Japanese expats fear for family and friends

A file picture of Japanese tourists in Abu Dhabi. Over 3,000 Japanese citizens live in the UAE. (EB FILE)

Japanese living in the UAE say they are yet to get across to relatives in earthquake and tsunami affected areas. With entire villages in parts of Japan's northern Pacific coast having vanished under the killer floods, there has been no news from the world back home and the more than 3,000 Japanese citizens living in the UAE say they are helplessly waiting for some sort of information to trickle down.

According to Naoko Kishida, Director and Founder of UAE-Japan Cultural Centre, all they will have to do is wait for the situation to improve. “Many of us from within the community have been trying to get hold of friends and relatives living in the affected areas but there has been no luck so far. All communication lines are cut off and several communities have been wiped off and become inaccessible. Some of them tried calling friends living within the country and living in safer areas to try and get some additional information but without any success,” said Kishida.



Japan on Saturday began a massive nationwide mobilisation of rescue activities to try and rescue survivors and open supply lines for the distribution of food and drinking water.

“Our own effort for rehabilitation is yet to take shape. Tomorrow being the first working day of the week here, we are expecting some sort of meetings and decisions to be taken. We, as an organization, will wait for the embassy and the consulate to announce the details of collecting rehabilitation from the UAE,” she added.

According to reports estimates of the death toll is said to reach over two thousand with rescuers still to reach the worst hit areas.


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