• San Dimas, California


Regarding the June 6 Kyodo article “Relief donations languishing“: I can’t believe a country of so many highly educated people has such a problem distributing emergency aid money donated by people around the world. I understand that determining how much local offices should get from the total donation amount is difficult, but this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of.

For the northeast Japan earthquake relief fund, I personally donated several hundred dollars to the Japanese Red Cross Society just a week after the March 11 quake and tsunami. Now I learn that, almost three months after the quake, most of the money collected has not been handed to the people who need it.

The majority of donors intended their money to be used for victims’ emergency expenses, yet the Japanese Red Cross is still working on benchmarks for distributing the donated money fairly. It should be distributed based on degree of need. Officials of the Japanese Red Cross should be fired for incompetence.

Common sense should dictate how best to use the money. In life, real need varies with each person and his or her circumstances. Spending all this time trying to work out a method of distributing the money “equally” among the victims is not meeting people’s emergency needs. Why can’t the Japanese Red Cross figure out a better way in a more timely manner?

Here in the United States, I am asked every day what’s going on in Japan. All my non-Japanese friends who donated to this earthquake and tsunami relief fund are likely to be shocked and upset if they learn, say, six months from now, that so much money remained in the Japanese Red Cross account until the total amount of donations and damages was calculated.

Japanese bureaucracy is unbelievable. No wonder Japan is in such a mess. This delay in emergency relief distribution is something we’d expect in a fourth-rate nation, not Japan. It’s embarrassing for Japanese around the world.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.


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