Several Japanese American community organizations, including the Japan America Society of Southern California, Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California Foundation, and The Rafu Shimpo, moved swiftly Friday to coordinate assistance victims of the earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.
Japan America Society President Doug Erber announced that his group has established a dedicated fund and a special phone line to provide information about where and how to donate. In addition, the society has added a link to the International Red Cross to its website: www.jas-socal.org.
By midday Friday, the JAS headquarters in downtown Los Angeles had received dozens of phone calls with inquiries about the quake aftermath, including offers from individuals willing to open up their homes to those displaced by the disaster. JAS will provide any information it has available. Inquiries may be made by calling (213) 627-6217 ext. 202.
Checks to “2011 Japan Earthquake Relief Fund” should be mailed to: Japan America Society, 345 S. Figueroa St., Suite M-1, Los Angeles, CA 90071.
Meanwhile, Toshio “Terry” Handa, JCCSC president, called an emergency meeting of his board of directors for Friday evening and is cooperating with the Nanka Kenjinkai Kyogikai (Japanese prefectural associations) and the Orange County Japanese American Association to provide support. In the past, the JCCSC Foundation has raised relief funds for victims of disasters in Haiti and other countries.
The Rafu has also stepped in to help coordinate organizational support and raise awareness within the Japanese American community by contacting the leaders of local organizations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, according to publisher Michael Komai.
The Little Tokyo Business Association and California Japanese American Leadership Council are among the groups that have expressed support of relief efforts.