10th Japan day of Hope is on tomorrow.

Thank you very much for all your support for our 10th Japan day of Hope event.

There are some people from Fukushima talk about current situation in Fukushima.

There are many great performance stalls and food!

Please come and enjoy the day.

Thank you.









Volunteer Members Wanted! - Japan Day of Hope 2020

Japan Day of Hope 2020 will be held on Sat, 7 March.

We are wanting volunteer staff members who can help us on the event day.

The venue is Edge Hill State School (254 Pease St, Edge Hill QLD 4870).


Email: smilewithkids8@gmail.com
(Please write "Volunteer" in the title of the email)

Especially the starting time, around 8am, we need a lot of hands!!
Of course any time, just short time is fine, the event will finish around 4pm.

動画撮影&編集(Video shooting & editing) 
お好み焼きブース(Okonomiyaki stall) 
アートブース(Art stall) 
焼き菓子+本ブース(Backed snack & Bool stall) 
体育館展示&メッセージブース(Display & Message booth) 
日本小物販売(Japanese Goods Sales stall) 
キッズ輪投げブース(Kids Quoits stall) 
おりがみ(Origami stall) 


※After the event, a volunteer certificate will be issued.


Email: smilewithkids8@gmail.com
(Please write "Volunteer" in the title of the email)

Let's enjoy Japan Day of Hope 2020 together!!


Australian Bush fire Charity Live report

Australian Bush fire charity live organized by Makiko san.

We really appreciated Michael san for great support for charity.

Also Thank you very much Cairns Counsil for venue and setting up. 

 MC Chisa with great passion.

Clem's speech. Her father is fire fighter.

Please see performer's photo at Event page

With many people support we could raised $2205.55

 Account Report for Australian Bush Fire Charity Live
Thank you very much for organizing great event Makiko Omae san , Chisa san.
Thank you very much for all your support for Australian Bush Fire Charity Live.
We really appreciated.
After charity live, 

we received $20 donation from Anne.
We received $259.90 donation from ケアンズ日本人会 's event from 1st Feb.  https://www.facebook.com/jscns/

Our Total donation for Bush fire support is $2205.55.
Thank you very much for all your support for Australian fire fighrters!
We would like to report that we sent all donation motey to these 4 organizations.

1)NSW Rural Fire Service Bank $551

2) Country Fire Authority Public Fund $552

3) SA: Donate - CFS Foundation
CFS volunteer firefighters deserve your support, help us achieve that goal by donating today.

4) QLD: The Rural Fire Volunteer Brigades Donation Fund.  $551.55

 Thank you very much Tokyo tower!


東京タワーは、世界タワー連盟【WORLD FEDERATION OF GREAT TOWERS】の呼びかけに賛同し、 オーストラリアで発生している大規模森林火災の犠牲者や、多くの野生動物たちに哀悼の意を表すとともに、 世界中に支援の輪を広げるべく、1月26日(日)の日没(17:01)から24:00まで、 オーストラリア国旗をイメージしたカラーのライトアップ(インフィニティ・ダイヤモンドヴェール)を点灯します。
 オーストラリア国旗をイメージした青・白・赤のライトアップや、 オーストラリアのナショナルカラーである緑・金をイメージしたカラーでライトアップする事を表明しています。

過去には、2011年4月5日、東日本大震災の被災者を応援しようと、 世界タワー連盟に加盟する9つのタワーが、日の丸をイメージしたライトアップを点灯したことがあります。
2020年1月26日(日)、東京タワーは、1日限定でオーストラリア国旗をイメージしたカラーにライトアップし、 世界のランドマークとともに、大規模森林火災へ哀悼の意と支援を呼びかけます。



Japan day of Hope on 7th March this year.
See you there.

Thank you.


Japan day of Hope posters are ready.

Japan day of Hope 2020 posters are ready now.

The Plan Man printed for our charity as donation again this year.

We really appreciate their continous support.

Great quality and service print shop.
Highly recommended.

Thank you very much Mick san, David san for great support!!!

Thank you very much You-Mart Cairns for displaying poster.

Also they offer Japanese special rice for our charity auction.

Thank you very much!

If you can put poster in your area, please collect posters from You-Mart.

Thank you so much for your help!



Annual General Meeting

Hello, we are Smile with Kids!

We will have an annual general meeting at 10:30am on Tuesday 22nd October at Edge Hill Area. 
If you can join our meeting, please contact us by Messenger, email: smilewithkids8@gmail.com or 0403-112-116. 

Thank you very much!

