Tokiko Harper feared the worst for her 84-year-old sister, who lives in Sendai -- the community hit hardest by the earthquake and tsunami last week.
After five days of trying to reach family members, Harper says she started to give up, but her granddaughter gave it one more try early this morning.
"She called me and said try the telephone so I did and it worked. So happy! We all cried," said Tokiko Harper.
Harper didn't talk to her sister long enough to know if the family is now in fear of nuclear radiation. She says she'll find that out soon. For the first contact, she just wanted to know her sister was alive.