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Things in Japan are still pretty fucked up

Reading mainstream news about Japan, you’d never know there were still hundreds of thousands of people in northern Japan living in shelters with little more than blankets and rations. The quick response to get the most basic necessities has been impressive, but getting these areas back up onto their feet has proven to be a bigger task that’s slowing down as people pay more attention to the nuclear problems in Fukushima than the humanitarian issues across the rest of the north.

Many MMA companies are doing their best to help by holding fundraisers or selling shirts with proceeds going to aid organizations. Others in the scene are taking a more hands on approach:

Four-time K-1 champion Semmy Schilt and his father Gerrit Schilt drove around the hardest-hit area of Japan yesterday, distributing supplies for people affected by the recent earthquakes and subsequent tsunami tidal waves.

Golden Glory, which counts Schilt, Alistair Overeem and others as members, collected goods and supplies to the value of US$120,000 for the kickboxer and former UFC fighter to hand out in the trouble-stricken Saitama Prefecture.

MMA Fighting’s Daniel Herbertson has decided to tag along with Enson Inoue in the hopes that his reporting will highlight the serious problems still going on. You can read his amazing reports here, here, here, and here, plus pictures here. Money quote:

Groups of armed gangs (some reportedly related to Chinese mafia) had been entering the evacuation zones to loot vacant homes and businesses. Kirby had heard stories of rape and murder by these gangs, but as all the police were occupied, they had gone unnoticed and unpunished. None of the large charities had reached the people in need. He had just returned from one village that had received no aid whatsoever and had hundreds of dead bodies stuck in harbor gates. This was not the picture that was painted on TV in Japan. The news in Japan was showing the Fukushima power plant. It was not showing this.

As soon as we were in the car Enson dropped his emotional guard, and I could again see tears well in his eyes as he exclaimed, “Fuck PayPal! If only those motherfuckers could see what we are seeing here! There is no one helping here?! They are stopping me from helping people! Where the fuck is the Red Cross?!”

Hearing stuff like this is pretty upsetting. Everyone on the internet is sharing pretty pictures of Japanese flags modified so they leak or with snappy THINK OF JAPAN slogans, and meanwhile there are areas in the north that are still completely fucked up. There are people there who don’t even have shoes! Where IS the Red Cross? Where’s the media attention for stuff like this? Why are MMA reporters the ones having to raise awareness? Why is more not being done???

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