Let’s rally for Japan | AspenTimes.com
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Let’s rally for Japan

Dear Editor:

My name is John Hatanaka and I recently returned from Japan after experiencing the devastating earthquake and tsunami. I have been a teacher there for the last two years, working through the JET program, an international organization that sends people from around the world to Japan to teach English and help facilitate peaceful relations with Japan and surrounding countries.

My town of Naraha-machi was one of the many towns affected by the Japan earthquake and tsunami that has left one third of the nation in ruins and caused a death toll that now exceeds 10,000 people.

It was a very hard decision to leave as I wanted to stay and help rebuild the area. Some of my fellow teachers (JETS) are still over there and are currently helping at the various evacuation centers set up in the surrounding areas of Iwaki and Koriyama. My heart goes out to them for their courage and strength. After much thought, however, I felt that my time would be equally well spent in coming back to my hometown of Aspen in order to raise money for the many victims who have lost their homes, families and for many, their jobs. My return to the states is also greatly influenced by the fact that my town of Naraha is currently in the primary evacuation zone located less than 10 kilometers from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Power Plant and is the actual location of the Fukushima Dai-ni Power Plant. Therefore, I currently have no home in Japan.

JET AA USA is made up of alumni of past and current JETs who have responded to the disaster as I have and are currently raising money to send to Japan. The organization is run by volunteers and all money donated will be tax deductible. JET AA USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Because JET AA USA is part of the Japanese Consulate, 100 percent of the funds donated will be transferred to Japanese relief efforts as there will be no country transfer fees. Please visit JETAAUSA.com for more information on the organization.

Next Wednesday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m., I will be on beheardtv.com sharing my story along with other JET’s teaching across the world. We will be asking for donations as well. Please tune in! Beheardtv is a local valley web broadcast that occurs every Wednesday. Check out the website for more details.

If you would like to make a donation by credit card please visit the JETAAUSA.com website. (PayPal has graciously offered to waive all transaction fees through April 10, 2011. If you would like to make a donation by check, please make the check out to: JET Alumni Association, Inc. Please write “JET USA Relief Fund” in the memo area of your check; mail to Rocky Mountain JETAA, 1550 Larimer Street, P.O. Box 464, Denver, CO, 80202. (Any cash donation may be dropped off at Aspen Alpine Bank, c/o Mary Ryerson)

Thank you for supporting this relief effort.

John Hatanaka, JET USA

Aspen


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