The events of the past few weeks have brought into focus the best of the
Japanese people. Fortitude, compassion, kindness and civility are but a few
words that come to mind. Like most people living in Japan, I have been following
news of the ongoing relief efforts with great interest and concern and what strikes
me as being absolutely wonderful is the extent to which those people in the
effected communities have come together to assist one another in their time of
greatest need. Where organized relief efforts may have taken time to get
through, individuals have joined together to create a semblance of normal life
through simple measures such as building a basic but private bathhouse.
Furthermore, an entire nation has come together in an outpouring of compassion
and support as people in all walks of life are doing what they can to support their
fellow citizens. I must also mention the generous support and assistance that the
Japanese have received from many individuals and countries around the world
and the appreciation that has been expressed in Japan for this help. The
cohesiveness of Japanese society is one of its greatest strengths and I can say
with absolute confidence that the effected communities will rebuild and will be
stronger than they were before. Watching the response of the Japanese people
to the hand that nature has dealt them reaffirmed a decision I made many years
ago to live in this wonderful country.
Japan is a sprawling land, which if juxtaposed on a map of the United States
would run along the entire east coast from Maine to northern Florida. Fortunately
the vast majority of its people and infrastructure were not physically harmed.
Although deep sympathy is felt globally for the plight of those in the Tohoku
region in the north, life is relatively unscathed in the vast majority of the country;
including transportation systems, food supplies, industrial capacity and electrical
grids. This fact alone will accelerate Japan’s bid towards normalcy.
We hope that you too will have the chance soon to experience the best of Japan,
its people. It is truly an extraordinary country.
By Philip Rosenfeld