Author: Mickey


APRICOT Project Outline in 2017

Six years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and the majority of the affected people have moved out of the temporary houses. As they rebuild their lives, however, new issues are emerging that are different from those in the post-emergency era. The implementing organizations are adapting their strategies, as a result, to respond to these emerging issues. APRICOT continues to support the affected children and their families through the following two organizations in 2017.

  1. NPO Heartful Family Care Association (ハートフルハート未来を育む会) in Fukushima

Despite the end of funding from Unicef, the association continues its flagship activities (Child-Parent Play and Parent Meeting) with the subsidies from the municipalities. Based on the clinical observations gained during the previous years, the association wishes to add a new focus on developmental disorders and Reactive Attachment Disorder among children. Underlying the increase of the children’s behavioral issues are their parents who are still under immense stress. The association, therefore, will continue supporting the family as a whole. The lack of child psychologists and psychiatrists in the region is making it very difficult to have accurate clinical assessments of children’s behaviors. Sometimes developmental disorders are misdiagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and vice versa. As early detection and accurate assessment are critical for an effective intervention, the association proposes to organize a training on developmental disorders and reactive attachment disorder for the public health nurses and the nursery teachers who intervene with children daily.  

Budget:  840,000 yen

  1. Team “Operation Rose” (チーム「バラ作戦」) in Iwate

The name of this group comes from the distribution of roses in Tanohata village in the aftermath of the disaster. The group members accompanied the public health nurses to visit the affected people to check on their well-being. The group has since expanded its activities to include the suicide prevention in the village. Every summer, the group cooperates with the public health nurses to host the “Health Festival,” where the group carries out mental health checks. As children express the signs of stress differently from adults, student members of the group organize a separate event for them. The original candle making, for example, which applies the techniques of play therapy, allows children to express their inner world in a small glass jar using marbles and shells. These activities are very well received, and the group wishes to carry them out again this summer.  Although the members provide the service on a voluntary basis, the group still faces difficulty securing the funds as the cost of transportation to this remote village is very high.

Budget: 500,000 yen
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“Wanted: writers who give a damn about Tohoku and…

“Wanted: writers who give a damn about Tohoku”.

Wanted!: Professional writers, journalists, television broadcasters and reporters, social media pundits, bloggers, podcasters, good hearted people who care enough to write a feature on APRICOT NPO and the support in donations we make to mental health care NPO’s in Fukushima Prefecture and along Coastal Tohoku. For thousands of children, the crisis and trauma isn’t over and they need our help in the here and now to provide them with hope and inspiration for good futures.

Six years is long enough to have turned our collective backs on the children, parents and families while we who were here then got through our fears and loss of a feeling of control in life and had to move on with our families and friends. For those who were not here please don’t buy into the idea that the East Japan (Tohoku) traumatic effects and traumatic environments are a thing of the past. It’s far from the truth that the Tohoku region and the suffering of the children and people there over; it is still present and they are still ‘In Trauma’ in many cases.

So please consider adding the power of your pen (keyboard) and show the compassion and action to provide much needed care and love. You can reach contact me through the email on the top right hand of the main page of APRICOT NPO’s website:

APRICOT NPO for the sake and care of the children of Tohoku.

Thank you,



The First Supper

Here at Tokyo Task Force, we are bringing you some very exciting news. We want to announce a whole new opportunity to network, meet other Tokyo Task Force members and, most importantly, eat supper.  We are hosting our ‘First Supper’ event on Thursday 22nd of June. Starting at 5pm, this four-hour event will be a great opportunity to meet people just like you. Share ideas, make new friends and gain the power to make a difference to so many people’s lives.  This supper will be a huge milestone for our activity in Tokyo ahead of the 2020 Olympics and we want to share this with all of you. You are all welcome to this event. The supper costs just 1,500¥ and the entry to the club is 500¥, therefore; this wonderful experience will only cost 2000¥ per head. Please make sure to RSVP, as there are, of course, a limited amount of seats. To do so, please go to our Facebook event ( or contact Carl Williams (


The address of the event is:

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan
Yurakucho Denki North Building 20F
Yurakucho 1-7-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0006

Tel: +81-3-3211-3161; Fax: +81-3-3211-3168


The Foreign Correspondents Club is right in the heart of Tokyo, located on the 20th floor of the Yurakucho Denki North Building, allowing you to experience beautiful views of the city whilst you network with wonderful people.

Parking is available in the basement of the building. You can benefit from a 50% discount on parking prices if you get your parking stub stamped at reception.

If you are commuting by train:
Hibiya Station – Hibiya, Chiyoda and Mita Lines, A3 exit.
Yurakucho Station – Yurakucho line, D2 exit.
JR Yurakucho Station – Yamanote and Keihin Tohoku Lines, Hibiya exit.

Ginza, Uchisaiwaicho, Tokyo and Otemachi stations are all within walking distance. The A3 exit at Hibya station ends in the basement of the club! Head toward the elevator bank for the North Building. Finally, use the elevator to reach the 20th floor – or if you’re feeling particularly brave, feel free to take the stairs!

Well, after that information overload, there is one last piece of exciting news to share with you all.

There are currently opportunities to advertise your own business on our website within the next month! Unfortunately, we can’t go into too much detail with this just yet but if you are interested in this bitesize proposition, please don’t hesitate to contact Johnny Pawlik ( more information.




Yokota Air Base

Western Tokyo is home to the Yokota Air Base, a United States air force which has resided there since 1940.  This was first used as an air base for the Japanese Imperial Army but was requisitioned by the U.S Forces in 1945. During World War II, the Yokota Air Base was the centre of the Japanese army air forces’ flight tests and activities. It also became the first meeting site between Italian and Japanese allies. It now serves as the host base for the headquarters of United States Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force.