Smile with Kids


Message and Comment from Fukushima Kid's parents

Message from Fukushima kid's parents.
(Translated by Emi, Akina, Yuka and Sanae. )

Thank you very much for all your support for this project.
We really appreciate it.


The children looked so content and I really think they grew up a lot during the camp. I would like to send a sincere gratitude toward all the people who cared about our children. Thank you so much.
The earthquak
e and the nuclear disaster were very shocking and sad incidents, however, we feel that our children are very lucky to be able to gain such warm experience after all. 
We adults will have to work towards it too; towards Fukushima's recovery, in a real sense. 

A big thank you to many of you.

From Karin's parent (Mrs Akemi Hirakuri)

Thank you Maki for looking after my son during the Refresh Camp! After yesterday's report session, I could feel how fulfilled everyday was for the children and I was full of pleasure, pride and gratitude. 
It was Yuushi's first overseas trip and I guess he was more anxious until the depature day. I suppose, coming to an unknown land where people speak in a different language, having to spend time with new people and even staying at a stranger's house by himself would have been a lot of pressure for Yuushi and other children. However, seeing their pictures, movies and diaries that's posted everyday, I could not help adoring all the children! 
After they arrived in Cairns, my husband and I felt relieved seeing the pictures that you and Mr.Kodama posted. We really appreciated that. 
Yuushi was saying he was looking forward to going to the Great Barrier Reef before the departure. But after coming back from Cairns, what impressed him the most was Nick's (self-sustainable) life style. When I heard that from Yuushi, it reminded me of the story of "Hummingbird's droplet". It reminded me to simply continue doing what I can do like the humming bird in that story or like Nick. I am looking forward to how Yuushi is going to grow after meeting such an inspiring person. Thank you for a wonderful encounter.
Although the camp is over, I wish Yuushi will remember what he felt and learned in Cairns and keep them alongside his life all the time. I don't want that to become just a memory of the past. 
While Yuushi was in Cairns I took my Year1 son to a different refreshment camp in Kanagawa. I went there for the first time, but I heard from the staff that they ran out of the subsidy and funding with this time, and they cannot schedule the next camp for a while. This is the reality even within the country. But in such a situation I realised that without the support and helps from so many people we were not able to send Yuushi to Cairns. I strongly wish that this project will continue for a long time. 
Thank you so much Maki and all the staff from Smile With Kids!!

Yushi's mum Miki Ito

Thank you so much everyone of SWK and people in Cairns who took care of kids. By being exposed to Australian nature, healed by beautiful ocean in Cairns, also touched by generous people, They had a great experience and grew up with wider point of view, not just being refreshed. I am so grateful. Thank you for fulfilled days in Cairns with walking barefoot, lying down on the lawn, things they cannot do in Fukushima with precious smile in nature. They still miss Cairns so much. All kids said they want to learn good Australian culture and talk to people friendlily. Someday we'd like to visit you and return the favour. It was very nice to know you. Thank you.

Ayaka's mother Naomi Fujii


Thank you for the time at the Cairns refreshment camp.

On the day of departure, the children seemed out of their comfort zone and looked quite serious.

My son is naturally quite chatty. He could get along well easily with boys his age. However, he later told me he thought about how best to approach older boy and girls, and did his best to interact with them.

I was able to discover that my son has been able to care for others and think about how he could create opportunities for strangers to become friends.

My son departed saying he wants to tell people about Fukushima and its current state. However, I sent him off wondering just how much he really knows about Fukushima, and how he might communicate that to others. 

It seems like each day he was able to find his own voice and made inroad in that. 

English isn’t his forte, and in terms of pronunciation, he may have struggled the most out of all the participants. Despite this, he tried to convey messages from his heart, and he gave his very best. 

His experiences and challenges of being affected by the nuclear power plant accident, his feelings now that he has grown... I hope that even a little bit of what he wanted to say has been conveyed to the people in Cairns. 

My son enjoyed every day in Cairns surrounded by wonderful nature and warm people. 

He got to experience so many things he wouldn’t be able to otherwise. 

I am so thankful to those who organised this camp, those who supported this initiative, those in various locations who warmly welcomed our children, and those who listened to their speeches.

I believe that meeting you all was my son’s greatest treasure. 

Each moment he was shown kindness, sincerity and care.... that each precious moment is contributing to my son’s growth as a person. The warmth of people is something we can’t see with our eyes, but this is what is truly important.

Two weeks have passed since he returned to Fukushima. In our daily conversations, he uses English expressions here and there, like “YES!” and “Oh”. Haha

From that, I imagine how much h familiarised himself with English and enjoyed his time in Cairns. 

