WASHINGTON, March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Japanese Americans and Japanese from across the U.S. have come quickly mobilized to send aid across the Pacific to Japan. The U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) has launched a two-part initiative to capture this outpouring of support and direct funds to Japan for immediate relief and long-term rebuilding.
The U.S.-Japan Council Earthquake Relief Fund, established on March 15, received more than $350,000 in donations in less than 24 hours. Early major donors included the Terasaki Family Foundation and the United States-Japan Foundation. 100% of all donations will go to established non-profit (NPO) and non-governmental (NGO) organizations in Japan. Gaining new partners each day, the Council hopes to surpass its immediate goal of raising $1 million. See www.usjapancouncil.org/fund.
The second half of the initiative, the U.S.-Japan Relief Network, is an inclusive online resource containing links to organizations that have also established fundraising platforms, as well as upcoming fundraising events across the country. See www.usjapancouncil.org/reliefnetwork.
Coordinating this effort is U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye, who was in Tokyo when the earthquake struck.
"What we experienced in Tokyo was frightening but nothing like the complete loss in Northern Japan," said Hirano Inouye. "Based on the images of destruction, it is clear the rebuilding process will be long. We established the Fund to ensure there is a long-term strategy in place."
Hirano Inouye was leading a delegation of 13 Japanese American leaders who participated in high-level meetings with the new Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto, U.S. Ambassador John Roos, and business entities like Nippon Keidanren. The delegation was scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Kan the afternoon of the earthquake.
USJC is fortunate to have the support of congressional leaders like Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono and Congresswoman Doris Matsui.
"I am pleased to support the U.S.-Japan Council in their relief initiatives in Japan's time of need," said Matsui. "The images of destruction in Japan are devastating; we must be there to assist them during this ongoing crisis. The Council provides a centralized national resource, which is essential for the immediate mobilization and continued support of Japanese American, Japanese, and American individuals and organizations."
The U.S.-Japan Council is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that focuses on building strong people-to-people connections to strengthen U.S.-Japan relations.
SOURCE The U.S.-Japan Council