In a gesture to aid its members, two California credit unions serving the Japanese-American communities announced Monday they are waiving wire transfer fees for individuals sending money to family and friends in Japan.
Posted on its website, the $67 million Nikeei CU of Gardena, taking note of the earthquake/tsunami losses, informed its members that “if you have been personally affected by the events” and planned to send money, Nikkei “would like to help.”
The waiver is effective through April 30 and covers “fees that normally accompany outgoing wire transfers to Japan.”
The $83 million Jacom CU of Los Angeles said it too would be waiving fees “and as we monitor the waiver may be extended past April 30. Jacom, which stands for the Japanese American Community, is directing it members to make donations to the Red Cross “and our board will be considering making out a check,” said Ken Ken Takemoto, CEO
Takemoto said he finally made email contact with his sister living in Tokyo who reported the rolling blackouts continue to cause misery to daily life. The “blackouts go from 3 to 7 p.m. and there is no gas available in the gas stations and the supermarket shelves are empty.”
Meanwhile the World Council of Credit Unions said it was preparing to make donations to the relief funds.
However, “there are very few credit unions in Japan and none to which we have direct ties,” said a WOCCU spokesman. “ Some of those that do exist have a relationship with the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions, an organization representing credit unions and financial cooperatives throughout Asia and the South Pacific.
The spokesman said WOCCU would be making a corporate donation “to whatever relief fund AACU establishes.” The contributions would be similar to funds made for the January floods in Australia and February earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand.