This is a summary of Shiga’s response to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami which I will continue to update.
The local Shiga TV news broadcast by NHK Otsu on March 31, 2011 reported the following:
- The JA Group farmer’s cooperative donated 10 tons of Omi-mai rice grown in Shiga. Some 2,000 5-kilogram bags of rice were packed onto a truck bound for Fukushima.
The local Shiga TV news broadcast by NHK Otsu on March 25, 2011 reported the following:
- Otsu-based ramen noodle restaurant chain called Rairaitei (来来亭) donated 100 million yen to the Japan Red Cross’ Shiga Chapter. Shiga Governor Kada Yukiko accepted the donation from the president of Rairaitei on behalf of the Shiga Chapter.
- Two weeks after the Tohoku disaster, about 200 people (57 families) have evacuated to Shiga from the stricken areas in Tohoku. They are staying at public housing offered rent-free for six months.
The local Shiga TV news broadcast by NHK Otsu on March 24, 2011 reported the following:
- Nagahama and Takashima have started accepting donations for food, water, and other provisions. Both cities will accept donations for about a week.
- Bottled water has sold out in Shiga. Supermarkets have empty racks where bottled water were sold. Even the smaller 500 ml bottles of water are gone. Sports drinks, tea, and other beverages are still available. Apparently, people are hoarding, buying water for friends/relatives in Tokyo area where tap water was reported to have higher levels of radiation, or buying for Tohoku disaster victims.
The local Shiga TV news broadcast by NHK Otsu on March 23, 2011 reported the following:
- Otsu and a few other local governments in Shiga have begun accepting donations of food and relief goods from the public. Canned food, bottled water, rice, disposable diapers, batteries, etc., are being accepted at specified locations. The collected goods will be trucked to the affected areas by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces stationed in Otsu. Otsu will accept such donations until March 31. Ritto, Yasu, Moriyama, Omi-Hachiman, and Koka are also accepting donations of relief goods. Best to call your city hall to check what and where you can donate.
- Students from Tohoku attending a major university in Shiga Prefecture can have their tuition fully or partially waived if their parents or guardian suffered devastating losses, major injury, or death in the earthquake or tsunami. They can contact their university for more info.
The local Shiga TV news broadcast by NHK Otsu on March 22, 2011 reported the following:
- Nippon Electric Glass Company (日本電気硝子), based in Otsu, has donated 100 million yen to the Japan Red Cross as aid for the Tohoku disaster victims. The company makes glass panels for LCD televisions and cell phone displays. The donation was given to the Shiga Chapter of the Japan Red Cross. Shiga Governor Kada Yukiko happens to be the head of the Shiga Chapter and she received the donation personally on behalf of the Japan Red Cross. The Shiga Chapter has already received over 266 million yen in donations as of March 22, 2011.
- A municipal medical center in Omi-Hachiman called Omi-Hachiman Sogo Iryo Center (近江八幡市立総合医療センター) has started accepting dialysis patients from the stricken areas in Tohoku. It can accept up to ten out-patients who need artificial dialysis three times a week. Out-patients will be put up in a business hotel near the medical center and a free shuttle bus will be provided. Getting dialysis treatments is hard in the Tohoku area with many hospitals either inoperative or without power.
The local Shiga TV news broadcast by NHK Otsu on March 18, 2011 reported the following:
- Yanmar, a company founded in Shiga that makes industrial machinery, is sending 30 portable power generators to Iwate Prefecture. The truck carrying the generators left Nagahama.
- The Go and Azai Sisters Expo being held in Nagahama is continuing to accept donations for the Tohoku disaster victims. On March 19 (Sat.), a few mascot characters will be on hand to collect donations from expo visitors.
- Also beware of scammers seeking “donations.” They are going door-to-door disguised as local government workers or NPO workers or sending faxes urging people to donate. Do not give money to these scammers. They are operating all over Japan.
The local Shiga TV news broadcast by NHK Otsu on March 15, 2011 reported the following:
- Shiga Prefecture is making available 34 public housing apartment units free of rent to people affected by the Tohoku quake/tsunami. It has started accepting applications (first-come, first-served) for these units in Otsu, Yasu, Takashima, Higashi-Omi, and Nagahama. Rental period is 6 months, but renewable. Call this number in Japanese for more info: 077-528-4234 ( 県土木交通部住宅課)
- In addition, many cities and towns in Shiga are making a total of 78 apartment units available to disaster victims for rent. Contact the city/town hall for more info.
The local Shiga TV news broadcast by NHK Otsu on March 14, 2011 reported the following:
- People wanting to travel to the affected areas in Tohoku (northeastern Japan) to do volunteer work are being asked to refrain from trying to go there for the time being. Public transportation is still nil and the danger of aftershocks and the unstable nuclear power reactor still exist. We first have to allow the Self-Defense Forces troops and other professionals continue with search and rescue operations, not to mention more grisly work.
- Also, donations of provisions from the public is not being accepted right now because they still cannot be transported to the affected area en masse. Organizations accepting such donations will have to store them somewhere until they can be transported to the Tohoku area.
- Right now, it is best to give monetary donations at reputable collectors such as your local city/town hall and Heiwado stores. NHK offices and the Red Cross are also accepting donations.
- The Shiga Prefectural Government is coordinating with Kyoto to send personnel and provisions to mainly Fukushima Prefecture. They already have over 250 people from Shiga and Kyoto’s fire departments, police departments, and medical institutions on site.
- Shiga Prefecture and its cities and towns are sending emergency provisions equivalent to one-fourth of the inventory Shiga has stored for emergencies. This afternoon, they packed 6,700 blankets and 38,000 servings of biscuits in trucks now heading for Namie Town Hall (浪江町役場) in Fukushima Prefecture. In addition, six Shiga prefectural staff rode in the trucks and will gather information and help comfort victims.
- A total of 229 students attending universities in Shiga who are from the Tohoku area and who went back home for the spring vacation cannot be contacted. Officials at Ritsumeikan, Ryukoku, and Shiga University are working to confirm their students’ safety. Of course, the problem is, cell phones are out of commission or difficult to get through in the Tohoku region now.
Praying for all in Tohoku.