On Tuesday, I had the privilege of meeting with the Japanese Iwate prefecture Governor, Takuya Tasso, in his Morioka city office. We met along with Project HOPE’s Japanese partners Ryoji Noritake and Haruko Nishida from HGPI, and several of the Governors’ Director Generals to sign an agreement of mutual support and collaboration to provide medical assistance to Iwate prefecture survivors of the March 2011 tsunami.
The ceremony was organized in typical Japanese fashion with a five-page scripted sequence of events which played out flawlessly. Governor Tasso expressed his appreciation for Project HOPE's tenacity in providing medical assistance along the devastated northeast coast of the Tohoku region and was extremely grateful for HOPE's focus of attention to partner with Iwate prefecture medical authorities.
Project HOPE began deploying medical volunteers to the Miyagi prefecture in March and is continuously re-positioning them as temporary shelters close or relocate, and as the city and town health care providers return to work.
In developing a long-term strategy to assist Japan, HOPE is narrowing its focus on the Iwate prefecture and the towns of Yamada, Otsuchi and Rikuzentakata, beautiful coastal towns almost entirely destroyed in the tsunami's path.
We will continue to focus our efforts on health volunteers, medical supplies and equipment and health education.
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