Aloha Initiative in the Japanese Media!

About a month ago I posted information about the Aloha Initiative, basically a home-stay program developed to host victims of the Japan disaster. Well, the Aloha Initiative made it into the Japanese media, a promising development indeed!

That said, monitoring the Japanese media over the past month, my opinion on this initiative has been evolving. Of course I believe offering Japan a place of refuge for its displaced families is the right thing to do. But I have to wonder how many victims would actually accept our offer, as Japanese news sources have been reporting that displaced Japanese families are even refusing offers from Okinawa to host them.

Understandably the victims want to stay close to their “homes” (even those destroyed by the tsunami). I can only imagine that their motivations for staying put are fear of the unknown (English-speaking folks in Hawaii!), attachment to their homes, and guilty feelings about abandoning their communities. Bottom line: if displaced Japanese families are reluctant about going to Okinawa, then I can’t imagine they’d want to come all the way to Hawaii. But I hope I’m wrong, as we would be honored to host a displaced family.

The Japanese article says Keith Regan went to Fukushima to reach out directly to the Japanese people so hopefully this will get the word out. We’ll see what kind of response we get.

For those who can read Japanese check out this article in MSN Sankei.


2 responses to “Aloha Initiative in the Japanese Media!

  1. Many thanks for your support. I’d like to offer my humble sum to your efforts so may I know where I can do so???

    I understand your concerns as many victims are looking for longer stay to establish a life than short term place for evacuation. However, for children, it’s a good idea to stay away from disturbing land and get a quiet and experience a different life outside of Japan. Especially, there is a growing strange discrimination against Fukushima residents about nuclear contamination in Japan and I’m hoping the children would rest in place where people have more logical and sane mind to accept victims. Nuclear isn’t infectious like some disease.

    Please continue your efforts and offer chances to victims.

    Thanks and Arigato from TOKYO, omatsu

    • Thank you for commenting, Omatsu san!

      We are really HOPING we get a chance to host a displaced Japanese family. (We all speak Japanese and my wife IS Japanese.) As you said, at least get the children and one parent over here to relax, although both parents would certainly be welcome. We would love to help a Japanese family get away–at least temporarily–from such a bad situation.

      If I had the power and authority I’d issue permanent residency visas to Japanese victims wishing to re-start their lives in Hawaii. (Especially farmers.) I believe Japanese refugees would add tremendous value to our communities, and I’d be first in line to help them adapt. Wishful thinking right now…but you never know!

      Gambare Japan–Hawaii loves you! 🙂

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