Messages to the Japanese people

The following are the messages sent to this website
after a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011


Please come back often as I keep adding new messages at the end of this page.

 "POW Friendship Program" participants' condolence letter


Dear Friends in Nippon,   

Though I formerly fought against the Heitai of the Imperial Japanese Army, today I hold no rancor for my former opponents.  But watching the terrible scenes unfold on TV, revealing the calamities that have struck your Nation, please know I feel a great sadness for your brave People who resist such monumental acts with bravery beyond belief.

Dai Nippon is our most faithful ally in this interdependent world and seeing her people struck by earthquake and tsunami is like watching a friend suffer untold angst without my being there to offer succor.

While I praise your bravery, my Tomodachis, I weep for your sacrifice.  I know one thing for sure: "United as a Nation, you will rise again to be stronger, more prosperous and more important as a Leading Member of the World Community.

Your friend,
JD Merritt  aka  Yung Hyaku Roku Ju Ni (462) (held at Sendai POW camp 6B)


We are very concerned for the Japanese population and our special friends of the Sendai and Northern Honshu areas  of Japan.   Reports we are seeing and hearing via television indicate this is the hardest hit areas from the quake and tsunami.  That is the area where I was a Prisoner of War of the Japanese Imperial Army in 1944-45.  We extend our sympathies for your losses and your difficult struggles in the days ahead.   Our prayers are for the necessary hope, strength, and will to clear the debris and rebuild your area of destruction.  

We extend our sympathies and our prayers to each of you,

James T. Murphy, Capt. USAF (Retired) Prisoner of War for 3 1/2 years during WWII.  In 1944 moved from Philippine Islands to Camp #6 of the Sendai Military District to perform forced labor in the Mitsubishi copper mine near Hanawa (now Kuzuno)

Nancy A. Murphy, Spouse


It is very hard for me to express the feelings in my poor old heart.  I get choked up watching the pictures and stories of the victims at Sendai and along the North Coast prefectures of Honshu. I am stricken by the human tragedy, the violent loss of lives and devastating destruction of property

Some things are very clear; Japan, a beautiful country has been deeply scarred: Its people are amazing with grace and manners the envy of most cultures of the world. Despite some ugly times along the way, I know of their goodness, generosity and charm. 

I am so very sorry for their nation and people.  I hope and pray both will survive, recover and persevere and feel sure they will.

Don Versaw (held at Fukuoka POW camp 7B)

The pictures and videos we see everyday are both extremely sad and heartwarming at the same time.  I have the same feelings about this disaster as 9/11 and John F. Kennedy's assassination.  Please let us know how we can help.  Right now, Steve and I want to donate to the American Red Cross. 

Judith Chorley (daughter of Don Versaw)


Dear Friends

You are in our thoughts and our prayers.
If there is anything that we can do for you or your friends and family, please let us know.


Oscar Leonard, POW Kawasaki Camp
Mary Leonard, wife of Oscar
Sarah Leonard, daughter of Oscar


To each person in Japan,

I just want you to know that my wife, Fran, and I have been thinking about each of you as we watched the horrifying effects of the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear power plant problems.  We pray to God for your safety and the safety of all your family members.  We pray also for all other people in Japan and we ask that as many as possible can escape the terrible aftermath of this earthquake.  We will be watching as events unfold and hoping for the best.  God bless you.

Best regards,

John B. Lewis
Son of Lt. Col. John L. Lewis who died on January 25, 1945 aboard the Japanese ship, Brazil Maru


As soon as my wife and I saw the horrible natural disasters unfolding in Japan, my mind raced back to my recent visit to tour your beautiful county and to make a pilgrimage to Hanawa were my father was held and blinded as a prisoner of war.  I toured with several Japanese friends including one who's father had been executed for killing POWs.  Neither of us had forgotten the horrible things that had happened to our fathers, but we could not let that past interfere with our present or our futures. 

Next Jean and I prayed for all of those who were killed, injured or dispossessed by the tsunami and quake in the hope that the higher power, we often describe differently, would show mercy to those impacted by this disaster and bring them peace. We also found a website specifically to aid people victimized by this earthquake and made a donation since both the spirit and the body need support in these disasters.

Fortunately, none of our friends in Japan were hurt,  and for that we give thanks.

Please accept our heartfelt hope for a rapid recovery and a safe and prosperous future.

Jim Nelson (Son of John Nelson who was held at Sendai POW camp 6B)
Jean Nelson


Dear Citizens of Japan,

My heart is heavy when I see the horrific damage done this past week to your beautiful country.  I know Japan will dig out of this damage and be the great country it is.  Through your struggle the citizens of the USA stand ready to work with you and are prepare to open our homes and to do what we can to provide the Japanese people with aide and comfort in their struggle to rebuild.

May God Bless you,

Joseph Ward Jr. (Son of a former Bataan POW, Joseph A Ward, Sr.)


Our prayers and thoughts are with you in this terrible time!

The situation in Japan seems to be getting worse all the time with those nuclear reactors. One has to feel sorry for those still trying to get the terrible situation under control and all Japan.

Our best to you and yours!

Walter Huss (held at Mukden POW camp)


It is so hard to fathom the terrible life that has descended on so many of the Japanese people.  I know that as a country and a people, we will do everything in our power to be of assistance.  Japan is our friend and ally and we must do everything to be of help whether from everyday Americans or the Government of the United States itself.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the entire population of Japan.

Sadly, but with hope for the future, please know that our hearts are with you all. 

Senator (retired) John Alexander Patterson
Philippine Scouts Heritage Society and nephew of Alexander R. Nininger, Jr. Killed on Bataan, January 12, 1942; awarded posthumously the Medal of Honor.


I just awoke to hear the news about the terrible earthquake and subsequent tsunami that occurred in Japan. Immediately I thought about all the families that would be affected by this tragedy. My mother was in Yokohama during the big earthquake of 1923. Fortunately she was back on shipboard in the harbor when it struck. However, she had had a wonderful trip ashore and bought some souvenirs. She was fascinated by things Japanese. In our family we still have some of those treasures and trinkets.

Unlike the aftermath of the 1923 quake, we are immediately informed today with all the harrowing details. The Japanese are a resilient people, but still we feel pain for those who have suffered great losses, especially in loss of life.

May it be comforting to know that millions of people are praying for and offering assistance to the Japanese so they there will be a speedy return to a more tranquil life.

Cecily Mattocks Marshall (former civilian internee in the Philippines)


Dear People of Japan,

I have many great friends among you and I am tortured watching the horrors occurring in the northern part of your country. My agony and that of my wife as we watch the tragedy unfurl on the TV screen is nothing to what is being felt on the ground.

Please believe me that we wish you the best of luck in overcoming this horror. I am sure that my grandmother joins us in this wish!

Peter and Tea Parsons
Baguio, Philippines
[POW relative: Blanche Jurika]


To the people of Japan

You are in my thoughts.  My father was a POW of the Japanese Military in WWII.  He had no animosity toward the people of Japan, only the Japanese government at that time.  He often spoke of one of the guards at POW camp Sendai #6B who was kind to him and his fellow POWs.

I believe that guard's name was Shoshichi Yamanouchi who was the translator and had been an English teacher.

I am so sorry that the people of Japan are having to endure this crisis.

Sending my love,

Jane Hoekstra (Daughter of Emerson J. Milliken who was held at Sendai POW camp 6B)


It is only a couple of weeks since my father (Louis Sachwald) passed away and I am still struggling to adjust to the empty feeling in my heart.  As a POW survivor, he taught me the importance of looking ahead, caring for family and friends, and helping others in tough times.   So, it was an easy decision for me to make a contribution to the American Red Cross for relief efforts in Japan.  I will encourage my family and friends to do the same.  The people of Japan are in my thoughts and prayers.

