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Saturday, March 19, 2011
Innkeeper offers to house 400 disaster-zone refugees
By MASAMI ITO
A Bangladeshi resident of Japan who owns several hotels and restaurants offered Friday to house about 400 people displaced by the massive earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region.
Akter Hossain, owner of the Hotel Asian Garden and Hotel Lake Garden in Tochigi Prefecture, contacted the Foreign Ministry on Friday, offering completely free accommodations and food for quake evacuees at his two hotels.
"The Japanese government has helped the people of Bangladesh so much in the past," Hossain, 44, told The Japan Times. "As a Bangladeshi, I have seen many natural disasters and this time, I wanted to do something for Japan."
Hossain, a 25-year resident of Japan, said he had canceled all reservations at the two hotels in Nikko and was on his way to Tochigi Friday night, bringing 200 kg of rice with him. He said he hadn't set any time frame and believes the people will leave "when the crisis has passed."
Hossain has been in touch with the Tochigi Prefectural Government and said he was expecting to receive evacuees as early as Saturday. On Monday, Hossain and officials from the Bangladeshi Embassy brought back 52 citizens from Sendai in cars and buses.
To contact Hotel Asian Garden, call 0288 (55) 0999 or see asiangardenjapan.com/