一般財団法人 連帯 東北・西南 RENTAI TOHOKU-SEINAN

一般財団法人 連帯 東北・西南 RENTAI TOHOKU-SEINAN

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2011.11.07 18:31

Seminar on Self-supporting Reconstruction: "Toward the Light" (29 October, Ichinoseki City Kawasaki Community Center)

  The seminar on self-supporting reconstruction: "Toward the Light", held on 29 October, included victims from Rikuzentakata, Ofunato, Kessenuma, and Ishinomaki, with 90 people from Miyagi and Iwate Preferctures taking part and exchanging opinions.

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  Here are some of the opinions that were exchanged during the panel discussion.

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Seven months on from the disaster

Although you have to keep a fondness of the place, at the same time it is necessary to cut off any lingering regret and stay strong.

The loss of family is very hard, and it is still not possible for me to fully accept the loss. However it is nature that has taken away my family. People helped each other, and I am grateful to have been saved. Although I have yet to find closure to my feelings of despair, I am concentrating on thinking about what I can do to help the people who are alive today.

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The reality of unresolved issues prior to the coming winter

In Kessenuma city alone there are 7000 people in need of jobs. Recovery of the area is not possible without these jobs, and unless companies can be set up in the area employment won't be created. Therefore we cannot stop hoping for support by industries and companies.

It is very frustrating that recovery is not progressing due to legal problems (observing the Building Standards Act), and problems between government departments in deciding who is responsible for what part in clearing the rubble and waste. These problems result in a bottle-neck, hindering the self-help recovery effort.

With regard to jobs, I accept that it is necessary to change ones type of job in order to work and have an income. I need some kind of support from the government in this kind of job seeking activity.

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Aims of the recovery effort

Because we local companies are the lifeline for local areas, we must carry on in these areas and therefore we share our fate with the local areas. We want others to understand that what we, the local companies are up against, are not major competitor companies with annual turnovers of over 5 billion yen, but rather the earthquake disaster.

We are trying to seek out our role in the local area and to take it on with responsibility. I think this is a necessary way of thinking in order to be independent.

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Town-making from scratch

I organize a Tea Club with temporary housing residents. In the evening when the club finishes in the evening, we clear up together and we hear children coming home with the setting sun on their backs and we see young wives coming home with their shopping bags and greeting each other. These kinds of scenes are never seen in Fujisawacho (Ishikawa Prefecture) where I live. This is because in Fujisawacho, large houses are scattered sparsely, and most houses are lived in by single people. The state of rural depopulation which was already a reality in Fujisawacho before the earthquake disaster, gives us a growing sense of urgency to start a new life, or build a town. I feel that we are at the starting line now, where we can create the kind of life that we really want.

There are many people in the Tea Club who can't keep up with the recovery effort. Isn't it okay that there are people walking down the street with tears in the eyes. I feel the necessity of team-making so as not to leave these people behind in the recovery effort.

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Aims of the recovery effort

Children see the adults working for recovery all the time without stopping. It is said that children in disaster-stricken areas have future dreams of being police-men, members of the self-defense force, doctors and nurses. Is this kind of dream healthy and suitable for the children who are going to lead the future of Japan?

I think that irrespective of the earthquake disaster or rural depopulation taking place, since all eyes of the world and Japan are focused on the Tohoku area, it is necessary to give these children the opportunity to get to know the world, and we ought to think about how to widen their possibilities.

The seminar on self-supporting reconstruction: "Toward the Light", held on 29 October, included victims from Rikuzentakata, Ofunato, Kessenuma, and Ishinomaki, with 90 people from Miyagi and Iwate Preferctures taking part and exchanging opinions.

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In this regard, Coordinator, Mr Yoshinaga suggested that the qualities possessed by volunteers (e.g. working for free, working for the benefit of the public, working on their own initiative) is the best sort of energy. The seminar was concluded with the following words: 'Because volunteers work on their own initiative, if they spread themselves at the grassroots level, they will become a system that unifies the volunteers and be able to become a new democratic movement with ideas which are different from those of the conventional system.'

