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Still hopeful of locating friends Print E-mail

GEORGE TOWN: A Japanese businessman based in Penang is still hopeful that he will be able to locate his friends living in two areas which were badly hit by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Tropical Resort Lifestyle Sdn Bhd (MM2H) managing director Ishihara Shotaro, 52, said he had only been able to contact a close friend so far but could not reach the rest of his friends living in the Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures.

He, however, believed that the others were safe although he was unable to get through to their phones and they did not reply his e-mails.

Optimistic: Shotaro reading about the current situation in Japan. He believes that sooner or later, his friends in Japan will be located.

Shotaro, from Tokyo, believed that some of them were isolated in their houses or trapped in buildings while communications were cut off.

“We know that the roads there are badly damaged from the quake and tsunami. Sooner or later, we can locate them,” he said at his office here yesterday.

He said he managed to get through by phone to a friend who lives near the sea in Sendai in the Miyagi prefecture on Monday after seeing his name on the survivors’ list.

“He told me his house and office were totally destroyed and his wife almost drowned when the tsunami hit,” said Shotaro, who has been living in Penang for the last 20 years.

He said he would continue to check the survivors’ list for the names of his friends.

Shotaro, who is a Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) agent, said there were about 2,300 Japanese residing in Penang.

“This is a very emotional and desperate time for Japanese to try to locate their family or friends,” he said.

Meanwhile, two Japanese restaurant owners here said they were concerned about a possible increase in the prices of food imported from Japan.

“So far, the situation is all right but we worry the prices would go up,” said one of them.

A check with the Consulate-General of Japan in Penang revealed that many people had called up to enquire about making donations.

“At the moment, we don’t have a specific channel to receive donations. Those who wish to help can contact the Malaysian Red Crescent Society for details,” said a consulate official.

The society’s Penang branch is located at 26, Jalan Grove in Air Itam (Tel: 04-8275678).

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/3/16/nation/8279186&sec=nation



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