San Diego’s Japanese-American community trying to reach loved ones

Members of San Diego's Japanese-American community will likely spend another sleepless night trying to reach loved ones and friends in Japan.

As KUSI's Ed Lenderman traveled about San Diego Friday, he heard over and over of the wrenching difficulty of getting through to loved ones and friends back in Japan

At the Marukai Japanese Market, KUSI's Ed Lenderman spoke with Hatsumi Cole. Her mother lives in Tokyo; she said her mother had called leaving a heart-wrenching message screaming earthquake and tsunami.

But Hatsumi's father, brother, grandparents and other family members live in Sendai, the city closest to the epicenter of the magnitude-8.9 earthquake. Hatsumi said she spent the night trying to get thru to her loved ones but was unable to make contact.

At the Japanese-Friendship Garden in Balboa Park, program director Seiko Pinckaers was finally able to get through to family in Yokohama through email, luckily they're safe.

At the San Diego Japanese Buddhist Temple, secretary Mai Kawaguchi says friends in Tokyo were able to contact her family because she couldn't. Mai and many others have turned to social networks to try to make contact.

At the Japanese Society, President David Tuites says because things are so fluid, it's a little too early to talk about locally-organized efforts of support and relief.

“We'll try to put that information together for our friends and members, I doubt we'll be doing a separate relief fund because there are so many larger entities (from the) government, (and) Red Cross, there will be no shortage of people wanting to help, we'll certainly point people in the right direction for that.”

**Needs tag

We should note that the San Diego Japanese Buddhist Temple will hold a special service for the victims and their loved ones Saturday at 7 PM.

Categories: KUSI