On March 11, 2011 at 2:46PM, an earthquake struck off the coast of Miyagi prefecture. With the resulting powerful tsunami, this enormous disaster brought 15,845 deaths, and 3,340 people are missing as of January 31, 2012. As radioactivity caused by the Fukushima #1 Nuclear Power Plant has contaminated a wide area, it is expected to take many years before people can feel safe to live there.
During this especially severe winter, it will soon be the first anniversary of the East Japan Earthquake. I request the headquarters of each denomination as well as other temples in Japan to hold memorial services on March 11, exactly a year from the earthquake. We, the Japan Buddhist Federation, ask Buddhists of the world to toll their temple bells and pray for the victims. I can only imagine that the people of the disaster area have been living through a very difficult time with much pain. I hope that our prayers will reach the hearts of everyone who is in deep sorrow and will shed light upon a path we are to walk together.
We are still at the beginning of the recovery from the earthquake. We will be working together as we are committed to long term support. Thank you for your heartfelt support and cooperation.
Japan Buddhist Federation
By the Japan Buddhist Federation
December 1, 2011
The spread of radioactive contamination due to the meltdown at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima #1 Nuclear Power Plant has caused many people to forcibly evacuate their homes and live as refugees. They suffer through their days in anger that they have no place to reside and in anxiety of having no prospects for the future. Many families with infants and small children live with worries of damaged health due to the radiation, feeling threatened about their lives. Further, we cannot deny the possibility of widespread radioactive contamination affecting not only Japan but also the global environment and ecosystem, threatening all kinds of life, not just human.
Japan is the only country in the world that has ever been hit with nuclear weapons. A great amount of human life was lost then, and those who survived the attack continue to suffer radiation sickness even until this day. So that humanity will not make the same mistake again, we Japanese through our tragedy and suffering have continued to show the people of the world the preciousness of life. Based in the spirit of Buddhism, the Japan Buddhist Federation has been working toward the realization of world peace and societies where each and every life is respected.
At the same time, however, we Japanese have also been expanding our desire for more comfortable and convenient lifestyles. In the shadow of the pursuit for convenience, there lies the reality that the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima has caused the people of that area to live everyday in fear for their lives. In this way, we must deeply reflect on how we have allowed this nuclear plant disaster to endanger a peaceful way of living and life itself.
We, the Japan Buddhist Federation, will strive to reduce our dependence on such nuclear power that threatens life and to realize a society based on sustainable energy. We must choose a path in which personal happiness is harmonized with human welfare, instead of wishing for prosperity at the expense of others. Finally, we would like to make an appeal for building societies that protect each and every life through each individual confronting this issue themselves by reflecting on their own lifestyle, letting go of excessive materialistic greed, finding contentment in the feeling of moderation, and doing their best to realize living in humility with nature.
The Japan Buddhist Federation is the federation of 104 traditional, mainstream Buddhist denominations in Japan, representing more than 90 percent of all Buddhist organizations in Japan.
On March 11, the massive earthquake and tsunami struck East Japan and caused unprecedented amount of damage. Since then, Japan Buddhist Federation has been receiving many warm messages and prayers from our friends overseas. As a Japan regional center of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, we would like to extend our most sincere appreciation to the WFB Headquarters, the WFB regional centers and Buddhist organizations of the world, as well as friends of different beliefs and religions. Your thoughts and prayers are the power that gives courage and hope to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami.
Currently, JBF has been acting as a network platform for traditional Japanese Buddhists, gathering and providing information about our affiliated organizations' volunteer relief activities, such as sutra recitation at temporary morgues, making donations, proving relief supplies, cooking and serving warm food, removing debris, etc. There are also temples and Buddhist organizations providing space and food for the people rendered homeless. We will continue to work together in coordination, in order to effectively achieve support of the entire community of traditional Buddhists in Japan.
Our report on these relief efforts by JBF and the affiliated organizations will be put together and released in due course.
In the meantime, Japan Buddhist Federation is urgently requesting donations to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. To make a donation, please visit the following page by the World Fellowship of Buddhists;
Japan Buddhist Federation is a sole regional center of the WFB in Japan. We truly appreciate your help and support.
Japan Buddhist Federation
JAPAN BUDDHIST FEDERATION ALL RIGHT RESERVED.