The World Food Prize has sent its deepest condolences to colleagues in Japan and everyone affected by the terrible tragedy there, in a message from Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, foundation president.
The World Food Prize has special ties to Japan. When founder Dr. Norman Borlaug was first developing his "miracle wheat," it was only by crossbreeding with Japanese dwarf strains that he was successful. Those strains came from the work of scientist Gonjiro Inazuka of the Iwate Prefecture, an area greatly affected by the recent earthquake.
At a ceremony in Tokyo in April 2010, Amb. Quinn presented the World Food Prize Borlaug Medallion to the Sasakawa family for their extensive efforts to promote development in Africa. Dr. Borlaug served as president of the Sasakawa Global 2000 Programme and Sasakawa Africa Association until his death in 2009.
In writing to Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, a member of the World Food Prize Council of Advisors, Amb. Quinn wrote:
"We wish to convey our sympathy through you to all in the Nippon Foundation and the Nippon Music Foundation, as well as everyone who has been affected by this unfathomable natural disaster. We have watched the television accounts with great horror at the staggering loss of life and with great compassion for the extreme suffering of the people in the affected area. At the same time, knowing the great strength and resilience which the Japanese people have always shown in the face of severe adversity, we have great hope that a full recovery will be made."
The Nippon Foundation has set up a fund for the earthquake and tsunami victims. For more information on donating, please visit http://www.nippon-foundation.or.jp/eng/index.html.