TOKYO -- A group of Brazilian citizens living in Japan launched efforts to help victims of what Japanese media are calling the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Thirty representatives from 60 Brazilian organizations formed Brazil Solidarity in an effort to coordinate aid distribution, rubble removal and support services for hundreds of thousands of victims in the region of northeast Japan affected by the quake.
Carlos Shinoda, 55, a Catholic and head of a school for Brazilians in Nagoya, Japan, is the leader of the new organization. He also is president of the Council of Representatives of Brazilians Abroad living in Japan.
Brazil Solidarity first met in late March with the help of Marcos Bezerra Abbott Galvao, Brazil's ambassador to Japan, and Brazilian business owners, Shinoda said.
"We decided to purchase relief materials and bring them to disaster areas, an effort financed by Brazilian companies through the embassy of Brazil," Shinoda explained. "At present, our intention is to deliver 450 bicycles to Sendai. Joined by Ambassador Galvao, we also plan to offer our service as volunteers there."