Niigata Quake becoming opportunity for J and NJ to help one another


Hi Blog. One of my Newsletter readers asked yesterday if I ever have any good news to report. Sure. Here’s some even from a tragic situation. Both articles courtesy of Matt Dioguardi at The Community:


Quake help for foreigners

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 18, 2007

The Niigata prefectural government’s International Affairs Division is offering consultation services for foreign residents affected by Monday’s earthquake.

Help is available in Chinese, English, Korean and Russian by telephone or by e-mail.

Call (025) 280-5098 or e-mail


Excellent. Thanks to Niigata Prefecture for acknowledging the existence of a NJ community and offering help.

The media is also reporting on NJ returning the favor:


Quake-hit Chinese students help other evacuees in Niigata

Yahoo News Wednesday July 18, 2007 2:53 PM

(Kyodo) _ Students from China’s Inner Mongolia who are staying at a community center in Niigata Prefecture after Monday’s deadly earthquake are helping other evacuated people there, especially the elderly, by bringing them water from a nearby elementary school.

On Wednesday morning, 11 students studying at Niigata Sangyo University in Kashiwazaki, including members of the university’s Mongolian wrestling club, drew water from a swimming pool at the Biwajima elementary school with buckets mainly for nine portable toilets set up at the Biwajima community center.

The six male and five female students walked through a residential area in the city for about 300 meters where water supply has stopped since the earthquake. They poured the water into the toilets’ tanks after returning to the community center.

“We thank them for the voluntary help. They were ready to come forward to do work such as moving water which requires muscle power,” said city government official Kiyohiro Naito, who is overseeing the community center.

The city on the Sea of Japan coast is one of the areas hit hardest by the quake, which killed nine people, injured nearly 1,100 and forced more than 10,000 to be evacuated from their homes in the prefecture alone.

A shortage of water — both for drinking and daily purposes such as keeping portable toilets clean — has been a problem for people in Kashiwazaki.

“We’re doing this with gratitude for people in Kashiwazaki,” said a third-year student in the university’s school of economics who identified himself only as Eerduncang. The 29-year-old is one of the university’s Mongolian wrestling club members.

He said he never experienced an earthquake before coming to Japan in April 2005.

“I was so scared by the earthquake. Right after that, I had many problems, for example, where I should be and how to get food and drink. Here, I have the feeling of safety,” he said.

The students from Inner Mongolia were among some 160 people evacuated on Monday to the community center, which was one of some 70 evacuation centers set up in the city after the quake.

About 150 students from Inner Mongolia are studying at the university in the current academic year, with some 50 of them ending up at the community center.


Bravo indeed. Great precedents. Debito in Sapporo

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