一般財団法人 連帯 東北・西南 RENTAI TOHOKU-SEINAN

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2013.07.11 09:42

Curry Event at Iwate Prefecture Takada Hospital (07/10 2013 at Iwate Prefectural Takada Hospital, Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture)

On Wednesday, July 10th, we provided Tomodachi Curry® at Iwate Prefectural Takada Hospital free of charge to encourage the staff.

Takada Hospital lost all its functions including the ward with 70 beds from the Great East Japan Earthquake. A prefabricated temporary clinic was built after the Earthquake, but patients requiring hospitalization had to go to a prefectural hospital in the neighboring city Ofunato or to Morioka City. Later, a temporary inpatient facility was completed in Februay 1st, 2012 with a ward of 41 beds and an operating room. This temporary facility is the only general hospital in the city of Rikuzentakata, and has become an important institution in the lives of the residents.

Tahir from our Foundation has become close with Dr. Mikihito Ishiki, the former hospital director. We understand that Dr. Ishiki who is 65 years old has extended his retirement which was at the end of this March, and decided to stay at the hospital as one of the doctors. We prepared and held this curry event to thank Dr. Ishiki who has been working hard toward recovery, Dr. Kiyoshi Tabata who became the new hospital director this April, and the hospital staff for their efforts.

The preparation is the same as before, and we began the previous day in order to minimize the work to be done at the event site. We received assistance from the local residents in the preparation work done at Senmaya Minami Exchange Center. This time we had newcomers in the volunteering staff, but everyone worked actively and efficiently, and we were able to serve Tomodachi Curry® within the limited time available. We thank all those who had helped us.

Mr. Keishi Onodera, the president of the Rotary Club in Senmaya, again was generous to offer 14 kg of poultry free of charge, and Mr. Hideo Sato, the dairy farmer (Senmaya), who had supported us since we began our activities, collected 20 L of fresh milk early in the morning and provided this milk for the chai free of charge.

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We heard that the hospital staff is comprised of 10 doctors, 40 nurses and 35 technologists, but including others such as the pharmacy staff, we provided approximately over 100 servings of Tomodachi Curry®. It was decided to serve curry from 11:30 to 14:00 since the outpatient department is extremely crowded. Many people requested additional helpings, and the venue was constantly filled with people. We brought trays with lids for people who cannot leave their workplace or those working nightshifts, which turned out to be very useful.

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Everyone enjoyed their Tomodachi Curry®, and after the curry we served chai made with fresh milk. By the time we cleaned up the site and were ready to go, we received words of thanks saying "Thank you for organizing such a fun event", and we took a group photo. We had heard from Dr. Ishiki that everyone was looking forward to the curry event, and this was a happy moment we actually felt that they truly enjoyed it.

Categories:Staff reports

2013.07.11 09:42 admin

2013.07.02 09:28

ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Symposium and Walk (June 30th 2013 in Hiraizumi, Nishi-iwai County, Miyagi Prefecture)

On Sunday, June 30th, we organized the ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Symposium (discussion session) and Walk in Hiraizumi, Nishi-iwai County, Miyagi Prefecture.

Previously on June 1st, our Foundation organized an approximately 10 km walk which we named the ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Walk from the entrance of Konjikido Golden Hall to the Nanohana Plaza in Ichinoseki. As we learned that the candidate site to build ILC in Japan will be confirmed in July, we decided to hold the second event hoping for the realization to bring ILC to Tohoku with our belief that there is no other volunteer work more important for us than to support this movement in order to encourage Tohoku toward self-reliance.

● Symposium

We are continuing our support activities with our main focus on temporary housing complexes, but we recently learned of a project to build ILC near Ichinoseki. As we had been feeling that the recovery itself is not enough for Tohoku, we strongly felt that realizing ILC construction will jump-start the process of development in Tohoku beyond recovery. However, as we became keenly aware that the understanding and the enthusiasm were still lacking among the general public, we decided to be of assistance even in a small way by organizing a walk to make an appeal.