Best wishes,

Judith Sachwald  (Daughter of  Louis Sachwald who was held at Sendai POW camp 6B)


To the victims in Japan,

Well, we don't call our ex-POWs "survivors" for nothing. They have all learned that to harbor hatred destroys a person's soul, and we have heard them say many times that they harbor no resentment to the Japanese people, only those (mostly now deceased) who harmed them. I am glad to see that the expert rescue teams from Norfolk VA and Los Angeles CA are already there in Japan. Let's hope they can pull some miracles from the rubble. I will think of you all every day. Yesterday in our church we said special prayers for all the victims and their families in Japan.

Linda Goetz Holmes (POW historian)


To the citizens of Japan;

During the past ten years I have been privileged to know several Japanese citizens through the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor.  I have come to love and respect the character, culture and kindness of these wonderful people.

I watch with a heavy heart the reports of the devastation of your nation and your people and want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. 

I wholeheartedly support any assistance our country and our military can provide . I wish there were something I could do personally but know in my heart you will survive and emerge greater than ever.

May God lay His Hand of Grace on you all.

George Wallace, Editor, the Quan (Newsletter for former POWs and their families)
Mary Kay Wallace, ADBC Museum


Dear Japanese People,

My heart and sympathies go out to those that lost family members, and my hopes go out to those that do not know the fate of theirs, and my wishes go out to you all that you will overcome the current difficulties.

Please remember you are not alone.  The world will try the best to give you a hand!

Yang Jing
Mukden Allied POW Camp Studies
Shenyang University, China


My thoughts are with all of the people of Japan and I pray for the safety of everyone

Dorothy Perkins
Rancho Santa Fe, California


To the People of Japan,

Please know that I speak for my family when I send the people of Japan our deep sorrow for the crisis you now bear due to the recent Tsunami in your country. Our prayers go out to all of you during these distressing times.

Sascha Jansen
Ex- Santo Tomas Prisoner of the Philippines-WWII


We are praying for Japan -- may they realize their spiritual need is much greater than their physical or material needs.

Wes Injerd
Center for Research, Allied POWS Under the Japanese


Please know that we are thinking about you and most of all I am very impressed with how your country is handling this and how they are working together.  It says many positive things about your culture and people.

Linda McDavitt
Daughter of Capt. Jerome (Jerry) McDavitt  who was held at Hiroshima POW camp 6B


Dear people of Japan,

My prayers are with all who have been directly affected by this horrific tragedy.  The resiliency of the Japanese people and the unique, unbreakable partnership forged between our two nations after WWII will enable Japan to rebuild and recover. 

Best Regards,

John D. Lukacs
Author of "Escape From Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War."


To the people of Japan,

Having visited Japan only months ago, upon learning of the earthquake, we were immediately concerned with our friends there and all of the kind, gracious people that we met.  While in Japan I was very impressed with the resilient and hardworking culture of the people.  I support any assistance that the U.S. can offer to Japan during this crisis.  My Grandfather was injured in an earthquake and Tsunami in Japan while a POW, and these images on television bring to mind his descriptions of how devastating these events are. 

You have the support, thoughts, and prayers of my family. 

Tim Ruse (Grandson of Carl Ruse, Bataan POW, also held at Nagoya POW camp 5B)


To the Japanese people,

My heart goes out to the Japanese people in this time of tragedy for your country.  My connection with Japan began with the capture, imprisonment and death of my father in WWII, which eventually led to my participation in the first Japanese/American Friendship Program last year.  I am grateful for the efforts of many in both of our countries for their efforts to acknowledge and educate all of us about the reality of the events of WWII; this trip was a historic milestone and resulted in developing warm and productive relationships with many in Japan.  Now in your time of crisis, it is incumbent on us as friends to assist you and your country in any way possible, from condolences for the loss of life to assistance with recovery from this most horrific of natural disasters. 

