On April 30th and May 1st, a TOMODACHI-sponsored photo exhibition on the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami was displayed at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). A similar exhibition is scheduled on May 20th and May 21st at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).
These two exhibitions were spear-headed by two energetic young men, Yuta Hayashi and Kaito Okada, who are currently studying at UCR and UCI, respectively. They were actively involved in UT-Aida, a student volunteer group in Japan which sent 2000 volunteers to stricken areas in Tohoku. Four months ago, they came up with the idea of the photo exhibition, and TOMODACHI was proud to fund the two exhibits.
-Informs American students about the disasters of March 11, 2011 and the ongoing reconstruction;
-Shows the gratitude and appreciation felt by the Japanese people for the support provided by the United States in the aftermath;
-Seeks to collect messages from Americans to share with disaster victims demonstrating that Americans continue to support the ongoing relief and recovery efforts.
Many people, including the Mayor of Riverside, came to see the photos. Some were moved to tears, and others wrote long, sincere messages. Volunteers and visitors alike felt the exhibition demonstrated how deep the friendship is between Japan and the United States.