ITF President Paddy Crumlin and ITF General Secretary David Cockroft Visit Japanese Ports

ITF President and MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin has joined ITF General Secretary David Cockroft on a two day visit to Japan to see first-hand the areas devastated by the March earthquake and subsequent tsunami, at the request of the Japanese unions.

Mr Crumlin and Mr Cockroft have visited Sendai-Shiogama, Matsushima, Ishinomaki and Sendai Aiport.

The pair attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the port of Sendai with Japanese Dockworkers officials and members of other ITF affiliates in Japan.

In addition to the 200,000 Pounds Sterling donated by the ITF, the MUA also opened a special account to raise money for victims and their families, which has raised thousands of dollars.

"I have conveyed MUA and ITF condolences and messages of solidarity and support to those coastal communities and workers devastated by the earthquake and tsunami and pledged our ongoing commitment in the long rebuilding period," Mr Crumlin said.

"The ITF leadership met with unions and workers directly affected by the disaster who in turn relayed deep gratitude to the ITF and affiliates such as the MUA for their generous financial support and heartfelt messages which had a deep effect at a critical time for them."

Mr Crumlin reports that some of the money donated by the ITF and MUA has gone directly to the families of dockworkers who were tragically killed.

Mr Crumlin will also visit Fukushima, where the region continues to be severely affected and confronted with the failure of the nuclear power plant during the March earthquake.

Mr Crumlin reports that the incident has ignited a strong debate in Japan about the future use of nuclear energy.

Mr Crumlin will be back in Australia tomorrow.