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3-11 and 9-11 Survivor Stories

The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: Five Years Later

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Participants in exchanges between survivors of the 9/11 terror attacks and the 3/11 Great Japan Earthquake and Tsunami share their stories at Asia Society in New York on March 8, 2016. (1 hr., 21 min.)

Program from 6:30 PM
Reception from 8 PM

The Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011 and the ensuing tsunami and nuclear accident created almost unfathomable challenges and trauma for residents of Northern Japan. Five years later, this special Asia Society event will showcase the powerful stories of an outreach program that has joined the survivors, first responders and families of victims from the so-called “3-11” disaster with their counterparts who suffered their own traumas a decade earlier, after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Beginning in 2012, members of the 9/11 Tribute Center, traveled to Japan on missions of compassion and community outreach to share their own experiences of tragedy, loss, recovery and resilience. For four years, these family members, survivors and first responders of the two disasters have traveled back and forth between Japan and the U.S., in an exchange that has yielded profound, life-changing results.  Although the two catastrophes had different causes and impact, the more general issues of coping with large-scale disaster and its repercussions are universal. Asia Society is proud to present “3-11 and 9-11: Survivor Stories” featuring representatives from both communities, a short documentary film, and a conversation about the power of human connection and healing.


Keizo Hara, MD, is a local psychiatrist who established Kara-Koro (Mind and Body) Clinic in Ishinomaki, where the Tsunami reached 33 feet high and killed more than 3,000 people on 3/11/2011.

Toshiko Hasegawa, a member of Tokyo Fire Department and a friend of FDNY for 20 years.  She is dedicated to helping 9.11 to 3.11 mission of compassion throughout North East Japan. 

Ann Van Hine,who spent her most of professional career teaching children lost her husband on 9/11, Bruce Van Hine, a member of the FDNY.  Ann brought messages from children in NY wishing strength and courage to Japan.

Craig L. Katz, MD, is a disaster psychiatrist and directs the Global Mental Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He founded the World Trade Center Mental Health Program after 9/11.

Stephen Kern an attorney for the Port Authority of NY and NJ, survived 9/11 by walking down 62 flights in the North Tower seconds before it collapsed.  In Japan, he found parallels to his experiences after 9/11 

Tom Nagorski (moderator) Executive Vice President, Asia Society

Sho Takahashi, MD, PhD, and his team of Disaster Psychiatry at University of Tsukuba have been assisting 9.11 to 3.11 missions in relations to other disasters around the world.

Robert T. Yanagisawa, MD, is the Vice President of the Japanese Medical Society of America. Partnering with Dr. Katz, they have introduced a multidisciplinary approach for long-term disaster recovery in the Tohoku region.

Support for this program is made in part by the generous contribution of:


Event Details

Tue 8 Mar 2016
6:30pm - 8:00pm

Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue
(at 70th Street)
New York, NY 10021

Members $20; Students/Seniors $25; Nonmembers $30