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President of Amway Japan talks about the disasters | News

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President of Amway Japan talks about the disasters
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- The president of Amway Japan is back in West Michigan for the first time since the disasters there.

John Parker says there was nothing he could do to prepare himself for the 9.0 earthquake that struck the country on March 11th.

"There was no way to communicate. All the land-lines were down all the cell phones were down and my focus had to be on our employees and our distributors. We had over 500 people in our building at Amway Japan and I really had to focus on their safety and security foremost and trust my wife was taking care of our children," Parker told WZZM Thursday during an interview at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

Parker and his family moved to Tokyo from West Michigan four years ago.  He was in his office when the earthquake struck.  He says it lasted about six minutes and it was several hours before he got word his family was safe.

Japan is Amway's second largest market in the world.  While sales were down slightly in March, they bounced back in April.  That is because Amway distributors were able to provide health and cleaning products that people were not able to get in Japan.

"So surprisingly our business has held up incredibly well and I think that's a testament to the resilience and the strength of our distributors and perhaps our channel of distribution being one that provided some support during a time of crisis," said Parker.

Parker was joined in Grand Rapids Thursday by a government representative and a journalist from Japan.  Both men expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the American people and said their country is moving forward.

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