Japan is on a fragile path to recovery after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the northeastern regions of the country on March 11, and Fairfield University’s Asian Student Association (ASA) is trying to help the relief efforts by raising money.
The Tōhoku earthquake, named for the region it impacted, also triggered a tsunami which wiped away hundreds of thousands of homes and caused collateral damage for the Japanese not only in a physical sense but a psychological one as well.
According to a report from the National Police Agency of Japan, as of April 5, the death toll is at 12,157 while the number of the injured is 2,876.
ASA wanted to help the dire situation in Japan. During the days of March 28-30, the group set up a donation table in the BCC.
The total of donations raised from those three days is $692.03 and will be given to the Japanese Red Cross, according to Kekoa Taparra’12, who coordinated the event with Marie-Alexis Valente ‘12.
Valente said, “Since we have people who are Japanese and of Japanese descent [in ASA], we decided to start fundraising.”
ASA member Yuka Fukanaga ‘11, who is an exchange student from Sophia University in Tokyo and is from Osaka, expressed her worry when the earthquake and tsunami struck her home country. “Of course, I didn’t expect it to happen,” she said. “From my friends and family, I heard it was terrible. I was so worried about [them].”
Fukanaga recalled her experience with an earthquake that occurred on Jan. 17, 1995 in Kobe, Japan. The 7.9 magnitude quake had caused nearly 5,300 deaths.
“I was so sad to know that day by day the situation is getting worse,” she went on to say about the Tohoku earthquake.
Fukanaga and her friend, Megumi Inaka ‘13, who is also an exchange student from Japan, are planning another fundraiser event where proceeds will go to the Japan Red Cross. For a future fundraiser, ASA will organize an event with IRHA during spring weekend, but they are also waiting to see what FUSA will do with its fundraising.
A Japanese dinner in BCC Dining Hall is scheduled for Thursday, April 7 from 5 -7:30 p.m., and students are encouraged to donate with their StagCards.