In 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. In July 2014, the Suffolk community had the opportunity to learn more about the devastation and cleanup efforts from an alumnus who was there. Tomo Honda BA ’97 was working in a government building when the earthquake hit and since then, has dedicated himself to helping rebuild Fukushima.

Rachael Cobb, chair of the Government Department, was humbled to meet Honda, an Honorable Councilor to the Fukushima government (similar to a state senator in the United States). “He is a true public servant who cares deeply about his community and making the world a better place,” she said.

Honda was in the United States to attend a leadership conference for both Japanese and American leaders. Before the conference, the history major visited his alma mater to speak about the restoration process in Fukushima.

Starting with video footage he took himself on the day of the earthquake, Honda told the assembled audience of faculty, staff, and students about the disasters and their devastating aftermath. He also focused on the rebuilding efforts in Fukushima, including commitments to sustainable energy over nuclear power, environmental restoration of farmland, and development of cutting-edge medical centers to treat those contaminated by the radiation.

In the spring/summer 2012 issue of Suffolk Alumni Magazine, Honda described his four years at Suffolk as the most defining and influential period of his life. Cobb added: “He had the opportunity to be in a diverse, vibrant city with peers and professors who pushed him to think in exciting and new ways.” Ways that are undoubtedly already making a difference to the restoration efforts in Fukushima.

Read the full feature story on Honda from Suffolk Alumni Magazine.