Eleven years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake hit northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011. We bring you a two-part series on foreign residents in Japan who continue providing support to the affected areas. The second episode features two Americans in Iwate Prefecture, who believe the lessons learned from the disaster must not be forgotten. (This program was broadcast on May 11, 2022.)
Jesse Gutman (right) and Patrick Francisco (left). While people refrain from visiting the region affected by the disaster because of the pandemic, they have been organizing live streaming events for charity.
As the region marked the tenth year since the disaster in March 2021, Jesse and Patrick spent more than five hours to show the reconstruction process of the area.
Okamoto Shoma is the leader of the NPO, "Sakura Line 311," which has collaborated with Jesse and Patrick. The NPO has been planting cherry trees along the line where the tsunami reached in the 2011 disaster.