Learning about war was also significant. He took interest in war memorial ceremony on television. He shared with his friends about stories he heard of the devastation and cruelty of war, and expresses that he wants peaceful future. 

Finally, I really want to say thank you to the host family who welcomed my son warmly as their own: Omar, Melinda, Zahir and Asha (apologies from the translator if the spelling is incorrect). He said he really enjoyed the time with the host family, and it was a place of rest and relief. For all the places they have taken my son, the delicious food, for all the laundry... I don’t have enough words of thanks.

Thank you so much!

Thank you also to everyone at Smile with Kids.

Yua's mather  Maki Kanno

Thank you for supporting the preparations leading up to, and during the time in Cairns. 

I want to express my thanks to Maki, host families and everyone involved in the project.

Before the departure, it was reassuring to be able to hear testimonies from previous participants and meet Maki in person. I could send off my son without any worry because I could ask questions over emails and Messenger. It was helpful being able to get in touch with the host family in advance. It was reassuring for parents, and it built excitement for my son that it’s really happening. 

At the ‘departure ceremony’, my son seemed to make speech only when others have put their hands up to do it. However, at the ‘reporting meeting’ after the trip, he was very willing to say his thoughts, and I could see a big change. There were many opportunities to talk to people in Cairns and make speeches, and I felt that those experiences have shaped the change. 

I’m also grateful to his host family. It seems like he enjoyed the meals, the conversations and daily walks with the dog. On the ‘free day’, he talked about going to a market, taking a look at bunjee jumping site, and was given a go at selling sausages at their daughter’s school fundraiser sausage sizzle. My son said he would have liked another day of free day with his host family. At the same time, I appreciate the challenges around fitting in time amidst busy schedules. 

He was surprised by how big and glamorous Peaceboat passenger boat was.

The farm stay and hearing from various people at places they visited have created valuable opportunities to learn about something he never knew and to think more.

As for the timing of the respite camp...

My son tells me it was neither too hot nor too cold, and was not too cold to go into the sea. We apologise for the inconveniences when Taisei was feeling torn about going to Cairns as his school team proceeded to compete at the prefectural tournament. 

Many junior high school students in Japan are involved in extracurricular activities, like sports, and if their teams do well and get to play in prefectural tournament, the dates will likely overlap with the trip. For prospective participants who play sports, they may struggle to decide which one to prioritise, and subsequently choose not to apply to the Cairns program. However, in Taisei’s case, he had wonderful time in Cairns, so there is no regret in withdrawing from sports competition. 

Thank you for everything. We treasure this encounter and look forward to keeping in touch.

Taisei's mother   Mieko Kanno

Thank you for all your care during the camp. When my daughter came back, she was saying "I want to go back to Cairns", and I knew she had a good time and was very well looked after.
She started thinking about
 her future too, and at the parent-teacher interview she was mentioning that she wanted to go to a high school in Cairns and she wanted to help out Maki's team. 
Although it was a short time, she came back with a wider perspective, and she can now think about Fukushima and Japan from a different point of view. I appreciate that. 
Please look after Miko again when she happens to work in Cairns in the future.

From Miko's parent (Mrs.Chiharu Kanbayashi)


Today, our kids came back home safely. Thank you very much.
I saw the 8 students who reported in the meeting today, everyone looked very nice.

I realised that they grew up through their experiences.  
They told us that everyone in Cairns were very nice and they all had their individual say.
It was also good for them to learn about the uranium mining and the wars, which they could never learn in school in Japan. I appreciated that they had fantastic experiences, as well as the fact that my son could leave Fukushima for a while.
My family was exposed to radiation more than other students and a lump of an A2 level was detected in his thyroid (could be an issue in the thyroid), that is why we feel more anxious than the others.
The radioactive cecium was not found through the whole body counter, but found from our urine.
We try to be careful when we eat, but we actually had some opportunities to dine out.
The amount of radioactive cecium was less in the bodies of kids who went out of Fukushima for refresh camps than the kids who were too busy to go out doing the school activities in Fukushima. It makes me feel how important the refresh camps are.
The word “RECOVERY” waives our “ANXIETY” in Japan. In this situation, we are really grateful that you reached your hands out to us for support.
Maki and everyone else who supported us, thank you very much.
In Fukushima, people are severe to us, who talk our own idea about the things we feel dangerous for.(Actually my son had an experience to be told by his classmate not to talk in the class when they were learning about the radiation.) However during the refresh camps, he could mention whatever he felt and everyone received it as it was.
The nature in Australia was great and he was moved by it.
We appreciated that he could meet the beautiful people and nature.
Thank you so much.
Especially I am really grateful for Maki san. Thank you.
I am also grateful for the people who supported us.
When the disaster occurred, I believed the health and safety myths in Japan.
Soon after, I felt something weird and asked the city council to distribute the iodine tablets (Iodine is used for radiation emergencies to protect the thyroid gland against radioactive iodides), but they gave me a cold shoulder over the phone.
Meanwhile, I found that the staff and their families of a big hospital in Fukushima took those tablets.  
The people who helped us were not the government but the citizens.  
In Australia, he touched the warm hearts of everyone and had great memories.
Thank you very much!


