Report from Japan: Through the Eyes of a Tesla Owner

Takao Ozawa, Roadster Owner, March 17, 2011

Takao Ozawa, Japan’s first Roadster owner, is a serial entrepreneur. A board member of Civic Force, a non-profit disaster response organization in Japan, below he reports on his experiences since the the earthquake and Civic Force's efforts to help victims of the disasters. In support of their efforts, Tesla Motors has donated $100,000 to Civic Force. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan.

Today, I’d like to share what I’ve witnessed since Friday’s earthquake and tsunami. And I have a favor to ask you.

Six days have passed since the magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck eastern Japan at 2:46 PM. 550,000 people are being evacuated and 20,000 people are still missing. Thousands of houses were lost. More than 50,000 people in eastern Japan are living in evacuation centers with extremely limited resources. In some areas it is snowing and below freezing.

I am a board member of Civic Force, one of Japan's leading disaster response and relief Non Governmental Organizations. Founded in 2004 after the Niigata Earthquake, Civic Force is an organization that coordinates and manages preparation, information, manpower, funds, and resources to efficiently respond to disasters.

Our organization was one of the first NGOs to dispatch helicopter emergency teams to assess the situation and deliver rescue supplies - we first landed in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture. We flew over areas completely decimated by the tsunami. Based on our initial survey, we identified the most affected and vulnerable areas and started to help.

More images: Picasa.

Given the freezing weather in the damaged area, food, medicine, blankets and shelters are crucial for the victims. The people we’ve met in Kesennuma have kindly shared what little food and water they have with others, even as they deal with the loss of family members. Electricity and gasoline are severely limited, making deliveries of food, water, and supplies difficult, but we’re doing all we can. Since our first flight on the 13th, we’ve flown the 300 miles from Tokyo to Kesennuma many times to bring as much relief as possible.

This time of year, the people of northern Japan should be preparing for April’s amazingly beautiful cherry blossom season. It is an agriculture, forestry and fisheries industry area; many people grow great Japanese rice and distill amazing sake. Much will be required to stabilize and subsequently rebuild the great Japanese nature and culture here.

We will do our best to help as many people as possible both in the initial relief effort and in the long task of rebuilding what so many families have lost.

I now ask for your support. If you would like to help our organization’s efforts, please make a donation. We would be extremely grateful if you could cover the fees of both the sender and the receiver. We sincerely appreciate your support and well wishes.

Thank you,
Takao Ozawa

Follow Ozawa-san on twitter (in Japanese).

Donations via Wire Transfer:
Bank Name:Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Branch Name: Aoyama Branch
Branch Number: 258
Account Number: 6973031(Japanese yen account)
Account Name: Civic Force
Bank Address: 3-8-38 Minami Aoyama, Minatoku, Tokyo 107-0062 Japan
Bank Tel: +81-3-3404-2112
Swift code:SMBCJPJT

Donation via Credit Card:

If you have any questions, please contact Atsuko Doi, head of communications for Tesla Motors Asia Pacific: