You might have seen the featured article on Japan Times Online, with the above photo by Kyodo News.
Iwate is one of the MIFI prefectures that were the hardest hit in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. (MIFI is Miyagi, Iwate, Fukushima, and Ibaraki. I suspect that this is pronounced “Miffy”.)
I am critical of the way the Japanese government does so little to assure the rights of everyday Americans in Japan, but I support whole-heartedly America’s humanitarian efforts in the MIFI prefectures. This is an area that is only slightly urbanized and mostly rural, to the northeast of the Tokyo megalopolis. Having Ambassador Roos out there puts the U.S. in the news and it also puts the developing situation of the local Japanese in the news, too.
For sure, no one is forgetting about March 11 yet–even if it looks like the Japanese government has gone back to cross-party bickering. But any bit of press that reminds people who can help the situation there, that there are many people who could use a hand, is a help.
Good for the Embassy to show that it can handle both the negotiation portfolio and the humanitarian one. Probably the first picture you’ve seen with John Roos doing the “V” (or “peace sign”) pose for the camera. (Or V as the ambassador’s middle initial, as well, I suppose.)
Let’s hope that here the V will be victory over what nature wrought in that area.