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Ofunato: Why have you come to Tohoku to help out?

by Jon Mitchell

Bhavuk Sethi
Professional gambler, 27 (American)
This is my first time to volunteer for anything like this. Luckily my job gives me the flexibility to take time off. I’m finding volunteering much more fulfilling than playing poker for a living.

Daiki Tamura
DJ, 28 (Japanese)
This is my hometown, so of course I’m helping out here. I really appreciate the work of all these volunteers. They are doing a great job.

Adam Bolton
Between jobs, 27 (British)
I’ve always been interested in Japan so I decided to come and do something useful — not just come and sightsee. I think it’s very purposeful to help other people.”

Reiko Sakata
Retired business owner, 72 (American)
When I saw the tsunami footage on TV, I knew that — as a Japanese-American — I had to come and help. These are my people in trouble here. That’s why I came.

Katsuaki Tanaka
Office worker, 38 (Japanese)
I felt I had to help. I’m very impressed with how much foreigners are doing here, too — especially when so many Japanese people aren’t doing much to help.

Kevin Martinez
University student, 22 (American)
When I saw the tsunami on TV, I felt so helpless. So I wanted to come here directly and help people. My university also helped by giving me a stipend to cover my flight.

Living outside Tokyo and interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp