Georgian citizens in Japan discontent with Georgian Embassy’s handling the crisis
By Messenger Staff
Monday, March 14
Georgian citizens living in Japan, which suffered a major earthquake and tsunami on Friday, have accused the Georgian Embassy in Japan of “negligence.” According to the Georgian officials, 35 citizens of Georgia were on the territory of Japan when the earthquake happened and none of them have been injured.
Georgian students studying in Japan have contacted Interpressnews agency and claimed that the Georgian Embassy in Japan has paid “no attention” to them and have not answered their phone calls. “The Georgian embassy is obliged to care about its citizens. However they have not contacted me, or another student Khatuna Barkaia,” Jaba Meskhishvili, a Master’s Degree student studying in Japan told the news agency “they have not contacted the Georgians living on the island of Hokaido, which was the epicenter of the earthquake. I found only one Georgian, who has been contacted. We do not know what to do if a quake happens again,” he noted. Meskhishvili told Interpressnews that they are not demanding to be taken from the country. “We only want sympathy, help and advice in case of repeated threat. It is negligence,” the Georgian student said.
Georgian Ambassador to Japan, Revaz Abashidze has cited “technical problems” as a reason for not contacting the Georgian students. He said it was “almost impossible” to contact anyone over the phone. “However we had information about them from other sources – Georgian Foreign Ministry’s representative is on internship in Osaka and he informed us about the students. They have not had major problems, because they are on the island, which has not been affected by the quake,” he noted. Abashidze called on every Georgian citizen, living in Japan currently, to contact the Embassy and inform them about their needs. Meanwhile, Georgian sportsmen have already left Japan, according to the Georgian Ambassador. “9 Georgian sportsmen have left Japan with our assistance,” he said.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili expressed sorrow over the tragedy that took place in Japan on March 11. The statement released on the official website of President of Georgia says Mikheil Saakashvili was shocked by the disaster that hit the country and caused serious damage in Japan – thousands of people have died in the disaster, and many more are still missing; the country's economy was seriously damaged.
The President on behalf of the Georgian nation expressed his condolences to the Japanese government, the Japanese people and families of the killed citizens.