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.