Japan Consulate to send money to help Kumamoto victims


Japanese Consul Toshio Matsumura, left, receives the ceremonial check from Japanese Society of the Northern Marianas president Junichi Kitagawa, center, and vice president Hiroko Tenorio. JSNM public relations officer Yuichi Kobayashi was also present in yesterday’s check turnover held at the Japanese Consulate in Puerto Rico. (Jon Perez)

The Japanese Consulate will be sending the money donated by various groups and associations later this month to help the victims of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit Kumamoto City last April 16. Kumamoto is located in Kyushu, the third largest island in Japan.

The earthquake also caused damage in nearby Oita prefecture but Kumamoto was the hardest hit.

Japanese Consul Toshio Matsumura said a total of $17,770.84 had already been donated with the latest coming from the Japanese Society of the Northern Marianas, which turned over a check of $6,220.84 yesterday.

“We plan to send the money to the Japanese government by the end of the month. If there are last-minute donors, they can call the Japanese Consulate for more information or go directly to drop the cash,” said Matsumura.

The JSNM donation is the result of their month-long fundraising activity that started on April 28 at the Thursday Night Street Market. They also had similar activities in the four Saturdays of the Taste of Marianas in May and the Saipan Tropical Ekiden, while a jar was also placed at Himawari.

Matsumura said they appreciated the donation and the activity done by the JSNM to raise funds and help the victims of the earthquake that killed 59 people, 11 of which was caused by economy class syndrome.

Economy class syndrome is the formation of blood clots in veins deep within the legs of a person for being immobilized for a long time. The 11 who died slept in their cars since they chose not to stay in shelters while it still not safe to return to their homes.

“It has been two months since the earthquake struck but there are still more than 10,000 people who are living in severe conditions in shelters. It is not yet safe for them to return to their homes,” said JSNM vice president Hiroko Tenorio.

“We very much appreciate the donation and the activity done by the [JSNM]. They have been doing fundraising activities every weekend to raise money and help the victims,” Matsumura said.

Interpac gave $1,000, Good Day and TASI Tours $500 each, while Pacific Micronesia, Inc. $300 to JSNM. The remaining amount, $3,920.84, was collected in the Street Market and the Taste of the Marianas as well as in the donation jar at Himawari.

Saipan World Resort donated $10,000 raised from its Wave Jungle promo, while two persons, who wanted to remain anonymous, gave $1,550. Aqua Resort Club had $1,668.62—a percentage from its brunch buffet fundraising event last month.

This brings the total money to $19,439.46 that will be given to the Japanese government.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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