Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Stay Strong Japan

After the earthquake of March 2011 the world was galvanised into action. Rescue crews were on the first flights in. No repeat of Kobe, no ridiculous excuses for not accepting the help this time, Japan opened it's house and said "please help". The US military cleared the roads in Operation Friendship, and South Koreans worked hand in hand with Japanese clearing houses one by one. New Zealand sent a team despite the devastating earthquake in Christchurch a few weeks before. No questions asked.

My company at the time shipped tens of thousands of winter jackets north; it was still snowing. Our main competitor, unable to ship product due to damage at their distribution centre, donated a equal amount to the emergency aid funds. The roads were closed to all but emergency traffic but some slipped through. A friend filled his truck with supplies and drove 350km to Tohoku. He sat for hours as people queued and took a few needed items and then he drove back to Tokyo only to repeat the process again and again.

If you're of the generation that saw "Live Aid" in the summer of 1985, you'll remember that moment when David Bowie paused his performance to play a video, a graphic display of the famine in Africa, hauntingly set to the music of Drive by The Cars. Suddenly it was more than real and the world collectively choked back a quiet sob. Moments like that are rare, they stay will you. And in it's own small way, after the tsunami, it happened again. If you have a few minutes, here is something special. 

Stay Strong Japan

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