I had originally planned for a light-hearted post on a recent customer visit that I recently made in Europe but in light of the events in Japan these past few days, it somehow seemed terribly inappropriate. Around the world, people are coming to grips with this recent series of disasters, but for us at Maplesoft, being part of the global Cybernet corporate team, there are very personal dimensions.

The good news is that all of our colleagues at Cybernet Systems, headquartered in the Akihabara district in Tokyo, are safe, though clearly shaken up. And then I think about all those within the Maplesoft community in Japan who were not in Tokyo at the time -- our customers, or friends and family of our colleagues, who may have been closer to the epicentre.  The depth of connection in our globalized world forces us to come to grips with these events at a very personal and intimate level.

This morning, as part of my daily morning ritual, I reviewed our global sales figures and it was heartening to see transactions still coming in from Japan. The revenue is, of course, totally secondary in these circumstances. The meaningful aspect is that life and business is attempting to go on in the country. And I try my best to find the sentiments to wish this sign of hope to be nurtured, and for things to get back to normal for all our friends and colleagues.

Over the past decade, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of making deep and lasting friendships with many in Japan. Qualities such as perseverance, patience, focus, and an admirable sense of team, are the hallmarks of the nation and surely these will be the qualities that will bring the country back on its feet.

In the meantime, many of us are at a loss to think of what we can do to help the people of Japan.  In reality, the country still remains a wealthy, technologically and logistically advanced nation. At this point, I’m hoping that these words of good will and optimism will find their way to a few people and it will help them remember what the country is capable of achieving.

My family posing in front of the robot from Laputa – Castle In the Sky, an animated feature by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki. The robot graces the roof top garden of the enchanting Ghibli Museum on the outskirts of Tokyo. Ironically, this photo was taken almost exactly one year ago during our family trip to Japan.

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