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The venue of the Symposium was provided free of charge with the cooperation of the town of Hiraizumi at the second floor meeting room in the Town Hall. Mr. Tadao Yaegashi from the General Affairs and Planning Division of Hiraizumi was extremely helpful from preparing the venue from early in the morning, to giving us a guide of the streets and the historic sites during the Walk which is described below.

Our Representative Director, Sata acted as the Coordinator at the Symposium. Aside from the two ILC specialists from Ichinoseki City Hall, the remaining nine Panelists were all local residents, and we asked them to give their opinions freely. The Symposium began with an opening remark encouraging everyone participating in the event to have an open discussion with a sense of the general public, and to dream a future after 50 years or 100 years from now for the children with a medium- and long-term point of view.

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We positioned the Panelists in the center so that everyone in the room could participate in the discussions as a whole and share a sense of unity wherever they are in the room. One of the comments we received afterwards mentioned that it was a good event because it was not a one-sided, lecture-hearing event but one where the participants could freely exchange their views in a relaxed atmosphere.

We would like to share some of the other comments we received from the participants.

  • Realization of ILC construction will be a benefit. Education shall be strengthened toward internationalization.
  • Hollowing out of industry has reached Ichinoseki, and many people are losing their jobs with factories shutting down. If the industry is rejuvenated with ILC, it will bring good effect to the next generation. People who left the area may return.
  • The town of Fujisawa is suffering depopulation, and does not have enough people even when the recovery proceeds. The town may or may not continue to exist. This is a great chance to bring about positive thinking, and I would like the children to have a variety of opportunities. If it is clear that there would be no problems with ILC, I would like to actively invite ILC.
  • Hiraizumi is historically and culturally attractive for non-Japanese, though there is not enough promotional activities. Hiraizumi is already helping to internationalize the area.
  • If ILC construction is realized, researchers, their families and others related to the project will come from around the world and will increase internationalization. However, the educational environment for their children is said to be insufficient in Tohoku. As we are in the age of the internet, we could overcome this by making good use of the surrounding environment.
  • Unclear issues of the ILC need to be clarified in order to eliminate fear toward the unknown. There seems to be a difference in the level of interest even within Iwate Prefecture. I would like this project to proceed while having everyone's understanding. I am hoping that the secondary effect from the industry will raise the level of cultural education.
  • There have been facilities specifically for Japanese researchers, but ILC will truly become an international institution. Tens of thousands of people will arrive from abroad, making it a model city of internationalization (science, education, and culture). It seems that at first, a site evaluation council organized mainly by Tohoku University and Kyushu University will be held with about 10 scientists to make a final decision on the candidate site in Japan, which will later become the official candidate site after receiving approval from the Japanese government.
  • Depopulation in Senmaya is also significant, resulting in negative impact. It seems very attractive if ILC construction will bring improvement with the expected economic effect. I would like this to become a DREAM, not a POEM.
  • Pilgrims come to Okago from around the world. I have had feelings of rejection toward foreigners, but once you get to know them, many of them are good people and I am reflecting on this way of thinking, that it needs to be changed. I would like to welcome more foreigners, and would like to think of ILC as an opportunity to change.
  • The extent of the economic effect of ILC is questionable, but it is expected that it will stimulate people since their conscience toward self-reliance is low. It is good that the government gives directions, but I feel that the citizens themselves need to think and act on their own.
  • The effect of ILC could be considered separately for educational, official and industrial spheres. One idea is to have a specific district where foreign doctors could work in Japan. If ILC does not come, then it might be interesting to construct a rocket launching base making use of the fact that this granitic area is sparsely inhabited. I would like to value having a channel linking us to science. It would be interesting to have a brainstorming meeting.
  • I do not know much about ILC, but I am happy that an institution bringing in dreams will be coming to Japan. I feel it would be even better if it will create more jobs.
  • Is it right to proceed with ILC construction when the recovery from the aftermath of the nuclear accident is not completed?
  • What would happen in terms of the destruction of nature which would occur after constructing ILC?

