One Year after Japan’s Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami, Generosity of American Public Helped Japan Transition from Relief to Recovery

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Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members sift through the rubble in the area devastated by the March 11 tsunami and earthquake in the town of Yamamoto, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, April 24, 2011

REPORT FROM THE RED CROSS-HAWAII — With help from donations that were made to the American Red Cross following Japan’s tragic earthquake and Pacific tsunami, the country is firmly on the path to recovery a year later.

“Donations from the people of Hawaii and across the country have been critical in moving Japan from a state of disaster relief to recovery and rebuilding,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO of the American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter.  “Whether it’s offering emotional support to someone struggling with trauma, building much needed healthcare facilities, or providing appliances to a family moving into a temporary home, those donations to the Red Cross are providing hope to the people of Japan as they look to the future.”


Donations ranged from keiki donating their tooth fairy money to a local media telethon that raised over $1 million to support relief efforts in Japan.

Donations to the American Red Cross have helped the Japanese Red Cross:

  • Provide more than 316,000 survivors with necessary appliances for their temporary housing, including refrigerators, washing machines, rice cookers, and microwave ovens.
  • Support construction of four temporary hospitals, one permanent hospital and a community health clinic.
  • Rebuild a Red Cross nursing school that will train specialists in disaster medical care
  • Provide more than 87,000 people with health services through Japanese Red Cross mobile teams and temporary clinics.
  • Comfort 14,000 people by counselors trained to deal with disaster-related trauma.
  • Provide transportation and vaccinations for the elderly and educational support, temporary school gyms and play areas for children.
  • Improve the disaster response capacity of the Japanese Red, so critical to saving lives.
  • Fund over half of the Japanese Red Cross’ long-term recovery activities.

“Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has generously donated funds through the American Red Cross and national societies in many other countries,” said Tadateru Konoe, president of the Japanese Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross. “Through your support we have been able to help survivors regain their resilience and also increase our preparedness to face up to potential future disasters.”

The American Red was one of the largest private, international contributors to the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami response, raising more than $312 million. One year later, virtually all of the funds have been spent. Because of these donations, the Japanese Red Cross was able to bring emergency comfort to those living in shelters and later able to provide the supplies and services needed to help them get back on their feet.

More information on Red Cross relief and recovery efforts in Japan can be found in a video at and the one-year report available at

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at