Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Japanese Friend: Through my post polio support group I recently became friendly with a lovely Japanese woman whose name is Miwako Hosoda. She is a visiting research fellow at Harvard School of Public Health and is from Tokyo, Japan.

After the disaster in Japan she has been working closely with a newly developed grass roots physicians’ organization and wrote the letter below concerning the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear tragedy which letter, hopefully, will appear in print soon.

Japan, as we all know, has suffered unparalled multiple tragedies heretofore unique in our besieged world. We all have a common humanity which I think should compel us to act. As our charismatic President, John F. Kennedy stated so eloquently “… in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal.” I believe we should remember those words, treat other’s suffering as our own and take all steps necessary to help ameliorate it with all deliberate speed!

My friend states as following:

Japan Needs Help

On March 11, 2011, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck Japan. A subsequent tsunami and nuclear power disaster from it ensued. It has killed ten of thousands of people. People have lost their loved ones, sometimes entire families, their houses, and all their possessions. Entire villages have been swept away leaving a tremendous and incalculable void in their lives.

In response to this disaster many people are helping through fund-raising and other activities. Surprisingly, I have read articles in some media such as the New York Times and Reuters which report that the government keeps refusing the aid, most especially medical aid, from foreign organizations. The reasons for this are hard to fathom. It may be a language translation issue but, I believe, not to accept help does a great disservice to the Japanese people.

According to a grass root physicians’ network in Japan, many healthcare providers who have been working in the affected areas are severely overwhelmed and suffering from a shortage of human power as well as a shortage of drug and medical supplies. Some have not been able to go back to their homes and are working at hospitals without knowing whether their family members are safe or not. In addition, there are a lot of overworked healthcare providers too who are treating so many patients from the affected areas round- the-clock.

Therefore, we urgently need your help. I ask people in the United States and around the world to continue to donate to organizations such as Red Cross, globalgiving, and Mayor’s fund to advance New York, and Japan Society which links I provide below.

There should be no barriers between people who suffer catastrophes such as this. We are all one race, the human race, and obstacles such as language and customs can and should be overlooked. Our main concern as human beings must be the survival and healing of our fellow individuals. Now it is Japan’s moment to ask for help. I urge you to continue to donate to some of the organizations listed and know that the Japanese people will be forever grateful.

American Red Cross

Japanese Red Cross Society
Mayor’s fund to advance New York,

Japan Society

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