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Believe TOP
Japan Getting Back on Its Feet

#04 The Community and Reconstruction

Overcoming Conflicts and Rebuilding the Community Hope and Possibility, The Key to Connecting the People

The revival of the community is essential for the reconstruction of Tohoku. The vitality of the region is dependent on the power of the community. Many of the earthquake victims as well as supporting organizations from Tokyo and other areas are all working to revive the community.

In the Sanriku areas which received great damage from the tsunami, and in Fukushima suffering from nuclear radiation, many were forced to evacuate from their homes away from the community. In the three prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, the number of temporary housing for the evacuees is approximately 53,000 as of May, 2012. Private homes which were rented for use by the evacuees numbered 55,000. In other words, there exist more than 100,000 temporary homes for the disaster victims. The number of those who evacuated to areas outside of their prefectures numbered 72,000 as of April, 2012.

The feeling of inequality among the disaster victims

Temporary housing is destroying the community in dual ways. The victims who are forced to leave familiar territory, have no choice but to build a new community in their new environment. And the inhabitants of the area where the temporary housing sites are built, are burdened with the issue of how to develop relationship with the disaster victims who have relocated to their neighborhood.

Although it's not reported by the media, there are conflicts among the disaster victims depending on the level of damage and the desire for reconstruction. For example, last summer, there was an emotional conflict between the people staying in the evacuation shelters and those living in the temporary housing regarding the order of priority in the handing out of relief supplies. Those in the shelters felt that they should be prioritized because they are in a more challenged circumstance, whereas those in temporary housing felt that they should be prioritized because they were paying for utility and striving for independence.

At the time, most support groups prioritized the shelters. Now that all of the shelters have closed, those in the temporary housing are the sole receivers of the support. However, the difficulty faced by those in the temporary housing and those living in their own homes is not much different. The fishermen are still unable to fish, farming is still not possible, and there are very few job opportunities. Everyone faces economic difficulty but the support groups which come from outside tend to support only those living in the temporary housing. There is a feeling of unfairness.

The inhabitants of the temporary housing becoming too accustomed to the support, is also an issue. Recently, a certain support group planned a trip to a hot spring resort for the inhabitants of the temporary housing. It was a one night trip planned for the disaster victims, to give them a chance to enjoy the hot springs and relax, to raise their spirits. The cost for one person was 30,000jPY and was to be 100% paid for by the support group. But surprisingly, no one signed up for the tour. The reason being that there are too many similar tours being planned and the inhabitants of the temporary housing are growing weary of participating in these events even if they are free of charge. There is a lot of criticism, among the disaster victims who are living in their own homes, towards such behavior.

The difference in the plans for reconstruction causing conflict within the community

There is a big opposition arising from the difference in the way of thinking towards reconstruction. For instance, the fishermen in many fishing villages are in opposition regarding the future of fishing in the area. There are those who want to continue as they have been and there are others who believe that the revival of the fishing industry would not be possible without making changes. In other words there is conflict between a fishing industry dependent on the support from the government and those who aim for a fishing industry which economically independent. Where there is conflict among the fishermen, there is conflict among the wives of the fishermen. A small village with a population of a few hundred are becoming divided right in half.

In larger areas with population above 10,000, there is also conflict in regards to the plan for reconstruction. There is conflicting interest in matters ranging from the way fishing is organized to the reconstruction work taking place in the towns and ports.

In order to resolve these conflicts and revive the community, it is important to achieve actual results. We need to support the people involved in the new fishing industry and the new community business and lead them to success. Then, the people living in the community will find hope and possibility. A community is founded on hope and possibility. This is the same for Tohoku. They must experience a type of success never experienced before. That is the only way to revive the community in Tohoku.

Message from Believe


Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Initiatives Foundation (Kouekizaidanhoujin Higashinihon Daishinsai Fukkoushien Zaidan) is mainly focusing on support of children in Tohoku and any activities supporting them, based on the philosophy "contributing to the creation of a society in which the next generation can live happily, through the support of reconstruction". It would bring us joy if you approve of our activities to support the people moving forward with the power to believe. A donation would be greatly appreciated.

bank details for making a donation

Please forward all donations to the following:
BANK NAME Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd.
BRANCH NAME Otemachi corporate banking devision (112)
ACCOUNT NO. 3514117
ACCOUNT ADDRESS 1-9-2, Higashi Shinbashi , Minato-ku, Tokyo JAPAN 105-0021
ACCOUNT TEL. +81-3-6889-1560
BRANCH ADDRESS 1-3-3, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 100-8210
BRANCH TEL. +81 3-3214-1111

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Believe TOP

#4 コミュニティ再生

対立を乗りこえ、コミュニティを再生するには? 「希望」と「可能性」が、人と人をつなぐ












Message from Believe




受取人口座名義 公益財団法人東日本大震災復興支援財団
(コウエキザイダンホウジン ヒガシニホンダイシンサイフッコウシエンザイダン)
振込先銀行名 みずほコーポレート銀行 大手町営業部(112)
口座種類、番号 普通預金 3514117



是非、このコンテンツを一人でも多くの人たちに読んでもらえるよう ”ツイート”や”いいね!”してもらえると幸いです。


Life is Live!