Japan Updates: April 15, 2011

April 15, 2011

According to the blog site for the Relief Headquarters for Persons with Disabilities and Tohoku-Kanto Great Earthquake, people from the Relief Headquarters office recently visited Koriyama and Iwaki cities, Fukushima Prefecture.  During this visit, they met a representative from Day Support Peanuts of Minami-Soma City, which is approximately 20 to 30 kilometers from the location of the nuclear plant breakdown. The delegation also visited Hamadori, Fukushima. For more details, visit the Relief headquarters blog site at http://dpi.cocolog-nifty.com/en/2011/04/yoshitomo-3f89.html

A local observer, Nakanishi Yukiko, reports that Rikuzentakata City opened temporary housing units for people with disabilities, elderly people, and single-mother households.  More than 200 applicants competed for the 18 units. Yukiko also reports that one woman died after returning home from the hospital because a power blackout, caused by a strong aftershock on April 7, stopped her oxygen inhaler.  Read more tweets at http://twitter.com/#!/yuki_adi

According to the Mainichi Daily News, one elderly women with cognitive impairments froze to death after moving from one shelter to another.  She was originally from Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, but had to evacuate with her family after the nuclear plant breakdown.  She and her two daughters and grandchild had to change shelters three times due to continuing extensions of the evacuation zone.  Learn more at http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110407p2a00m0na018000c.html

USICD has learned through email correspondence with the Relief Headquarters that they have now raised nearly 100 million Yen to support their efforts--the equivalent of more than $1 million.  Proceeds are being used to provide food, water, and other urgently needed services to people with disabilities affected by the March earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant breakdown.  People with disabilities frequently have difficulty obtaining assistance or services from mainstream disaster relief efforts because these usually are not designed with their accessibility needs in mind. 

Relief Headquarters continues to need and welcome additional donations from overseas.  People may make a credit card payment via the web at http://www.j-payment.co.jp/lan/bokin/dpien.html?1.  It is also possible to make a bank transfer.  Relief Headquarters also encourages individuals and organizations to consider raising cash donations locally in order to involve people who want to support disaster relief efforts for people with disabilities but who cannot, or don't wish to, use credit card or bank transfer.

The following details is provided for people who wish to use bank transfer to make their donations: 

Account with Bank:?The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd
Branch:?Kanda Branch
Beneficiary’s Account Number:?Account No.331-1187475
Beneficiary’s Name:?DPI-Japan

USICD also will be raising funds at its Annual Meeting this April 29.  Checks made out to USICD that mention Japan in the Memo line will be bundled and donated to Relief Headquarters in Japan.  People may contact Andrea Shettle at ashettle@usicd.org with questions.