From Yuuhi's parent (Mr or Mrs Watanabe)
I am glad that my daughter was able to take part in this Cairns Refreshment Camp. The first thing I felt was that she has learned how to interact with people. When she could not make herself understood in anothe
r language, I think she was trying to act more from her own will. 
As for the earthquake disaster, we weren't sure how we were supposed to be even if we were the victims, but after the camp, I think we got the strong message that nothing will change unless WE change. 
From the experience during the camp, she understood the importance of thinking from her own will, and that will be her treasure for the future. I am also pleased about the new friendship formed among the 8 children of different age and gender. 
Last but not least, I would like to say thank you to the host family who had a pet but yet cared about my daughter's animal allergy. Thank you so much for looking after my daughter.


Messages from Fukushima Kids to all supporter and everyone in Cairns

Day13 Refresh Camp

Fukushima kids went to back to Fukushima and they did final speech in Fukushima.


All students did very well.

During their staying in Cairns, Fukushima kids really felt people's warm support.
These are message from children.

Thank you very much for your great support.


Ayaka Fujii

To everyone in Cairns

Through this project, I was given courage. Everyone in Cairns welcomed us warmly and encouraged us. It made me so happy. I really enjoyed my time in Cairns. At first, I was worried, but people in Cairns welcomed us in very kindly. Thank you so much.
8 years ago, the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred. Tsunamis and the nuclear power plant accident had a big impact on the hearts of many people. Due to this disaster, food in Fukushima became not safe to eat. Now, we've made some recovery, but there are still many foods with restrictions on shipment. Moreover, children in Fukushima need to take thyroid check up every year.
Through this project, we were able to experience many things that we could not have done in Fukushima. They were all very enjoyable.
Thank you so much for your support to this project. I'll keep on taking steps towards my dreams.



Karin Hirakuri

Karin Hirakuri

To everyone in Cairns

Thank you so much to Maki san and so many people who helped us greatly. 

Thank you so much.

I was able to come here and spend time freely.

There was nothing to worry about and no restrictions holding us back. It was very enjoyable.

We will go back to Japan. Now that we have learnt so many things, I feel that we have a duty to share our experiences with people in Japan.

I will not forget the time in Cairns.

I will come back ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

Please give me a place to stay when that happens lol

Finally, thank you so much.

Please come to Japan ♡



Yuhi Watanabe


Yuuhi Watanabe 

To everyone in Cairns

Thank you for your support for people of Fukushima. Thanks to your help, I made many great memories. On the first day, we took part in the event. It was then that I experienced for the first time hosting a stall. It was a hot day and it was tiring. It was only a few hours but I became very tired, and that was something I never experienced before. However, I'm aware that you've spent many more countless hours doing things like hosting stalls for us. I thought it was really tough. If it were me, I couldn't have done it.
For others. Not yourselves, but for others. I was so exhausted just for that few hours. I can't even begin to imagine what it would've been like for you.
I thought that I'd like to work for others in the future. The people that I encountered in Cairns were all very kind and smiley. The fact that I was able to spend an ordinary life is a precious treasure. After the Great East Japan Earthquake, there are many children who evacuated from Fukushima. Some of them have been treated badly at their new schools, being called germs. I saw such news often.
After seeing that, I became afraid of going outside the prefecture, even when travelling to Tokyo with my family. Thoughts such as "what would happen to us if people saw the car plate and found out we were from Fukushima?" went through my head.
Amidst these experiences, I participated in this project. The people I encountered through this project talked to me with smiles on their faces. My worried disappeared at once. I felt strongly that Japan would be a better place if people like you were around more. Thanks to everyone in Cairns, I became more cheerful. I can't say it enough. At the same time, I felt that true goal of disaster recovery is change in people.
If people could look at the children of Fukushima without the lens of discrimination, like the people in Cairns did, I thought that Japan would become better. That's what I learnt.
In Cairns, I had so many experiences, like playing outside with heart abandoned, and communicating with so many people... Everything is a treasure, and a memory for life. This is all thanks to your help. There are not enough words to express my thanks. I can't wait to come back to Cairns.
One day, I will repay your kindness. One day, everyone will like Fukushima.
One day, people of Fukushima will be smiling.
One day, we'll return to the Fukushima that was before the disaster.
With much thanks.



