As you know, the Port of Everett has a long history of trade and relations with Japan. Similar to people around the world, we at the Port of Everett are shocked and saddened by the tragedies that have occurred in Japan. Most of our trading partners including Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Nagasaki and Hiroshima made it through the disaster without significant damage. This includes the country’s manufacturing sector, which will be key to economic recovery and rebuilding.
However, Ishinomaki, our partner port in Miyagi Prefecture, has suffered unbelievable damage as a result of these events. The Port entered into a friendly-coalition agreement with Ishinomaki in 1994 as we both had mutual shipping interests at the time. In recent years, we have hosted exchange students from the coastal city. According to international news reports, Ishinomaki is believed to have taken a direct hit from the tsunami, as it was only 10 miles from the reported epicenter of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
All attempts to reach our friends in Ishinomaki have proved unsuccessful. We will continue to reach out to this community, but at this time we can only hope and wish for the best.
Our thoughts will continue to be with our friends in Japan as they cope with the tremendous loss of life, and begin to rebuild their nation.
With deepest concern,
John M. Mohr Executive Director Port of Everett
Port Commission President Mark Wolken:
“The tragedy in Japan is at once heartbreaking and sobering. The enormity of the impact is simply staggering. Seeing the impacts to areas like Ishinomaki where there has been a direct relationship with the people brings it closer to home, and realizing how much of the devastation are homes and buildings built from timber that came through the Port of Everett reminds us of how inextricably close we in the Everett area are to the center of this calamity.
The Port's shipping and milltown history is tied to the rebuilding areas of Japan in the wake of other natural disasters. As in the past, we will support Japan’s re-building efforts, and find ways to assist in the effort that speeds the relief for those suffering in Japan’s hardest hit areas. On a positive note, the manufacturing base in Japan that was not directly affected and is critical to providing an economic engine to help re-build the shattered parts of the country. It is incumbent on us to work with our customer base to ensure we are helping them so they, in turn, can help their country."
Former Port Commissioner Phil Bannan:
“I feel terrible about this tragedy, and I would like to make contact with them and see how we could help, but it doesn’t seem possible at this point. I was involved in forming the sister port relationship in 1994, and my thoughts are with them during this difficult time.”
Mayumi N. Smith Director Nippon Business Institute Everett Community College
"We are totally in shock and heartbroken with such an unprecedented series of disasters of earthquake, tsunami and now many accidents of nuclear power plants.
The Port of Everett has a long time relationship as “friendly ports” with Ishinomaki city since 1994 and we enjoyed business and cultural activities for years. Their high school students have come to EvCC every summer for their study abroad program since 1996. The City of Ishinomaki is one of the cities hit hard by both the earthquake and tsunami. Our hearts are very heavy with worry, not being able to contact them and we sincerely hope that our many friends in Ishinomaki are all safe.
We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to those people who lost family and friends in Japan and just pray for their speediest recovery.”