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Chura-bana Group jumps in to help earthquake refugees

Date Posted: 2011-04-21

Okinawans continue to open their homes and hotels, as well as their hearts, to victims of the March 11th Great Tohoku Earthquake & Tsunami that struck Japan’s east coast.

An estimated 1,000 earthquake survivors-turned-refugees until they can get the debris cleared and housing built in their devastated communities are calling Okinawa their home. The Chura-bana Group, which runs a half-dozen companies including Churabana Hotel Miyahira, has opened its doors to refugees, offering five rooms a day for free. The hotel began accepting displaced mainland Japan residents in March, and will continue doing so for three months.

The chain’s been contributing portions of its meal revenues at Restaurants Toreador, and Hirugi to the earthquake disaster relief funds. Collection boxes have been set up at Chura-Bana Group member companies. Shin Ikema, chairman of the Chura-bana Group, says “we want to repay the kindness begun when we had a lot of customers from Tohoku and the Kanto” areas.

Okinawa Prefecture says some 800 people are taking advantage of Okinawan friendship with placement in hotels and private homes. Authorities say 188,000 people from the disaster zone are homeless and living in 2,400 shelters in 18 prefectures while more adequate temporary housing is arranged.

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