Tourism Community Unite to Help Victims of Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami

Tourism Community Unite to Help Victims of Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami

Support Needed for Grassroots Emergency Relief Operations in Northeastern Japan, Led by Japan Ecolodge Association and Tourism Networks.


TIES Press ReleaseWASHINGTON, March 16th, 2011 – The March 11 earthquake that hit the Northeast regions of Japan was not only the largest in the country's recorded history, but it also resulted in damage spread throughout the Northeastern coast, including many rural communities now semi‐isolated due to limited road access and a severe lack of relief supplies across the region.


Despite the official death toll (currently estimated to be around 3,500 ‐ 4,000), the number is expected to climb to over 10,000. Tens of thousands of evacuees have spent the last five days in the 2,000+ officially designated emergency shelters. Hundreds of thousands more people have been made homeless and are living in unconfirmed number of temporary shelters and camps, often without basic necessities.


On March 11th, shortly after the first earthquake, Japan Ecolodge Association, in collaboration with local experts, mobilized a relief team to collect and deliver basic necessities to the victims of what is now being called the Great Tohoku Kanto Earthquake and Tsunami. The Association has set up Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund and is accepting donations both online and via wire transfer.


"Japan's Eastern Pacific Coast and other regions affected by the earthquake and tsunami are in dire need of your generosity," said Mr. Takayama, Japan Ecolodge Association's Executive Director and Vice Chair of TIES Board of Directors. "Right now, many in the affected area are struggling to survive the extreme cold without shelter or food. We need your support now."


Mr. Masaru Takayama is a native of Awaji, Japan, and a survivor of the 1995 Kobe Earthquake (Great Hanshin‐Awaji Earthquake). He and his colleagues will personally purchase relief packages with donations collected through the Fund, and deliver the packages to Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture) on Friday, March 19th. This first trip will focus on ensuring the emergency supplies will get to evacuees in the Sendai area. The Association plans another delivery, rescue and relief trip in April.

Japan Ecolodge Association

Japan Ecolodge Association supports locally operated nature-based lodges, with the belief that low-impact tourism facilities with educational and interpretative programs can enhance conservation of the environment while revitalizing local economy. The Association provides a certification scheme based on 110-item Japan Ecolodge Checklist.


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