Japanese exchange student says friends have died in disaster; family may adopt displaced kids

By: Ryan Calhoun Email
By: Ryan Calhoun Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock -- Friday, March 25, 2010

AUGUSTA, GA. -- A Westside High School exchange student from Japan knows his family is safe, but he says his friends are basically starting a new life. One thing he said he also found out recently is some people he knew have lost their lives.

When the quake first happened you may remember News 12 spoke to Taro Nakamura, an exchange student, as he was able to find his family through Skype.

Since then he says he's been receiving more sad news about the disaster as the death toll continues to increase.

"It's just terrible," he said.

For a couple hours a day though, Nakamura says soccer keeps his mind occupied. But the number one thing running through the mind of the soccer player who wears the #10 when he's not on the field, is the disaster back home in Japan.

"It's real...yeah it's real tough for me," Nakamura said.

The toughest part is knowing some of his friends have died in the disaster.

"I'm really sad," he said about the terrible news. "I couldn't. I mean I couldn't stop crying."

He says they weren't close friends, but they were people he knew that he will no longer get to know any better.

"I wanted to tell them my feelings," Nakamura said.

Nakamura told News 12 all of this has made him "kind of" homesick.

"I'm worried about Japan, friends and my family," he said.

He said his family could be growing because his family is looking to adopt kids from an elementary school where about 20 students survived of more than 100 at the school.

"Elementary school students. They're like 7 or 8 and they lost friends and many children lost their parents," Nakamura said while shaking his head. "It's so horrible like I can't imagine."

But Nakamura says he can imagine some of the kids joining his family and wants that to happen because not only will it give them a family, it will also help rebuild his country.

"Honestly all Japanese people help each other," he added. "And this is a chance for Japan to unite."

Nakamura says his family still feels after shocks and that everyone is in need of all types of materials because of the radiation.

The Westside senior says while he misses home, he's enjoying the rest of the school year here because he knows this is the safe place to be.

His latest American excitement is prom, he said. He told News 12 all about prom and how he now has a prom date.

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