In the aftermath of a magnitude 7.6 earthquake that rocked central Japan on New Year's Day, uncertainty prevails among foreign residents in the region who have had homes damaged or jobs paused, but widespread support is helping to ease anxiety.

Ian Lawrence, an American in his fifth year of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme and a prefectural advisor for Ishikawa, has credited the "phenomenal job" done by emergency services on the Noto Peninsula for alleviating most of the immediate safety concerns people have had.

"The community is really banding together and just reaching out to people and taking care of people. I've been really encouraged to hear their stories of community members who did their best to communicate with (JETs), even with their limited English or the (JETs') limited Japanese," the 29-year-old said.