Tens of thousands of people were badly affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011 and the meltdowns of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant that followed. Immediately after the disaster, Catholics and other people concerned visited the disaster areas to provide their support. The Catholic Tokyo Volunteer Center (CTVC) was thus set up to facilitate the continual sending of volunteers to affected areas.
CTVC started its activities mainly in Southern Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures in the summer of 2011. In a sense, the entire region of Fukushima Prefecture can be said to be devastated, and Catholics in various areas in the Prefecture had, on their own initiative, started activities to support victims in their own neighborhoods.
Naturally, we came upon many non-Catholics engaged in activities to support reconstruction, and have worked in collaboration with these people as well. We think it necessary to continue our activities long into the future, particularly in radiation-stricken Fukushima.
The backdrop for our activities is the Catholic Church and our Christian faith. However, it is not for the purpose of spreading our religion that we undertake these activities. Jesus Christ calls God – “Abba”, the Father of all people; and taught us that we are all brothers and sisters. As followers of Christ, we will continue to remain close to our distressed brothers and sisters and continue to journey with them.
Catholic Tokyo Volunteer Center
Bishop James Kazuo Koda