Helping and Contacting People in Japan Affected by Earthquake and Tsunami

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Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan who were affected by today's overwhelmingly powerful earthquake and tsunami. We hope that your loved ones and friends in Japan are safe. 

All of us have relationships with the people of Japan.  Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathy go to the families, friends, and coworkers of those who have been directly affected.

We are sharing two kinds of information with you. First is how you can help. Second is how you can contact friends and family in Japan.  
(1) First, how you can help.

The American Red Cross has already set up an online donation site to provide assistance to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. 
Checks should be made out to the "American Red Cross, with "Japan Earthquake" written in the memo line.

Also, Japanese Red Cross Society (日本赤十字社) accepts your donation. Donations will go to the Japanese Red Cross Society and will be used to support to those affected by the earthquake in Japan.

There is the summary information how to donate in Japanese.

Relief Funds: We are awaiting guidance from Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs about disaster relief efforts. We will provide information about how to donate as soon as it becomes available.

(2) Second, how to find out about your friends and family.

People should not to try to use the regular phone lines to find out if your family and friends are safe.  Use Facebook,Twitter, Skype, Mixi, etc. and save the phone lines for someone who really needs it in the Tohoku area.
Google has created the site, "Google Person Finder":    (English)     (Japanese)
If the person you are looking for has a cell phone in Japan, and you know which company his/her cellphone is, you can check each company's website below and type in the phone number to see if he/she has left a message. The available areas are: Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata, and Fukushima prefectures.
For Docomo users
For KDDI (Ezweb) users
For Softbank users
For Wilcom users
For E-mobile users
For Another way to find out

(3) To locate US citizens in Japan
The following are website where you can get more information about safety and status of US citizens living in Japan.

U.S. Department of State Website
Government Website correspondence to Tohoku district-off the Pacific Ocean Earthquake
NTT DoCoMo’s message board service for disaster for iMode
KDDI message board service for disaster
Soft bank Mobile
Message board service for disaster by E- Mobile
NTT East Japan (Japanese only)

For JET Participants:   If you need a specific JET participant's information, please contact Japan Local Government Center, New York Office.

Other Helpful Links

Watch NHK
Real-time broadcast of Japanese news program.  In 18 languages

Google Crisis Response
Google has created a Crisis Response page, providing valuable information about the donations, including maps, latest news, and links to other organizations.  In Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean