With the anniversary of 3/11 fast approaching, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) announced the launch of its Tohoku Partnership Committee, dedicated to supporting the revitalization of the disaster-hit region of Northeastern Japan.

Chaired by CCCJ Member Christian Howes, the Tohoku Partnership Committee operates as a sub-committee of the CCCJ’s Social and Economic Policy Committee.

The new Committee focuses on long term initiatives to revitalize the disaster-hit region, encompassing fundraising, business partnerships and cooperative initiatives with the people of the Tohoku region.

“One year on, the Tohoku region is now beyond the charitable works of the emergency phase and into one where we all can best serve by offering our hand in friendship and business,” said Wilf Wakely, CCCJ President.

Initially, the CCCJ Tohoku Partnership Committee is focused on supporting initiatives led by the following three organizations:

Afan Woodland Trust

Headed by renowned environmentalist and conservationist C.W. Nicol, supports sustainability and the promotion of the value of natural environments among young people. Currently, the Foundation provides its expertise in local redevelopment projects in Higashi Matsushima.

More info on Afan Woodland Trust: www.afan.or.jp

Ganbatte 365

Utilizes social and digital media to raise awareness of the continuing needs of the disaster hit region and the progress with revitalization, while compiling and sharing with those hardest hit in Japan messages of support from around the world.

More info on Gambatte 365: www.ganbatte365.jp


Is a group of international volunteers supporting the clean up and rebuilding of Ishinomaki, in Miyagi prefecture.

More info on Team NADIA: www.team-nadia.org

The CCCJ Tohoku Partnership Committee was first outlined to the CCCJ community at the largest gathering ever hosted by the Chamber, the CCCJ’s Maple Leaf Tohoku-Support Gala.

Held 17 February 2012 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo, the event attracted more than 350 guests and volunteers from across the international community.

Underlining the cooperative nature of the commitment, the Gala included participation by distinguished guests including H.I.H. Princess Takamado, Canadian Ambassador to Japan H.E. Mr. Jonathan T. Fried, Deputy Commander, United States Forces Japan, Brigadier General William B. Crowe of Operation Tomodachi, Chairman of the CCCJ Honorary Board of Advisors and former Ambassador to Canada Sadaaki Numata, and significant members of the Tohoku business community.

“This new committee represents a multi-year commitment to offer funding, and brains and brawn, to the people of Tohoku – drawing upon the constituents of our CCCJ, and our friends across the business community in Japan,” Wakely said.

“We welcome any current or prospective member to volunteer to take part in this or any of our committees.–Enthusiasm is the only prerequisite.”

Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan Official site: www.cccj.or.jp