Comments ranged from those not only approving to bring ILC, but to those pointing out the issues requiring consideration. What the Representative Director, Sata wished to convey as the closing remarks, is how much the religious ways of thinking in a positive sense is required in order to maintain a healthy mind toward peaceful use of science in this day and age, when science and religion are required to be the two wheels of a cart. He also commented that when Iwate Prefecture becomes the ILC construction site, we may find ways in religions represented by the local temple Chuson-ji on how to deal with issues of science being a double-edged sword, leading us from a broader perspective toward the correct path.

At the end of the Symposium, we all prayed for the numerous victims of 3.11 and also hoped for a brighter future of Tohoku with the arrival of ILC with the Heart Sutra given by the priests Mr. Sato (Soto School) and Mr. Haseki (Tendai School), followed by some verses from the Koran read by our staff Syed Tahir from Pakistan to close the event.

● Support Walk

The previous walk was 10 km in distance, which seemed rather difficult for those who may not be strong enough for the entire route. Therefore, this time we changed to a shorter, more relaxed route so that more people could join us. With the cooperation from Mr. Yoshinori Kikuchi, the representative director of the local company Kawashima Printing Co., Ltd., and Mr. Tadao Yaegashi from the General Affairs and Planning Division of Hiraizumi, we were able to set our starting point at the square of Kyūkanjizaiō-in Teien (Park of former Kanjizaio-in). We are sure everyone who came to join us at this beautiful, open space were able to start walking with a refreshing feeling.

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Our Representative Director, Sata gave an opening comment little before 1 p.m. which was followed by a group photo shoot, and then we started to walk. Approximately 80 people joined the Walk, and each proceeded on their own pace under a pleasant weather (cloudy, 20°C). As before, we prepared two English banners and six Japanese banners, a total of eight banners, and each participant proceeded with the Walk step by step with hopes for the realization.

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Banners used for the Walk from the third from the left to right:
  • Let's aim for the self-reliance of Tohoku with ILC
  • ILC, we welcome you! There will be dreams and hopes in Tohoku
  • Make Tohoku attractive for the children! ILC will lead into the future
  • ILC will jump-start Tohoku's development
  • ILC, we welcome you! New nation building of Tohoku with science
  • Let's make Hiraizumi and Ichinoseki area a pure land of love and science
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We reached our goal after about one hour, and as all the participants were able to complete the Walk it felt our feelings became united: "ILC, we welcome you to Tohoku!"

The event was reported in the Iwate Nippo and Iwate Nichi-Nichi Shimbun.

Article in the Iwate Nichi-Nichi Shimbun dated July 1st, 2013

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Article in the Iwate Nippo dated July 1st, 2013

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Categories:Staff reports

2013.07.02 09:28 admin

2013.06.29 09:20

Curry Event at Otsuchi Town Hall (June 28th 2013 at Otsuchi Town Hall in Iwate Prefecture)

On Friday, June 28th, we provided Tomodachi Curry® free of charge at Otsuchi Town Hall in Iwate Prefecture, to support the City Hall staff.

The town of Otsuchi lost 40 of its senior staff including the Mayor Mr. Koki Sato, paralyzing the administrative functions of the town. The long distance from Morioka City further worked against them, as it was difficult for the news of the damages to reach the city. As such, Otsuchi continued to be isolated from the surrounding areas for some time. From August 6th last year, the school building of former Otsuchi Elementary School became the temporary office building of Otsuchi Town Hall. Mayoral election was held on August 28th, and former chief of the Administrative Division Mr. Yutaka Ikarigawa was elected mayor and continues to be till today. However, even now almost half of the current 280 staff is a support staff coming from all over the country.

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We became close with a priest Mr. Takahashi at Kichijyo-ji of the Soto Zen School in Kirikiri, Otsuchi, from the connections of Tahir from our Foundation. His temple was spared from the tsunami as it was high on the hills, and as such, soon after the Earthquake, accepted close to 250 people who were affected by the disaster. When we reported that we were planning to provide Tomodachi Curry® at Iwate Prefecture Otsuchi Hospital on June 20th to encourage the staff, we received a request to hold a similar event at the town hall, which resulted in this event. Hearing that there are also temporary housings of police force and fire department in the Town Hall premises, we began to plan the event for a total of around 280 people.

