As you all know, there was a huge earthquake in north-eastern Japan, with the epicentre very close to the City of Sendai.
On behalf of the entire IAF, I would like to offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Aikikai, the All-Japan Federation, and all our aikido friends in Japan, of whatever affiliation, especially fellow aikidoka in the affected areas.
I have been living in Japan for many years and have experienced many earthquakes, but it is obvious that this one was very serious indeed--with a tsunami tidal wave that allowed no time for anyone to take effective precautiuons.
At present I am in the Netherlands, and the local aikido community here is planning training seminars to aid the victims. I hope the IAF can take some initiative here and offer this kind of help on a wider scale. We are a worldwide federation and ths is a golden opportunity to show that aikido works effectively also off the tatami. It is also an opportunity for the international aikido community to give to the aikiido community in Japan a gesture of thanks for what Japan has given us.
Best wishes and, once again, deepest sympathy.