Message from Knots (Kobe & Nagasaki)
on the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake
It has now been almost two weeks since the disastrous earthquake shook the length of Japan. We extend our most sincere sympathies to all those who have suffered and to those who continue to suffer.
Our organization, Knots, was itself was set up by individuals who carried out animal rescue operations after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in Kobe 16 years ago. We also have people within our membership who were victims of the tragedy. That terrible experience, however, has been the basis of our work and our policy that we must do what we can towards better living for both people and other animals. Our name, Knots, refers to the ties between people, and between people and other animals. It is those ties that provide the power and strength to realize and support our work.
Since the immediate aftermath of the recent earthquake we have received many emails from our supporters based overseas asking us, ‘We want to help. Please tell us what we can do.’ So we have decided that what we can do for the time being is to ask for donations which will be needed to support the long path for recovery.
The Headquarters for the Relief of Animals in Emergencies, founded after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake with government involvement (which consists of the Japan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, Japan Animal Welfare Society, Japan Pet Care Association, Japan Veterinary Medical Association) is continuing its activities under the current difficult situation.
The Japan Animal Welfare Society, Knot’s partner in the Humane Center Japan （HCJ）projects, is a member of this The Headquarters for the Relief of Animals in Emergencies. Through our HCJ Projects we are now preparing a donations website in both English and Japanese languages and, when the site is up and running, we would ask you to kindly visit the site and help out.
Our board chairperson, Kayoko TOMINAGA is originally a native of Nagasaki City, and her parents both experienced the horror of the atomic bombing. So when everybody learned that the damage of the recent earthquake had included the Fukushima nuclear power plants, Ms. Tominaga could not help but remember the legacy of the city where she was brought up. The only consolation has been that the people of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki did, over 60 years ago, make an incredible recovery from the total destruction. We have heard that the levels of radiation in Fukushima Prefecture are considered to not be significant enough to impact people’s health. All of us must pray so. The ‘Nagasaki-maru’ ship, a training vessel belonging to Nagasaki University’s Faculty of Fisheries, while on its way to Miyako Port (in Iwate Prefecture) was instructed by Nagasaki Prefectural Government to call at Onahama Port in Fukushima Prefecture to deliver relief supplies.
We know that the people of Kobe, Hiroshima and Nagasaki have long wished that the tragedy in their past would never be repeated or suffered by others. And now, at this most difficult time, we see how people all over Japan and the world, are desperately wanting to help out in any way possible.
Experience can teach us many things and, when we set our minds on a task, there is almost nothing we cannot do in our daily lives and at work. Now is the time to use our imagination and creativity at its highest levels to think what we can do in our own respective fields and to make an effort to do more than we have ever done before. Such a joint effort will produce the power needed to overcome this unprecedented crisis.
Both in Kobe and Nagasaki, it was not due to the efforts of a few great men that led to the recovery. It was the individual small steps made by the great many people living there that made it possible. So we pray that the people in the area will be able to take firm steps forward, albeit slowly at first. We at Knots wish to also make firm steps forward on their behalf and include you as one of our supporting members.
Finally, we would like to state that in the interests of motivation and psychological well-being, it is better that all those people who were evacuated with their pets, be able to remain with their pets. People and pets can support each other and give each other strength. Several preparations are already being made in this regard but we would like to ask for support and cooperation especially from people involved in the housing or housing related industries.
Thank you for reading this message. We are asking everybody to knot hearts, minds and strengths together into one massive show of support.
PIIA Knots members