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Boats for Tsunami Victims
DISASTER RELIEF

Boats for Tsunami Victims

By Operation Blessing International

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA—CBN’s Operation Blessing International (OBI) and SAP AG, the world leader in enterprise application software, will present six new and four used fishing boats to Japanese fishermen whose livelihoods were ruined in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The six custom-made, new boats were commissioned last December by OBI as part of the Virginia Beach-based organization’s ongoing efforts to help Japanese fishing communities devastated by the disaster. The 23-foot-long boats were built by a Chinese boat-maker in Henan Province, and the project was funded by a generous donation from SAP APJ (Asia Pacific Japan) in Singapore, through SAP Japan’s Tohoku Earthquake Aid and Relief Strategy (TEARS) humanitarian program.

SAP Japan’s CSR TEARS (Tohoku Earthquake Aid and Relief Strategy) team and OBI staff will officially present the new mini-fleet to fishermen in ceremonies on March 10 at the Koshinoura Fishing Harbor, facing the beautiful and picturesque Matsushima Bay (considered to be one of the top three beauty spots in Japan) in Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, the day before the two-year anniversary of the disaster.

Tomitaro Anzai, President of SAP Japan commented, “It is a great pleasure for us that we could be of some help to the recovery efforts in the disaster-hit area through TEARS, our volunteer project. Last year, together with Operation Blessing, we donated some boats to Sanriku coastal area in Miyagi, and this time in addition, we are able to donate the boats to Shiogama city, in Miyagi. We will continue these efforts consistently to support recovery efforts as much as possible.”

“We are so thankful for SAP’s continued generous sponsorship of OBI’s fishing boat program,” said Bill Horan, OBI president. “There remains a tremendous need for fishing boats here because Japanese boat builders are still overwhelmed, two years after the disaster. The delivery of these ten boats will mean a lot to this entire community,” said Horan.

OBI is committed to help multiple fishing communities, as thousands of boats were lost in the tsunami. Following this presentation, OBI will have purchased and provided 20 new boats made in the U.S., 10 new boats made in China and 61 used boats sourced within Japan, since the disaster.

In other projects helping the fishing community, OBI provided laptop computers to the JF Miyagi Fisheries Cooperative, for the fishermen to reach out to the nation via their own website. Since the project’s launch, the cooperative received orders worth several million dollars for seafood that have already been delivered all over Japan. OBI also provided $650,000 worth of seaweed and oyster cultivation equipment to the Urato Islands, which are famous for oysters, including anchors, rope, shells used for cultivating oysters, floats, nets, small trucks, and computers. Due to OBI's swift action, the oystermen were able to harvest in the same year as the tsunami, a timeline that was unthinkable by most in the community. In recognition of this achievement, the Mayor of Shiogama City honored OBI for getting them back on their feet so quickly.

One of the first relief organizations on the ground in Japan, arriving hours after the earthquake struck, OBI has delivered tons of relief supplies and equipment to tens of thousands of survivors through the charity’s Tohoku Operations Center in Tomiya, north of Sendai, Japan.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help by making an online donation toward CBN’s Operation Blessing International’s disaster relief efforts. With your support, we can continue to provide emergency relief and recovery. Please make an on-line donation today.

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