December 3, 2012

newjerseycoastFor many who watched the coverage of Hurricane Sandy, the scenes of the devastation left behind were eerily reminiscent of the aftermath of the 3/11 tsunami. Although thankfully the magnitude of destruction and the loss of life was much lower than in Japan, nonetheless Sandy took a tremendous toll in terms of the loss of lives, homes, and property has been tremendous, with estimated damages in excess of $50 billion.

Just as Americans and others around the world have been so generous in their support of Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake (see JCIE’s report on US giving), the Japanese community—in Japan, the United States, and elsewhere—has responded generously as well, launching a number of initiatives to assist the victims of Sandy. Among the prominent efforts is that of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of New York, which has donated $500,000 for relief efforts and created a special fund to raise additional support. Japanese corporations have made substantial donations to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief as well, including Toyota ($1,000,000), the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group ($500,000), and Mizuho ($300,000).

Meanwhile, the Central Community Chest of Japan, which has served as a conduit for channeling millions of dollars in donations from the United Way system into the Tohoku region, has now launched a campaign to encourage the Japanese public to donate toward relief for this disaster in the United States.