Aid For Japan recognised by Prime Minister

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Aid For Japan founder Akemi Solloway Tanaka has been recognised for her work with the charity by the Prime Minister as part of the Points Of Light campaign.

Points of Light are outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community. Every week day the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the Daily Point of Light award.

In a personal letter to Akemi, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Through ‘Aid for Japan’ you are helping children who suffered the devastating loss of parents and loved ones in the Tohoku earthquake to rebuild their lives. Thanks to your tireless fundraising efforts, the charity’s residential programmes are ensuring that these young people can regain their confidence and reach their potential.”

First established by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, over 6,000 US Points of Light have been recognised in the USA. UK Points of Light was developed in partnership with the US programme and launched in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street in April 2014.

Since then hundreds of people have been named Points of Light by the Prime Minister, highlighting an enormous array of innovative and inspirational volunteering across the length and breadth of Britain.

Orphan’s Christmas Presents 2018

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In the wake of the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, hundreds of children also lost their parents and families.

Aid For Japan was founded by Akemi Solloway to support the orphans of this tragedy. In the short-term, the charity lends help to these children by supporting them and their carers as they rebuild their lives.

Every year, Aid For Japan arranges for Christmas presents to be sent out to Japan for the orphans of the Tsunami.This tradition continues in 2018. These gifts would not be possible without the kind support of the people who donate to the charity.

If you would like to help the children in Japan, then please follow this link to donate:

Thank you for supporting Aid For Japan.

Doki Doki Report

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On the 10th of November 2018 (Saturday) the annual Doki Doki (“heartbeat”) Japanese Anime festival ( was held in Manchester at the Sudgen Sports Centre.

The day-long festival included demonstrations of martial arts, kimono, dancing and folk music and a large selection of anime related merchandise was on sale. Many of the attendees enjoyed dressing as their favourite anime characters (“cosplay”) creating a colourful and interesting atmosphere. Akemi sat on a panel of Japanese experts taking questions on Japanese culture old and new from the audience. Akemi also gave a lecture on Japanese etiquette.

Meanwhile, charity assistants raised funds by writing people’s names in Japanese Kanji. As in previous years the event was well attended and the organisers of the event contributed £1,000 to Aid for Japan, so once again our thanks go to the Doki Doki team, and Andrew Gaskell in particular for their hard work and generosity.

Maria’s Autumn Visit 2018

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Part of Aid For Japan’s mission is to reach out to some of the orphans from the tragic events of 2011. While the charity aims to connect with these children through the annual summer residential courses, it’s also beneficial for the orphans to visit the UK when the charity can arrange it.

For children that have lost their parents, this is an important step that not only broadens their view of the world but also reminds them that the world remembers them.

In July, Maria was one of the orphans who made the journey from Japan. Maria is one of the children that Aid For Japan has supported since the early days of the charity (as seen in this special TV coverage).

In the first week of her stay, Maria was treated to a professional massage, enjoyed shopping at the Ichiba Japanese Food Hall (part of the Westfield Shopping Centre) and enjoyed a range of tasty evening meals. The culinary delights included yakitori, sushi and also saw Maria helping to cook Italian seafood.

Of course part of any visit to the UK involves visiting popular tourist destinations. As a result, Maria took in a visit to the intriguing London Dungeon, a ride on the London Eye, seeing the fascinating sea-life at the London Aquarium and an educational visit to the Victoria & Albert museum.

But it wasn’t just UK activities for this visit. Maria was also taken on a trip to Paris where she enjoyed a trip to the Eiffel Tower, souvenir shopping at Galleries Lafayette and enjoying crepes for lunch. This French visit was helped by one of Akemi’s Japanese Paris-based language students who kindly acted as a tour guide. As a result, Maria was given an expert sightseeing tour of the Tuileries Gardens, Palais Royal, Notre Dame, Latin Quarter and Jardin du Luxembourg.

Maria’s UK visit was rounded out by a special visit to the Harry Potter studio tour – a magical end to this Japanese teenager’s brief holiday.

Maria, like so many of the orphans of the 2011 earthquake/tsunami, is faced with the memories of that tragic event on a daily basis. Having the opportunity to enjoy a few days in a different environment, which brings them happier memories, is an important step in the road to recovery.

Aid For Japan extends its gratitude to all those that have helped with activities this summer, including the host families and Akemi’s language students.

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