Nancy Kragh
Daughter of Maj. Clarence White, KIA on the Enoura Maru, Takao Harbor, Formosa on January 11, 1945


We are all praying for your country and finding ways to contribute and help. We have no doubt that if we were to be struck with such a natural disaster, Japan would be among the first to step forward with help. I can't help but reflect that U.S. warships are again coming to Japan, but this time for aid and comfort and help. The Japanese people are strong and industrious and will rebuild. Bless you, your family, and all of Japan.

Lorna Nielsen Murray (Daughter of Eugene Nielsen, survivor of the Palawan Massacre)


To citizens of Japan,

I have just returned from New York, visiting my son. While there we saw the horrible pictures of the earthquake and tsunami. My sincere thoughts are with you all who have suffered from this natural catastrophe.

Roderick Hall
My father was in Santo Tomas Internment Camp,
I lived in Manila during the war and liberation.


To Whom It May Concern,

Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Kyle Nappi - I am a 20-year-old sophomore at The Ohio State University, and, some might say, a dedicated military historian.

Iíve been fortunate to have corresponded with numerous veterans of the Pacific Theater from World War II, including prisoners of war, and Japanese soldiers. I see it as my task to contact as many veterans as I can, in hopes of learning about their wartime stories to pass onto future generations. I consider it an honor to have corresponded with some of these veterans and to have been privileged to hear their stories.

In addition, I have quite a few contacts in Japan, whom I regularly exchange correspondence with. The veterans I contacted in Japan have always been extremely friendly, personable, and amiable to my inquiries.

It is now that I write to all the Japanese people to extend my good wishes from The United States. Having heard of the destruction throughout the northeast and Kanto areas of the main land Japan, I wanted to write to you all praying that you are out of harmís way.

The destruction caused by the earthquakes, tsunamis, and, now, the nuclear power plants, have us all praying for your speedy recovery. We are all very concerned with these events and will continue to extend our support and aid in hopes of helping the Japanese people.

Seeing footage from the destruction throughout the northeast area, I was grief-stricken to think about the fear encompassing the country. But, I do know that there are numerous individuals taking it upon themselves to help one another in this time of crisis. Despite the chaos throughout Japan, I know that there are those solely committed to helping and assisting in the recovery process. Although homes may be broken, you cannot break oneís spirit. With this being said, I can foresee the rebuilding of the damage by thousands, if not millions, of determined, capable minds.

I will continue to keep the people of Japan in my heart, as I hope for the best. My prayers are with you and with your country in the wake of this catastrophe.

With my best wishes from the United States.
Ad astra per aspera  

Kyle Nappi
Sophomore, The Ohio State University


Please convey to all the people of Japan, my heartfelt sympathies. Knowing the Japanese character as I do, I know you will come through.  We are all with you in your grief.

Arthur Lane
Former British POW of the Japanese
The founder of the National Ex Services Association


To the people of Japan,

I just want to tell you how sorry I am for the horrid tragedy that has devastated Japan.  The loss of family and friends is a thing that no one should have to endure.

My prayers and thoughts are with you and all the Japanese people. I have donated to an organization that is trying to help. Please accept my condolences and I hope that you and yours are safe.

Pat Wadley
Historian and POW research


I wish to extend my deep feelings of sorrow for the troubles that have been wrought on the people of Japan in this latest natural disaster.

My prayers go out to the dead and all the survivors who have been so profoundly affected. I have great faith in the ability of your noble people, who deal with disaster with such grace and efficiency, to recover. I know you will rise again from this as you have from the other calamities in your past, especially World War II and the atomic bombings.

Edward Malikowski
(brother of Francis W. Malikowski who was held at Hiroshima Sub-camp #4)


To People of Japan,

We have been thinking of you all in these terrible times -- it seems that it (disasters) will never end for Japan.  We can only pray that sometime, soon, these terrible disasters will end.  We feel so sad for Japan and the Japanese people.  Just want to tell you that we are thinking of you and praying that things will get better soon.

Warm Regards,

Norma and Joseph Alexander
US Army Air Corps, 440th Ordnance Aviation Bombardment Squadron
became a POW in Mindanao
Tokyo Camp # 2 (Kawasaki), Shinagawa camp, Omori camp