The Yokota Air Base say their mission is to ‘generate a professional, resilient, combat-ready force and swiftly project airpower throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region […] to defend [their] nation, support [their] partners and promote a free and stable world’.  Their priorities are to care for Airmen and their families and to demand a culture full of dignity and respect. They want to protect and sustain the airpower every day. The air base also wants to build partnerships throughout their region and strengthen the relationship with their current home – Japan.

This is where Tokyo Task Force comes in.

One of Tokyo Task Force’ missions is to build bridges between communities, including between the Yokota Air Base and those in and around Tokyo. The people living on the air base are American, English-speaking citizens and they may feel like they are not part of the Japanese community. These people are far from home and are in a place that will be different and foreign to them. The idea of going out to socialise or meet people from another country may make them feel uncomfortable as they may not know much of their language or culture. Tokyo Task Force believes that sport is a brilliant solution to this problem.

Sport is like a universal language. People recognise the symbol for ‘toilet’ as being an image of a stick man or stick woman. People all around the world understand a man running through a door as being a fire exit. In the same way, sports games can be understood by people around the world, as the rules don’t change. People in the United Kingdom understand baseball, as do people in the U.S or Japan. People in France understand football (or soccer) and as do people in Spain. Tokyo Task Force offers a number of sports choices for people to get involved with, including American Football and baseball, which are popular in Japan and America, so the Yokota Air Base residents may feel quite at home whilst sparking the interest of many local native people. Sport is understood by so many people and it’s the perfect way to form relaxed, friendly relationships between people from different parts of the world. This is a perfect ideology for the residents of the Yokota Air Base as it will help them to feel more relaxed within their new community and help them to build friendships with those around them, as well as allowing them to fully immerse themselves into the new world around them.

Tokyo Task Force is empowering these people to unify with the Japanese community, it has given them a voice and an overall happier life. It well help them to feel good about themselves and gain more self-confidence. It’s truly an ingenious idea that will change the lives of so many people. It may even go deeper and lead to the Yokota Air force residents feeling confident enough to learn the Japanese language or fully immerse themselves in the Japanese culture if they make friends within the community and do things other than sport. It will also aid Japanese people further with their English studies and allow the two nations to help each other in harmony.


Disaster Recovery | Part and Parcel of the Tokyo…

On March 11th, 2011, Japan bore witness to a terrible earthquake on the Northeast of the country, registering a magnitude of 9 on the Richter scale. This earthquake was so powerful, it could be felt over 7,000 miles away. This also caused a viscous tsunami bearing 30-foot waves which caused severe damage to several nuclear reactors within the vicinity. The tsunami claimed almost 20,000 deaths caused by both the initial earthquake and tsunami and also by health conditions induced by the disaster. 2,500 other people were also injured during the event. Four years later, approximately 230,000 people who were left homeless were still living in temporary accommodation.

Around this time in 2011, Japan was in possession of 54 nuclear reactors, with two still being constructed, and a further 17 power plants. On the day of the earthquake, the Japanese government declared a state of emergency for a nuclear power plant located near Sendai. Over 60,000 people in this area were ordered to evacuate their homes. The night that followed saw a 6.2 magnitude aftershock in the Nagano and Niigata area, causing even more severe damage to the lives of those in Japan. Another aftershock presented itself on the West coast of Honshu in the early hours of the following morning. Later that day, another emergency was declared at Fukushima. A power plant located there had no electrical power and no back up generators as the tsunami had disabled everything. Over 6,000,000 homes were without electricity and water due to this and 9,500 people were declared missing.

This tsunami has caused unimaginable horrors to the people of Japan. It’s the largest earthquake Japan has ever seen. It’s claimed to have been so powerful, it moved Honshu (Japan’s main island) by 8 feet and even shifted the whole planet on its axis. On February 2, 2017, atmospheric readings were reported from a nuclear reactor, in Japan, as high as 530 sieverts per hour. Worryingly, this is the highest it’s been since the 2011 disaster although; thankfully, it has been also reported to be slowly declining. Who can say how long this will be the case for? We have to be prepared for another disaster and ensure the Japanese people are not alone.

This is why we want to help. What happened on that day in 2011 to thousands of people, just like you and me, has made us want to make a difference. We want to help. This disaster is still affecting the people of Japan today and there could even be more disasters like this in the future. We can’t just stand by, read about it, see it on the news and do nothing. We want to offer support to those in need in Japan and let them know that they are not alone.

From adversity comes strength. The events in 2011 have made us, from all regions of the world, unite with Japan. We believe that together, we can make a difference. Here at Tokyo Task Force, we aim to create and support causes to make a real difference. We want to generate positive action for those suffering in Japan and massively improve their lives.  We are a family of volunteers fighting for the safety of those living in fear.

Active disaster recovery coordinator, Carl Williams, is the main man. He is one of the creators of the Tokyo Task Force and coalesced our family. Williams has been supplying those in need with a range of support services to aid the recovery of those in Japan whilst there working as a disaster coordinator. He was the representative of Direct Relief International, which is the largest nonprofit charitable medicines organisation in the USA. This was ranked as one of America’s top 100 charities by Worth Magazine during his time there and won the Peter F. Drucker Foundation’s award for Nonprofit Innovation. Carl William’s has directed the formation of over 250 relief programs in Japan that were affected by the 2011 earthquake whilst having received and managed millions of dollars in donations to the cause.


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