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It is approximately 2.5 hours by car from our base of the Foundation in Senmaya (Ichinoseki City) to the town of Otsuchi, so we left at an early hour of 5 a.m. so that we could start our preparation at the venue from 8 a.m. On the day before, we did our preparations at Minami Exchange Center in Senmaya to minimize the work to be done at the venue. Mr. Keishi Onodera from the Rotary Club in Senmaya kindly provided us 36 kg of poultry, again free of charge. And the JA (Japan Agriculture) in Daito provided us a large amount of tomatoes at a greatly discounted price.

There were some drizzles in the morning on the day of the event, but by the time we arrived in Otsuchi the rain had stopped. Though it was a chilly day for the end of June, it was good enough for the event. As soon as we arrived, we began preparing for the event by starting to set up a large tent between the Town Hall and the fire department building.

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By the time the spicy scent of the curry from the pot started to fill the air, more people came to visit us to see how we were doing. It was the happiest moment when Mayor Ikarigawa himself came to the preparation site and gave us words of thanks. He even gave a tour of the Town Hall for our Representative Director Sata and Tahir, visiting each department holding the curry himself and telling the staff about the curry which was to be served.

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From 12 noon, we started serving Tomodachi Curry® using trays with lid to efficiently serve them in a short period of time. Many of the staff came as a representative of their department, and there was even a case where two people brought back curry for 25 people.

A long line instantly formed in front of the table where we served the curry, so we quickly changed our formation of role-sharing. Until then, we were serving every dish with the lid, but we changed this to ask our guests to take the lids themselves if necessary. This was effective and shortened the waiting time to a large extent, enabling us to finish serving in about 15 minutes.

Whenever we prepare Tomodachi Curry® for the events, we always make sure to prepare more than 1.5 times the expected number of guests so that there wouldn't be anyone left without the curry. This time, we provided 400 servings (including the additional helpings) which far exceeded the scheduled 280 servings.

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We thanked everyone for their strenuous efforts with our curry, and were greatly thanked in return by the mayor and the Town Hall staff, coming from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south. Dr. Iwata, the hospital director of Iwate Prefecture Otsuchi Hospital where we held a Tomodachi Curry® event on June 20th, took the time to come to the venue together with the chief of Head Office and other doctors to show appreciation and joined in the luncheon event.

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After the curry event, we visited the temple of the priest Mr. Takahashi who gave us the chance to hold this event, and had the honor of listening to the stories of the situations soon after the Earthquake. We imagine how hard it must have been to take care of 250 people for nearly two months after the Earthquake, just by himself and his wife. We were all humbled by his self-effacing and modest manner, repeating words of appreciation for the event we held.

Mrs. Takahashi, who had sealed off preparing matcha (powdered green tea) after the disaster, greeted us by resuming her matcha. It was a touching moment where we felt that our event had brought about a change in some way.

There is only so much we can do for the people of Otsuchi who suffered extensive damage, but we are determined to continue our activities to support self-reliance of this community.

Categories:Staff reports

2013.06.29 09:20 admin

2013.06.23 09:08

Curry Event (June 20th 2013 at Iwate Prefecture Otsuchi Hospital Temporary Clinic in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture)

On Wednesday, June 20th, we provided Tomodachi Curry® at Iwate Prefecture Otsuchi Hospital Temporary Clinic free of charge to encourage the staff.

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Otsuchi Hospital (60 beds), a prefectural hospital in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, was completely destroyed by the tsunami which engulfed up to the second floor of a three-floor building. A temporary clinic was built a month and a half later but there is no inpatient facility, and the extent of its capacity is to treat outpatients. There seems to be a plan to rebuild a hospital ward which can house 50 beds including a treatment room and a full testing system, but the completion of the facility is 2015 at the earliest when the breakwaters along the coast is scheduled to be completed.

The plan of rebuilding the hospital ward aside, there also is a problem whether or not sufficient staff could be secured. Even before the Earthquake, there were only three full-time doctors, all in the internal medicine department. The hospital was maintained by accepting part-time doctors from other hospitals for departments such as surgery or ophthalmology. As such, the 66-year-old hospital director, Dr. Chihiro Iwata, continues to work saying "I cannot quit until there is a certain prospect in sight." We prepared and held this curry event to thank Dr. Iwata and his staff for their efforts and also to encourage them. Mr. Masaru Sasaki, the senior manager and chief of Head Office was most helpful in preparing this event.

