Evacuated missionaries return to areas of Japan devastation

Work will continue in designated ‘safe areas’

Six weeks after a 9.0 earthquake and devastating tsunami hit Japan, some missionaries that were previously removed from the Japan Tokyo and Japan Sendai Missions will return to areas now considered safe within those missions. These missionaries will be transferred in the near future, with other missionaries likely returning as conditions continue to improve.

Less than 36 hours after devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, damage can be seen at Misawa Fishing Port.
Less than 36 hours after devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, damage can be seen at Misawa Fishing Port. Credit: Photo by Douglas Warner

Missionaries will return to areas located a significant distance from the region most affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Those returning to the Japan Tokyo Mission will be serving in areas to the south and west of Tokyo, while those returning to the Japan Sendai Mission will be located at the northern tip and western side of the island.

Just days after devastation hit the country, concerns over limited food, power shortages and the possibility of radiation leaks from damaged nuclear power plants prompted the Church to move missionaries from the two missions. Church leaders said the evacuation also helped lessen the burden of others in the areas of destruction by allowing all available resources to be directed toward residents.

Around 200 missionaries from the Tokyo and Sendai missions were evacuated March 15 to other missions in Japan safe distances from possible danger.

The Church continues to assist the people of Japan through monetary donations, supplies and service by its Japanese members.