Sunday, August 07, 2011


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On March 11, 2011 the Northeast coast of Japan, Tohoku, was consumed by the triple disasters of an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. Towns and families were swept out to sea while the earthquake pushed Japan closer to China. The uncontrolled release of radioactivity contaminated the land, water, and air.

Eleven POW camps were once among the towns and villages of the Tohoku region. More if you count those that were formally administered in the Tokyo region but closer to Sendai, the earthquake's epicenter in the Tohoku region. 

Despite the painful memories of abuse and deprivation, many former POWs of Japan empathized with the Japanese who had their lives torn apart by both the natural and man-made triple disasters.

Thus on March 25th, a small delegation of descendants of American POWs of Japan delivered a letter of condolence to Japan's Embassy in Washington, DC. It was signed by the POWs and POW descendants who participated in the first American POW Friendship exchange program in September 2010.

Below is the text of the letter they delivered. HERE are various other messages of sympathy from former POWs and their descendants.

March 25, 2011
His Excellency Ichiro Fujisaki
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan
Embassy of Japan
2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.   20008 

Dear Ambassador Fujisaki:

We watch with a heavy heart the devastation of your nation and your citizens and want you to know that the Japanese people are in our thoughts and prayers.

As members of the first American POW Friendship delegation the sorrow for us is profound. We visited Japan knowing the pain of loss and despair and left with the warmth of friendship and understanding.

We plan to do what we can to aid and comfort our Japanese friends overcome the horrific damage done to their beautiful country. We are bound together by common peril and worry as well as the determination to overcome this crisis.

Please extend our sympathies and condolences to those that lost family members and our hopes go out to those that do not know the fate of theirs.

Most important, we send our heartfelt best wishes to all those involved in helping in the assistance and recovery efforts.
Most sincerely yours,

Dr. and Mrs. Lester Tenney
Last Commander of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor
Carlsbad, California

Ms. Jan Thompson
President, Descendants Group
Makanda, Illinois

Signing as well for:
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph AlexanderSan Antonio, Texas 
Ms. Judy ChorleyPrescott, Arizona
Mr. and Mrs. Edward JackfertTampa, Florida and Wellsburg, West Virginia  
Ms. Nancy KraghLudlow, Washington
Mr. Benjamin RosendahlAustin, Texas
Mr. Robert RosendahlSpringfield, Missouri 
Mr. and Mrs. Earl SzwaboFlorissant, Missouri  
Mr. Donald VersawLakewood, California

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