Yushi Ito

Yuushi Ito 

To everyone in Cairns

The people in Cairns were cheerful, friendly and considerate. Brent and Olivia, who were my host family, and everyone in Cairns, welcomed us warmly. 
While spending time being refreshed in the grand nature of Cairns, I learnt many things with my friends.
The 11 days here have become an irreplaceable experience. I also made many friends. I talked to many people and laughed. So I'm sad to say goodbye. However, I'll definitely come back.
To everyone in Cairns, to all who supported us, to all the friends I shared laughter with, and to Brent and Olivia, I look forward to seeing you again!
Thank you so much!




Taisei Kanno

To everyone in Cairns

Thank you for your help the last 11 days. At the BBQ on 30th, I was reminded how we were able to come to Cairns thanks to your support. Thanks to you, we could come to Cairns and go on the plane to go back to Japan. Fukushima has made good progress with disaster recovery. However, the main problem of radiation has not improved at all and requires ongoing assistance. Once this problem settles, I will definitely repay your kindness.
Thank you very much.



Hirotaka Kuchiki

Hirotaka Kuchiki

To everyone in Cairns

Thank you for helping me in so many various places throughout the last 10 days.
Thanks to you, I was able to have a great time. I was really moved that you have such big heart for children on Fukushima.
It was good to be able to share about Fukushima now and about the disaster.



Yua Kanno

Yua Kanno

To everyone in Cairns

I applied to take part in this project with the intent to share what happened on the day of the Great East Japan Earthquake with my own voice, and to experience intercultural exchange. I am not very good at English. Therefore, I was concerned whether I could convey the situation. However, many people in Cairns have been so kind to me. If I say, "hi", I'll get a "hi" back. People would try to understand me even if I used broken English, and talk to me using simple English, so I found it very helpful. I was also worried whether I would be able to communicate well with the host family, but thanks to various people's help, I was able to communicate with them.
Each day, or rather, each second with my host family has been enjoyable. I'm so thankful! Now that I think about it, in the first three days, I was thinking: "Omar is so good at Japanese! So if English doesn't work out, I'll just wait for him to speak in Japanese." If I could, I would speak some sense into myself back then!

I met various people who cared for the earth and its environment, such as (Frank at) eco banana farm, Taka and his organic farm, and Nick who leads a self-sustained lifestyle. I'd like to apply what I learnt to my own life. Other than this, I was really surprised to hear stories from Masa (on history) and also about the stories around uranium. What I learnt from Masa, I want to share it with everyone. With the stories on uranium, I was really touched that there was so much care (from the aboriginal people) towards us, as if people of Fukushima were their grandchildren. The white people were not that good... is what I feel honestly.
When I shared about the current situation in Fukushima, Australian people were kind and sincere, nodding to what we were saying and at times uttering "oh no".
Then there were the aboriginal people, Paronella Park, tropical rainforest, the sea... There is so much to write about but that will take forever so I'll need to wrap it up lol.
Finally, I want to say thank you to Smile with Kids and Mr Kodama for running this project!! Please call me if you need anyone to share anything. I'll go all over Japan, or even the world!! (Illustration of a map of Japan with an arrow pointing towards African continent). Please keep up your good work!!
Thank you so much.



Miko Kambayashi

Miko Kanbayashi

To everyone in Cairns

Thank you so much for all your support. It was my first time to go overseas and I was worried whether my English would be understood. However, everyone was kind, and they could speak Japanese fluently, so although I was exhausted on my first day, I felt good.
A big thank you to: Peace Boat, Wa Band, Botanic Garden, Sushi Train, Eco Banana Farm, Paronella Park, organic farm, Rainforest Station, Nick;s house, Frankland Islands, OK Gift Shop, the all boys school.
There are so many others who supported us - thank you so much!
Your support and generous donations enabled us to go to many different places and make wonderful memories.
It was so fun I almost didn't want to go back to Japan. I was that happy. But I have to go back, so I will return to Japan. I will share my experiences with my friends, teachers and family in Japan, and I want them to come to Cairns. I would like to come back some day. I want to improve my English and put in some effort! Thank you very much!!