Rentai Tohoku-Seinan had been holding curry events mainly at temporary housing complexes, and this was our first experience at a clinic. As with the events at the Rikuzentakata City Hall and Hiraizumi Town Hall, our time was limited so we did our preparation the day before, and minimized what we had to do on the day of the event at the venue.

The preparation was done at Senmaya Minami Exchange Center. Since it takes about 2.5 hours by car to get to Otsuchi from Senmaya, where we have our base of the Foundation, we left Senmaya Minami Exchange Center at an early hour of 6 AM and headed toward the Iwate Prefecture Otsuchi Hospital. It had been raining the day before in Otsuchi but cleared up on the day of the event and we were able to start preparing in a fine weather.

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Though the staff were limited this time, everyone worked efficiently and we were able to serve Tomodachi Curry® within the time available. Ms. Lee who had joined us from a few of our previous events was there to help us from the preparation stage, and was very active in her work on the day of the event as well. Mr. Keishi Onodera, the president of the Rotary Club in Senmaya, again was generous to offer 12 kg of poultry free of charge. Mr. Hideo Sato who owns a dairy farm collected fresh milk early in the morning, and provided this milk for the chai free of charge.

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Initially we had planned to provide Tomodachi Curry® to 70-80 people, but the number greatly exceeded to a total of approximately 120 people, with residents from nearby temporary housings and patients joining in to enjoy the dish. We first served Tomodachi Curry® with naan on the usual flat tray we use, and used trays with lids for the residents from the temporary housings which was a little confusing to some, but we were glad when everyone had their own curry.

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After everyone had enjoyed their Tomodachi Curry®, we served chai using fresh milk. By the time we had finished cleaning up and were ready to leave, the hospital director Dr. Iwata kindly said "Thank you for planning such a fun event.", and we all posed for a group photo. Dr. Iwata is a great doctor who supports community healthcare, and it was a moment we felt that he is sincerely admired by the local residents.

Categories:Staff reports

2013.06.23 09:08 admin

2013.06.21 17:21

ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Walk (June 1st, 2013 in Ichinoseki, and Hiraizumi, Nishi-iwai County, Iwate Prefecture)

On Saturday, June 1st, we organized the ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Walk for approximately 10 km from the entrance of Konjikido Golden Hall of Chuson-ji in Hiraizumi, Nishi-iwai County, Iwate Prefecture to the Nanohana Plaza in Ichinoseki.

Our Foundation has been active in self-reliance support mainly in temporary housing areas, so it may be rather late but we recently learned that there is a project to invite ILC near Ichinoseki. As we had been feeling that the recovery of Tohoku itself is not enough, we strongly felt that realizing the invitation of ILC will jump-start the process of development in Tohoku beyond its recovery. However, as we became keenly aware that the understanding and the enthusiasm were still lacking among the local residents, we decided to be of assistance even in a small way by organizing a walk to make an appeal.

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On Tuesday, May 21st, our Representative Director, Yasuhiko Sata made a guest appearance on a radio talk show "Asumo Sagozai" in the program "Nanohana Radio" (14:35-15:00) broadcasted in Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture and a part of Hiraizumi by FM Asmo, and explained the objectives and the content of the activities of Rentai Tohoku-Seinan. At the end of the talk, he announced the ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Walk (approx. 10 km from the entrance of Konjikido Golden Hall of Chuson-ji to Ichinoseki city center) to be held on June 1st and asked the listeners to participate in the event. From this time on, we did all the preparations in the remaining ten days (six actual working days) until the event, from setting the course, applying to the related contacts, making leaflets, and to creating banners.

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The weather was fine on Saturday, June 1st, and it was a perfect day for a walk. At 8:30 AM, the entrance of Konjikido Golden Hall of Chuson-ji was filled with excitement of the participants. Our Representative Director and a few others prayed at Konjikido before the walk for the safety of the participants and the realization of ILC construction.

