Memphis Leaders Urge Support for Japan Relief Efforts

Release date: 3/21/2011

Japanese Traders and Manufacturers Association, Greater Memphis Chamber and Memphis, Shelby County Mayors Encourage Local Donations to “Tennessee Tomodachi Fund”

Memphis, TN - In response to the unprecedented, widespread and deadly natural disasters which have devastated Japan’s communities, paralyzed and decimated its critical infrastructure and left hundreds of thousands homeless, the Japan-America Society of Tennessee (JAST) has established the "Tennessee Tomodachi Fund" for Earthquake and Tsunami Relief. Donations are being accepted and are tax deductible to the extent that federal law allows.

In partnership with the Japanese Traders and Manufacturer Association of Memphis and the Greater Memphis Chamber, donations to the fund are now being accepted at all branches of First Tennessee Bank. Contributions will be directed in full, without bank processing fees, to the Tennessee Tomodachi Fund.

100% of donations received will be directed in a timely manner by JAST to relief efforts implemented by recognized and reputable Japanese relief organizations engaged in the affected areas now and during the process of recovery ahead.

Japanese Traders and Manufacturers Association of Memphis urges its members to join us in support of this relief drive and encourages other organizations as well,” said Kunio Kamimura, president of the Japanese Traders and Manufacturer Association of Memphis and Sharp Manufacturing in Memphis. “My deepest condolences go to the Japanese people and families who have been affected by the earthquake, which struck Northeast Japan and impacted the world. The extent of the damage has already reached beyond our imagination.”

“As the tragedy in Japan continues to unfold, we at the Greater Memphis Chamber encourage other Memphis organizations to join us in support of the relief efforts in every way they can,” said John Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber.

“The thoughts and prayers of all Memphians are with the people of Japan during this crisis,” said Memphis Mayor A C  Wharton, Jr. “My thanks to Kanzi Takayama, Goh America, and the Greater Memphis Chamber for organizing this relief effort. The Memphis community prides itself on being a city of compassion and generosity towards those in need, and in that spirit, I encourage everyone in Memphis to take a moment and lend their support to this very worthy cause.”

“We in Shelby County have many ties to businesses and industries in Japan. It is vital we lend our support at this critical time. I appreciate the efforts of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce for helping coordinate this relief initiative,” said Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr.

Established in 2000 to promote friendly relations and cultural understanding between the people of the state of Tennessee and Japan, The Japan-America Society of Tennessee, Inc. (JAST) is a non-profit, 501(c) 3 corporation, funded by individual and corporate membership fees. In 2008, JAST established the West Tennessee Regional Activity Center at the University of Memphis through a generous three-year grant from The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

JAST welcomes additional corporate partners and collaborating organizations to support The Tennessee Tomodachi Fund and thanks the many individuals in West Tennessee and across the state who have already made donations securely via the PayPal link at www.jastn.com.


Established in 2000 to promote friendly relations and cultural understanding between the people of the state of Tennessee and Japan, The Japan-America Society of Tennessee, Inc. (JAST) is a non-profit, 501(c) 3 corporation, funded by individual and corporate membership fees. In 2008, JAST established the West Tennessee Regional Activity Center at the University of Memphis through a generous three-year grant from The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

The Greater Memphis Chamber is the lead economic development agency for Memphis/Shelby County, and is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of 2,300 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals.