Hello everyone,

I understand that Risa has been spending a lot of time drawing and painting. Yesterday, Ayako sent us a picture she did of Charlie and I have put it as the ‘featured’ image on this post. We have not been able to make contact with Alex’s family so far, but we are still attempting to do so. Ayako and her daughter have also said that they would love to come to New Zealand, and we are in the process of buying them tickets to do so. Unfortunately, there are a lot of health checks that they will need to go through first, and the wait could potentially be quite long. As a mother and a daughter, they are considered high priority, but not as high as the foreigners trying to leave with the support of their embassies. We don’t know how long it will all take yet, so it’s impossible to book the flights just yet. We would prefer they did not spend too much time in the camps there.

On this side, the New Zealand government has been relatively cooperative, and have agreed to give them a family visa, due to their relationship with our son. I am sure that this is not something they strictly have to do and is only the result of someone’s random kindness somewhere down the line. It is reassuring to know that even though New Zealand has not always had the biggest refugee quota, the kind and open morality that this country was built on has not been overwhelmed by the neoliberal agenda many other countries have succumbed to. On the other side of the ditch, refugees to seem to be having a much harder time, as Australia continues to insist on housing people in what can only be described as concentration camps.

Since the travel ban was lifted and access to various websites started to come through, we have been able to get a greater idea of the overall situation in Japan. It’s still difficult to see everything with 100% clarity, but the access to media does make a huge difference. The current theme seems to be that horrible things happened, so we should try to forget about it and move on. I can understand the government’s position, but we have a lot of unanswered questions and I believe we and the people in Japan have a right to know. We have been in regular contact with the Japanese embassy in Wellington, and although they have been in the dark for most of this, they were able to inform me that New Zealand troops are now in Japan to assist with the rebuild, and they have been given permission by the government to begin issuing visas for Japan. The international effort to help rebuild Japan is truly impressive. It seems like everyone has mobilized, and there has been a lot of generosity in terms of donations and volunteering. I am going to continue to sporadically update this blog until I begin to feel uncomfortable doing so.  I know that there are people all of the world who are interested in how things in Japan are playing out. For now, I will post a couple of articles that I found to be an informative, if not slightly conflicting.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and for your continued support. My wife and I appreciate it greatly.

Kind regards,

Gordon

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