The Representative Director spoke to the participants before the walk which was followed by a group photo shoot, and then we set off at 9AM.

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Banners used for the Walk from the third from the left to right:
  • Let's aim for the self-reliance of Tohoku with ILC
  • ILC, we welcome you! There will be dreams and hopes in Tohoku
  • Make Tohoku attractive for the children! ILC will lead into the future
  • ILC will jump-start Tohoku's development
  • ILC, we welcome you! New nation building of Tohoku with science
  • Let's make Hiraizumi and Ichinoseki area a pure land of love and science

We made two English banners and six Japanese banners, a total of eight different kinds of banners, and each participant proceeded with the walk step by step with hopes for the realization. We often took breaks and took water to avoid any sickness from the heat.

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One of the participants, Mr. Isao Aoki owns a factory at the remaining 5 km point, and it was provided as the first resting point.

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Going through the last shopping district, we safely reached our goal. There were approximately 70 participants at the start, and about 35 of us completed the walk. Every participant was filled with a sense of accomplishment, and it was a moment when we were all united toward the realizing ILC invitation.

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It was an unavoidable fact that the ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Walk was not well prepared due to the lack of time as there were only ten days from the announcement of the Walk to the actual event, but it would be an honor if it heightened the interest among the local residents. As we understand that the ILC candidate site will be chosen by the scientists in early July, we are considering holding the second ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Walk by the end of June to make it our last appeal.

The event was reported in the Iwate Nichi-Nichi Shimbun.

Article in the Iwate Nichi-Nichi Shimbun dated June 2nd, 2013

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ILC? - Q&A

The following is an easy-to-read explanation of the ILC in Q&A format inserted in the event leaflet.

Q:What is the "ILC (International Linear Collider)"?
A:It's an experiment facility attracting great attention from researchers around the world.
It's a linear accelerator about 30-50 km in length, and it enables collision experiments of electrons and positrons with the highest energy attainable today. The aim is to gain insight into the mystery of the origin of the universe, the mystery of time and space, and the mystery of mass by creating a high-energy reaction closely resembling that of early universe. It's said to be one of the "three major projects of human kind in the 21st century", along with the International Space Station and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. ILC will be an enormous facility in size as well as in significance, and will become the science and technology base in the future.
ILC Project website: http://aaa-sentan.org/ILC/

Q:What happens when the ILC is constructed here?
A:Economic effect of multi-trillion yen, increase in population and internationalization of the area can be expected.
In addition to the constructions of ILC and related facilities, we can also expect development in the industries aimed at researchers, resulting in a multi-trillion yen economic effect. The area is sure to become the mecca for the researchers as it becomes the research center with researchers in the most advanced technology flowing in from around the world. The entire area is expected to become internationalized with the increase of opportunities to communicate with people from various countries on a daily basis, and the population may reach 300,000 with the addition of new employees and researchers' families.

Q:Why is the area around Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture a candidate site?
A:First and foremost, it is because of the hard and stable bedrock which is probably the only one in Japan and unparalleled in the world.
ILC has a linear shape and is approximately 30-50 km in length, meaning that it requires a candidate construction site to be an expansive bedrock area. The Kitakami Mountains in Tohoku is very well suited for the purpose since it was created by the magma coming from deep within the earth to create granite, which uplifted the terrain to form mountains with extremely hard bedrock. There is no active fault in the area, another good reason to install the ILC.

Q:In addition to the construction of ILC, there seems to be many ways to utilize this hard bedrock.
A:Exactly!
Strong bedrock without an active fault should be worth consideration to a great extent as a relocation site of metropolitan functions. Considering that New York, London, and Hong Kong are built on hard bedrocks, it should also be an advantage in constructing tall buildings. For example, as in Fort Knox, U.S.A. where they utilize hard bedrock for the Bullion Depository, we may construct a huge shelter in this area for a possible Tokai earthquake. Another option may be to build an airport above this hard bedrock, giving a significant difference in the access level in the coastal area. Let's keep our hopes high for a big dream!

Categories:Staff reports

2013.06.21 17:21 admin

Information

RENTAI TOHOKU-SEINAN Support activities
Reports of our activities

Latest articles

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