We’re continuing to keep a close eye on the news emerging from Japan in the wake of last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, so we were touched to see this announcement from Verizon.

Through April 10, Verizon wireless and residential customers can call or text Japan for free. No per-minute charges, no debiting of allotted minutes, just straight-up connectivity to friends and family. AT&T has launched a similar effort, including “billing relief” for wireless and residential customers for calls and messages to Japan through March 31.

There’s a bit of fine print–the usual taxes, fees, and surcharges that clutter up our phone bills will still apply–but we applaud these service providers for making it a bit easier to keep tabs on loved ones as Japan continues the rescue and recovery process. -Julie

Updated to add: Time Warner Cable residential and business class digital phone customers can also make free calls to Japan through 4/15.

Check out this rundown for more ways to donate to the relief efforts in Japan

[image: reuters/K. Kyodo via icrc.org]

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