the JCI community worldwide, I have extended prayers and best wishes to our friends of JCI Japan and their families, but I encourage all JCI members to reach out to express their sincere support for a swift recovery in Japan. While we all may be limited in the support we can provide in such a situation, we must unite to offer our assistance in any way possible.
The members of JCI Japan need our help now more than ever, and the solidarity of the worldwide JCI family will illustrate our commitment to providing support. Please join me in keeping all Japanese citizens in your prayers throughout this tragic incident.
Send your message of support to the JCI Japan National Secretariat.
Edson A. Kodama
JCI Secretary General