On behalf of IFAI Japan members, we would like to say thank you for all the help, prayers, warm messages and support given to Japan by individuals, companies, organizations and governments all over the world in response to the devastation caused by the earthquake that hit Japan on March 11. We are really grateful to all of you. Also, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the IFAI Board of Directors who sent a warm message to each IFAI Japan member.
The 2011 Japan earthquake (9.0 on the Richter scale) was the biggest quake in Japan’s recorded history, causing an incredible tsunami, which in turn caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Many of you may have seen the actual photos on TV or over the Internet. As of May 10—two months after the quake—it is reported that 14,919 people were killed, 9,803 still are missing and 118,786 are taking refuge in emergency shelters. It will take a long time to recover.
It is regrettable to report that one member, Meiji Tech, which has a plant in Minamisōma in Fukushima, had serious damage. One employee and some employees’ family members were killed and 13 employees lost their houses because of the tsunami. Although there is no significant damage to the plant itself, as it is located 26 km from the nuclear power plant, their plant had to stop operation. Also, there are three members—Kaneka, Kuraray and Seiko Sewing Machine—who also had some damage to their plants in the area, but there was no loss of life.
Other members are suffering from delays and shortages of goods and services due to the destruction of public transportation and infrastructure (which is recovering day by day). Many also are impacted by the serious damage experienced by their suppliers and clients and from the increase in the cost of supplies. There continues to be a great deal of concern for the nuclear power plant issue and the shortage of power in the coming months. Another concern is unsubstantiated rumors regarding the influence of radioactivity on products from the area or from Japan generally.
But many members are actively doing business and helping others in the recovery. Many, as a company or as a member of an organization, have sent donations of money or other aide to the area, including food, commodity goods, shelter, air mats, sheets and bags to cover and carry remains and construction materials, water tanks and tents. There are new markets emerging to rebuild the area, too. The details of these activities will be introduced in the World Views column in the July issue of the Review.
The Japanese have been suffering from natural disasters for thousands of years and have recovered from them each time. We are committed to staying strong in this difficult environment and rebuilding our country. We appreciate your continuing support.
The IFAI Japan Board of Directors
Tetsuji Wakamura, chairman
Junko Takai, vice chairman
Nobuo Takeuchi, immediate past chairman
Toshio Katayama, director
Riku Goto, director
Hideyuki Nishikawa, director
Yoshinori Yamagiwa, director
Motonobu Nohmura, honorary chairman
Kikuko Tagawa, executive director