More:Information on Japan's Earthquake and Tsunamis | How You Can Help | Travel-Related and Contact Information | For concerns about a specific U.S. citizen in Japan, email JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov.
This week's photo of the week comes to us from Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Michael Feddersen of the U.S. Navy, and shows U.S. Navy sailors moving food and water onto an HH-60H Sea Hawk helicopter on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, located off the coastline of Japan to provide disaster relief and humanitarian assistance following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of northern Japan and the subsequent tsunami on March 11, 2011.
In addition to providing U.S. military services and operations and disaster relief and humanitarian assistance teams to assist the Japanese authorities throughout the area affected by the earthquake and tsunami, the U.S. Government is attending to the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens in Japan. State Department Under Secretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy said this week: "...we depend in the State Department in this matter on information that's coming to us from the Department of Energy, from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Those are our experts. We discuss with them, we listen to their guidance, their concepts and their predictions. ...it reached the point where we thought that it was advisable to simply tell American citizens the information that we had, and leave it to American citizens to make an informed choice on the basis of the information we provided. ...we put out lots and lots of information, consular warden notices, information on the website, telling people to contact us if they need assistance. And that's our process. We tell the people ...what assistance is available and how to contact us, and then they do that."
He continued, "The diplomatic relations are very, very strong, and the President has spoken to the prime minister. Our ambassador speaks to the foreign minister and senior - other Japanese Government officials. Our militaries continue to work with the Japanese self-defense forces. Our technical experts are working with Tokyo Electric Power and METI. So the relationship is solid. There is information being exchanged all the time. And you can never have enough information in a situation like this. But there is an ongoing and very, very positive relationship."
Bureau of Consular Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Citizens Services James D. Pettit also spoke this week about the situation in Japan. He said, "We encourage people ...to register, those who are in Japan, through our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, also available through travel.state.gov. Friends and family can also input data on missing loved ones also through travel.state.gov. They can input the data directly and even upload photographs."
You can read Under Secretary Kennedy's and Deputy Assistant Secretary Pettit's full remarks here. You can also read more about the U.S. response to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan here, read the Travel Warning, and get Embassy updates.