Japanese mountaineer draws on earthquake survival experience to organise Turkiye aid
Others said they want to be part of a world where nations help each other.
“My own country is disaster-prone. If there are those suffering from a similar situation, I want to play a part to help,” said grape farmer Shoko Orii, who travelled from Nagano to help the charity.
Another volunteer, local tour guide Yoshiyuki Suzuki, said: “I won’t be able to do anything alone. I thought I could be of use by helping out in this way so I came.”
With the aid organisation located at the foot of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain and an active volcano, Mr Noguchi said he is constantly reminded that natural disasters know no borders.
“Mt Fuji may erupt again at any time. Disasters can happen to any country. We can be victims tomorrow,” he said.
“So if it occurs in Türkiye, Japan will help. If it happens in Japan, Türkiye will help. It’s all about partnership.”
He founded the non-profit organisation in 2002. It was initially formed to clean up tons of trash left behind by those climbing Mt Fuji and the Himalayas.
But since the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and the ensuing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Mr Noguchi became deeply involved in disaster relief and the charity expanded its work.
Mr Noguchi and his family said they are planning their next aid effort to bring light to those affected by earthquakes by dispatching solar lanterns to those areas.
They are also exploring a possible route to extend help to people in Syria.
At least 1.5 million people in both Turkiye and Syria have been left homeless after the earthquakes and aftershocks toppled buildings and devastated towns in February, and many remain without shelter or sanitation.