The Anytime Fitness club in Japan and its master franchise team based in Tokyo were unharmed in last week’s earthquake and tsunami that struck the nation.
Tomokazu Ihara, one of the Anytime Fitness Japan (AFJ) team members, sent a strikingly detailed update about him and his club last Friday to John Kersh, vice president of international development for the Hastings, MN-based company. At the end of the e-mail, Ihara said he felt “more dead than alive.”
“Today I am staying at the AFJ office since all the trains have stopped working,” Ihara said in an e-mail. “The traffic is crowded and a lot of people are trying to walk back to their homes, some people are just stuck at when/where the earthquake happened, a lot of people already dead at the place where the magnitude 8.8 struck (400 km north of Tokyo), everything unusual...I have confirmed my family safe but the after quake is still happening and I feel more dead than alive.”
The Anytime Fitness corporate office is donating $5,000 to the American Red Cross Japan relief effort.
The Anytime Fitness club in Japan opened in October 2010 in the Tokyo neighborhood of Chofu. Anytime announced its expansion into Japan in June 2010. AFJ, led by Toru Yamazaki, has goals of opening 30 clubs by 2012 and more than 300 clubs over the next 10 years. Last month, Anytime announced plans to expand in the Middle East.
Michael Sanciprian, CEO of World Gym Taiwan, said his clubs were not affected by the natural disasters in Japan.
A spokesperson from the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) said today that only a handful of the Japanese contingent have canceled their plans to attend this week’s IHRSA show in San Francisco, but the majority is still expected to attend.