The tragedy unfolding in Japan has weighed heavily on my mind this last week.
The powerful 8.9 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami that swept over the country has left thousands dead. My brother recently spent a semester studying abroad in Osaka, and while he tells me his friends are okay in the aftermath of the quake, they are surrounded by devastation.
Millions are without power. Thousands have limited access to fresh food and clean water. Many thousands more are having to leave their homes and flee from higher-than-normal levels of radiation wafting from exploding nuclear reactors. Hundreds of bodies are still washing up on the shores of the island nation. As I write this, a 6.0 aftershock just shook Tokyo, one of more than a dozen smaller quakes to hit in the wake of last week’s massive one.
From a small business perspective in Japan, this is a crucial time. With so many needs in the country, merchants have a chance to help their fellow citizens by providing critical supplies. The Japanese central bank is injecting a significant amount of money into the economy to try to boost that sort of activity and keep the economy afloat during the crisis, but aid is going to be needed to help stabilize and accelerate a recovery.
You can find a multitude of ways to donate, if you’re so inclined, and this helpful link at the UK’s Guardian newspaper will get you started. I’ve heard the arguments that perhaps donating isn’t a great idea, but given the global need, at least consider donating without specifying the funds for Japan, if you’re wary of that. I know times are still tough for many of us here in the states, but if you’re able, even a few dollars can help to provide the things the Japanese people will need as the country gets back on its feet.
Arigatou Gozaimasu (Thank you).
Photo credit to EdwinP at http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=483818