Acton's Japanese Community 'In Shock' After Devastating Events

As the cleanup begins, children from Acton's Japanese School say don't give up

British Red Cross Japan Appeal

Never Give Up Box
Donation Box At Yo Yo Kitchen

Friday's earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan has left Acton's Japanese community 'in shock'.  One child from the school's kindgergarten class was caught up in the disaster, but thankfully is alive and well, according to  his teacher.

Children from the class gathered today outside Yo Yo Kitchen across from West Acton station to dance to music performed by Okinawa Sanshin Kai, a traditional music ensemble.

Yukimo Asato, who teaches the class of five and six year olds, said the little boy, Kotako Ito, 6, went to Japan with his family on March 4th to visit his grandparents and was due to come back at the beginning of April.  He and his family lost everything, including their passports. "Yesterday we had the email from his mother and they are alright.  But we don't know when he (Kotako) can come back to London,' Ms. Asato said.

'We want to send  message to them to stay strong, cheer up,' Ms. Asato said.
Children dancing Children donate money

Tanya Iguichi, a local resident, says Acton's Japanese community are deeply shocked by what's happened.

"Most people have made contact with their families, though we know of a family who still haven't been able to make contact with family in the affected area," she told

The head of The Japanese School on Creffield Road, Kenro Tomomura said a one minute silence would be held on Friday 17th March, the last day of school before it breaks up for holidays.

"Everyone at our school is deeply saddened by the disaster in Japan."  Tomomura said.

" Our sympathy is with the survivors and bereaved families in the affected regions. At the same time we still worry about the safety of our relatives and friends in Japan. As time passes, we are being informed about worsening situations. For now we are only praying for the best under the current circumstances."
Ealing Council Leader Councillor Julian Bell added his condolences.

"Ealing has one of London's largest Japanese communities and I know that many people are very concerned and waiting with apprehension for further news.   On behalf of the council I would like to express our deep sadness and condolences for everyone who has been affected and send our sympathy to the Japanese people."

children dancing with teacher more children dancing
More fundraising events are being planned to help the victims.

14 March 2011

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