Nearly a year after the great Hanshin earthquake devastated large areas of Kobe and Osaka in Japan, the Anglican Church in Japan made a report on the situation in the country. It is estimated that 6,000 people were killed, 50,000 people injured and more than 300,000 people left homeless by the earthquake. Most people have been provided with temporary shelters but there are still some people living in tents in public parks because of the difficulty of commuting to work or because of hardship caused by separation from family and friends.
The Anglican Church in Japan put off reconstruction of their damaged church buildings and concentrated first on helping the victims of the earthquake, especially marginalised people who live in Kobe and non-Japanese people who find rehabilitation difficult because of social discrimination. A centre to help these people has been established in Kobe. The centre is also helping the aged and handicapped by providing a soup kitchen. Local parish churches continue to be involved in the relief work and reconstruction of church buildings has also begun. It is estimated that the reconstruction work will cost in the region of US$8,300,000. Local churches have already pledged to contribute US$5,100,000. A nation-wide fund-raising campaign has been launched for the remaining amount.