Hope is stronger than quakes, tsunamis and nuclear threats to Hiro Takeuchi.
Image by Hirotaka takeuchi
Hiro Takeuchi live from Tokyo: "Japan will rise again!"

Posted: Mar 17, 2011 12:51 pm EDT
If anyone knows survival it's Japanese Himalaya climber Hiro (Hirotaka) Takeuchi.

In 2005 Hiro made it down from 8,000 meters on Everest Supercouloir with HACE. Two years later, a huge avalanche on GII almost broke his back and it took "Hero" a year to heal. He resumed his plan to become the first Japanese 14x8000er with only Cho Oyu and Dhaulagiri left when destiny stroke again.

The world watches in horror the aftermath of an almost unreal 9.0 earthquake with a subsequent monster tsunami sweeping the NE coast of Hiro's homeland. On top, a radioactive cloud threatening to spread from the ruins of Fukushima nuclear plant. 5,000 people dead and 10,000 missing is the latest report, half a million homeless.

"Luckily, my family and I are safe," Hirotaka Takeuchi just told ExplorersWeb, with a message he wants to spread to the world: they are going to make it.

Hiro asked ExplorersWeb to publish his personal take on the situation: a tribute to resilience, collaboration and hope. Here goes.

Japan will Rise Again
By Hirotaka Takeuchi

Until just before the earthquake and tsunami happened, people were having fun and laughing together. People were talking about their future with their loved ones. And I bet many climbers were talking about their next climbing plan.

However, everything has changed now.

Thousands of peoples lives have been taken. Many people have lost their loved ones and friends, many are still missing, and large part of population is displaced.

I have not been able to get in touch with some of my friends as well.

Devastation caused by this earthquake/tsunami has been massive, and its been extremely difficult for us to reach the many people who have been patiently waiting for help.

I know your countries have sent special disaster rescue teams to Japan, and they have been working tirelessly to rescue all that have been affected by
this catastrophe. Everyone in Japan deeply appreciates your goodwill and support.

Im praying that these collaborated rescue efforts will save as many people as possible.

Tokyo, where I live, is located 250 kilometers south from the epicenter and has experienced strong quakes. Fortunately, my family and I are safe and sound with minor damage at home.

As you know, the nuclear power plants that are located near the epicenter have been severely affected by this earthquake/tsunami, which has caused major
disruption and triggered great fear among the whole nation.

We have been experiencing uncertain situations here in Tokyo due to the threat of nuclear radiation, planned power blackouts, and the troubles of transportation and mass transit. However, this is incomparable when we think of the people who reside at ground zero in the Tohoku region, who have been taking it on the greatest losses, keeping their sorrow inside while helping
each other under these extremely difficult conditions.

Now, its time for those who survived and reside outside of the devastated areas to support victims of the disaster.

This earthquake wont diminish my passion for 14 summits. However, the most important task facing the people of Japan now is rescuing as many people as possible and getting Japan back on its feet.

As I returned to climbing after a serious accident on Gasherbrum II, also Japan will rise again and start walking towards its recovery.

I am with Japan as I step towards my goal of climbing 14 summits.

I extend a special thank you to everyone who cares for us.Thank you very much for reading this. I look forward to seeing you on the mountains.

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