Philippines ambassador to Japan on the plight of citizens stuck there
Following the quake and tsunami, a steady stream of foreign residents in Japan has opted to return to their home countries. On March 20, Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo called on churches, convents, and other Catholic institutions in Tokyo to offer temporary shelter and solicit emergency monetary donations on behalf of non-native victims and refugees fleeing disaster areas.
Archbishop Okada said, “There are approximately one million registered foreigners in eastern Japan. In the face of the great earthquake and tsunami and the incident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, many of these people are seeking refuge en masse in Tokyo as they try to return to their native lands.”
“I implore you,” the prelate continued, “to do whatever you can to support the shaken and frightened foreign refugees in your midst, both psychologically and physically.”
To facilitate this effort, Archbishop Okada will set up a special archdiocesan support center for foreign residents in the Catholic Tokyo International Center (CTIC).
About 50 Filipinos from disaster-hit areas are already being sheltered at one Tokyo church. Clothing and other necessities will be provided by Costco.
At the same time, Archbishop Okada also issued an English message to all the faithful, which can be read on the CBCJ website