Tea Time at Japan Society



March 2021
Part of Tea Time at Japan Society & Ten Years Later: Japan Society Remembers 3.11

Remembering 3.11: Series Introduction by Japan Society President and CEO
Japan Society President and CEO Joshua W. Walker, Ph.D., introduces the third season of our Tea Time video series including six episodes created for the 10th anniversary of 3.11, Japan's triple disaster on March 11, 2011. He also discusses the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund established by Japan Society the day after 3.11. Additionally, please view our interview with the former President of Japan Society, Ambassador Motoatsu Sakurai, who led the creation of the fund.

Japan Society's Tea Time Season #3 features reflections on the Great East Earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that struck Japan 10 years ago on March 11, 2011. Tea Time Season #3 is proudly supported by Tokio Marine Group and ITO EN (North America) INC.

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List of Episodes

Tea Time: Ambassador John Roos and Suzanne Basalla Remembering 3.11 with Ambassador John Roos and Suzanne Basalla

Ambassador John V. Roos and his Senior Advisor, Suzanne Basalla, were at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo when the earthquake hit on 3.11. A crisis was declared, and within 24 hours, the U.S. had deployed military troops and assets to the affected areas, providing humanitarian and technical support in coordination with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. American experts and scientists arrived to help Japan with the nuclear crisis. "Our Embassy grew by 150," Ambassador Roos said. "But it was deeper than that—these were human beings who cared deeply about a country of friends, an ally in crisis."

Video & About the Speakers →
Tea Time: General Ryoichi Oriki (ret.) Remembering 3.11 with General Ryoichi Oriki (ret.)

General Ryoichi Oriki, JSDF (ret.) experienced 3.11 as Chief of Staff, Joint Staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF). He led JSDF’s heroic response to the disaster, and witnessed the strength the U.S.-Japan alliance. “You can see the respect and appreciation in their eyes,” he recalls the reactions of the elderly and children in Tohoku towards U.S. military personnel helping the region.

Video & About the Speaker →
Tea Time: Megumi Ishimoto Remembering 3.11 with Megumi Ishimoto

"I could no longer go back to the normal life I used to have in Tokyo"—3.11 changed Megumi Ishimoto’s life. That fateful day, Megumi Ishimoto was working at a financial company in Tokyo. After watching news reports of the devastation in Tohoku, she left Tokyo in April 2011 to go to a volunteer center in Ishinomaki, a town in Miyagi Prefecture, where she worked removing dirt and rubble from damaged houses

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Tea Time: Professor Hitoshi Abe Remembering 3.11 with Professor Hitoshi Abe

Professor Hitoshi Abe, Chair of UCLA Architecture and Urban Design from 2007-17 and originally from Sendai in Japan, was at his home in Los Angeles on 3.11. Three days later, he was finally able to reach his brother to confirm that his family was safe. "You can't just stay still—you have to do something. You are away from your home, you are not there, but you still feel pain…For the first couple of weeks, I couldn't really do much until I started to participate in Archi+Aid."

Video & About the Speaker →
Tea Time: Kikka Hanazawa Remembering 3.11 with Kikka Hanazawa

As fashion industry entrepreneur Kikka Hanazawa watched the devastating 3.11 disasters on the news with colleagues in her New York office, she thought about what they could do to help. During a disaster, needs for medication, food and shelter are paramount, and donated clothing often ends up in landfill. So, for the first time outside their own professional organization, leaders in the fashion industry took action….

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Tea Time: Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi Remembering 3.11 with Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi

Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi, Consul General of Japan in New York, was at the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office as Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister at the time of the 3.11 triple disaster. He will never forget the support from the United States, starting with the telephone conversation that same evening between the Prime Minister and President Barack Obama. Operation Tomodachi—"Operation Friend"—is testimony to the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance, not only in terms of the government and military forces, but also the friendship and support of the people including New Yorkers.

Video & About the Speaker →
Japan Society’s Tea Time Season #3 is proudly supported by Tokio Marine Group and ITO EN (North America) INC.

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