Rentai Tohoku will continue to support and corporate to enable self-reliance and recovery of the disaster-stricken areas.

Categories:Staff reports

2011.11.07 18:31 admin

2011.11.02 19:54

Seminar on Self-supporting Reconstruction: "Toward the Light" reported in Iwate Nichinichi Shimbun

The article on Rentai Tohoku's seminar on self-supporting reconstruction: "Toward the Light" held in Kawasaki Public Hall, Ichinoseki on the 29th October (Sat) appeared in the morning edition of the 30th of Iwate Nichinichi Shimbun.

The details of the seminar will be reported separately.

 (This article was posted on this site with permission from Iwate Nichinichi Shimbun.)

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October 30th, 2011 (Sun) Iwate Nichinichi Shimbun

In Quest of Light: For Rebuilding Flood Devastated Areas

 

Supports Called for in Employment and Mental Healthcare

Seminar Held in Kawasaki, Ichinoseki

 

 "Rentai Tohoku", an Ichinoseki-based public foundation which offers aid for victims of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, held a seminar on self-supporting efforts to rebuild life after the disaster, titled "Toward the Light", at Kawasaki Public Hall, Usuginu on the 29th October. A panel discussion was held with those who have been actively involved in recovery efforts in areas afflicted by the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. About 70 seminar participants shared the views on the current status of afflicted areas and issues to be solved for restoration.

 

The panellists included Haruo Yoneya, Representative Director of Maiya Co., Ltd., a supermarket in Ofunato, Keitatsu Kurosawa, Representative Director of Hakku Co., Ltd., a nursing care company in Kesennuma, Miyagi, Ryoki Sato, head priest of Togen-ji Temple in Fujisawa, Ichinoseki, Shinichi Endo, Ishinomaki resident, and Tahel Sayed of Rentai Tohoku. The panel discussion was chaired by Prof. Hiroyuki Yoshinaga, the Faculty of Policy Management, Tohoku Bunka Gakuen University, who is also a councillor of Rentai Tohoku.

 

Panellists talked about their experiences at the time of the earthquake and relief activities they had since been engaged in and shared their views on the efforts to recover from the earthquake.

 

"Right after the earthquake, our staff took the initiative and opened a temporary market at the parking lot to support the livelihood of Kesennuma citizens. One gets energised by discovering one's role in society and carrying it out", Yoneya emphasized. Kurosawa said "The priority should be given to supporting business entities. Without recovery of stricken companies, no jobs will be generated nor the economy activated. The government should propose its policy as soon as possible."

 

Sato, the Chief Priest of Togen-ji Temple, narrowly escaped the tsunami in Kamaishi he happened to stay at the time, and is now offering mental support to people in affected areas. He pointed out that there were many people who had lost their loved ones and were not fit for keeping up with the reconstruction process. He said "It is important not to leave them behind." Endo from Higashimatsushima, who lost three children and home, said "I was saved by people's kind thoughts. Though the tough reality is still overwhelming, I would like to show that I am trying to people who are supporting me". And he added, "I could somehow manage to restart my work, but so many people cannot even come close to that. Some kind of assistance is definitely needed."

 

Tahel, originally from Pakistan, now lives in Nagoya and has been working as a volunteer in Tohoku since the earthquake occurred. He expressed enthusiasm for future volunteer activities and said "I wasn't affected by the earthquake myself. But my thoughts have been always with you people. For now, there seems to be little communication among residents of temporary housings. I would like to focus my volunteer activities on this particular problem."

 

The panel discussion was followed by the opinion exchange among the general participants.

 

Categories:Staff reports

2011.11.02 19:54 admin

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  • Seminar on Self-supporting Reconstruction: "Toward the Light" (29 October, Ichinoseki City Kawasaki Community Center)
  • Seminar on Self-supporting Reconstruction: "Toward the Light" reported in Iwate Nichinichi Shimbun