On April 7, the Japanese Prefectural Association of Southern California (Nanka Kenjinkai Kyogikai) presented a combined amount of $30,000 to Kenjinkai representatives of the three most earthquake devastated prefectures: Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. The total amount was presented in three separate checks of $10,000 each.
“Our organization wanted to symbolically show our gesture of support, in a very substantial manner,” explained Yasoji Matsuoka, executive director of the Nanka Kenjinkai Kyogikai.
“We must think long-term, as well as short-term relief,” said Chogi Higa, president of the Nanka Kenjinkai Kyogikai. “This is not a competition, but should be a strategic effort that is carefully planned out to achieve maximum results.”
Currently in the planning are Kyogikai’s two annual events — the charity golf tournament and the Shinboku Engeikai show — which have now been converted into relief fundraising events for this year.
As a unified body of 41 prefectural associations, the Nanka Kenjinkai Kyogikai will be collecting donations throughout most of this year to be presented in monthly cycles to the Consulate General of Japan, which will send the funds to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
“Our continuous thoughts and sympathies are with those who have been affected by the disasters.” Higa commented. “The Japanese are a resilient people and culture, and they will continue to survive, rebuild, and flourish.”
Donations are not tax-deductible. Checks made out to the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles can be sent to Nanka Kenjinkai Kyogikai Inc., 1661 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90017. Write “Earthquake Aid” on the memo line. For more information, contact Yasoji Matsuoka at (213) 273-8978.