Michael Luzia plans to go back to Japan to aid in the relief efforts after he spends some time at home in Abbotsford.
Luzia’s mom, Susanne, said her son now has his temporary travel documents in hand to return to Canada. He has also applied for a visa that will permit him to go back to Japan, where he has taught English for the last 2 1/2 years.
Susanne is hoping that Michael will be back in Bradner sometime within the next week.
She said while he is in Canada, Michael, 27, wants to raise money to help the people of his Japanese hometown, Onagawa, a small fishing village that was destroyed by the tsunami on March 10.
More than half of the village’s population of about 10,000 is still missing, according to news reports.
Michael lost his apartment – and everything in it – but was not at home when the earthquake and tsunami struck. He was on the nearby island of Izushima, teaching at a small school that was on high land and was spared any damage.
He has been trying to get back to Canada ever since, but was delayed because he lost his passport in the disaster.
Susanne said two Lower Mainland organizations are collecting donations for Onagawa, on behalf of Michael: the Richmond Rotary Club (phone 604-207-3020) and the International Buddhist Society of Richmond (phone 604-274-2822).