Japan: Nine Months after the Great East Japan Earthquake: Activity Report

Bringing People in the Disaster-Affected Areas a Warm and Happy New Year

November 11th, 2011 – AAR JAPAN delivers portable power generators to children who need respiratory devices at Iwate Ryoiku Center. (Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture)
 AAR JAPAN has been carrying out relief efforts for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake since the immediate aftermath of the disaster. In addition to delivering emergency supplies to those who have limited access to aid, such as persons with disabilities and the elderly, AAR JAPAN is also repairing welfare facilities and providing vehicles for facilities for persons with disabilities.

Temperatures in the disaster-affected areas continue to drop. In addition to distributing winter necessities to people living in temporary housing complexes and other displaced people, AAR JAPAN is now also preparing equipment for snow removal. In the face of news of elderly survivors dying alone in temporary housing, we are continuing to support the Building Healthy Communities Project, offering community interaction and exchange events for disaster survivors, many of whom all too easily end up spending their entire day isolated behind closed doors.

AAR JAPAN hopes to continue its support for the people of the disaster-affected areas, offering them a warm and happy New Year.

Below is a report on the activities that AAR JAPAN’s supporters have enabled us to carry out in the last nine months:

AAR JAPAN’s Projects in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

1.    Delivering Relief to Families in Temporary Housing and Leased Housing in Fukushima Prefecture (approximately 35,000 families)
2.    Support for Food Service at Schools in Minami-soma City, Fukushima Prefecture
3.    Psychological Care for Children in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture
4.  Building Healthy Communities Project
5.    Delivery of Relief Supplies
6.    Soup Kitchens
7.    Reconstruction of Facilities for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities
8.    Vehicle Provision
9.    Supporting Market Expansion for Products made by Persons with Disabilities
10.    Container Housing Project
11.  Hand-made Tote Bags Project
12.   Charity Concerts
13.   “Let’s Bring Hot Springs to the Disaster Zone!” Project (concluded)
14.   Shuttle Bus Service (concluded)
15.   Mobile Clinic (concluded)
16.   Sanitation Services (concluded)

1. Delivering Relief to Families in Temporary Housing and Leased Housing in Fukushima Prefecture (approximately 35,000 families)

November 3rd, 2011 – Warmed by a kotatsu (heated table) distributed by AAR JAPAN, Mr. and Mrs. YOSHIDA talk to AAR JAPAN’s Yasushi TANAKA (left) at a temporary housing complex. (Minami-soma City, Fukushima Prefecture)
In cooperation with ADRA Japan, we have been supporting the day-to-day livelihoods of families living in temporary housing and subsidized housing in Fukushima Prefecture. As the Japanese Red Cross decided to distribute six-piece sets of home electrical appliances in earthquake- and tsunami-affected areas, AAR JAPAN has focused on providing items such as kitchenware, bathroom goods, vacuum cleaners, kotatsu (heated tables) and regular tables, kitchen cabinets, and so on, based on requests from municipal governments. We are targeting 13 municipalities in the Hamadori and Nakadori regions of Fukushima Prefecture: Soma City, Minami-soma City, Shinchi Town, Iitate Village, Tomioka Town, Kawauchi Village, Koriyama City, Sukagawa City, Kagamiishi Town, Shirakawa City, Nishigo Village, Yabuki Town, and Izumisaki Village. Following a request from the municipal governments of Minami-Soma City and Tomioka Town, both located within 20 km of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, we are also providing supplies to survivors who have taken refuge in other prefectures.

In order to contribute to the economic recovery of the local communities, we are collaborating with the local Commerce and Industry Associations in 10 municipalities to source as many aid goods locally as possible. As of November 30th, we have completed the delivery of relief supplies to 21,719 households in the target area.

2. Support for Food Service at Schools in Minami-soma City, Fukushima Prefecture

AAR JAPAN provided vegetable juice and rice for approximately 2,800 schoolchildren in Kashima, Minami-Soma City. The Kashima area is just outside the restricted zone around Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, and since the accident, many children who used to attend school closer to the plant have now been relocated here. From July 1st to 22nd, vegetable juice was provided to every schoolchild twice a week, and a total of 2 tons of rice was supplied for school meals. Kashima was also experiencing a shortage of vehicles for delivering food to schools, so AAR JAPAN secured rented vehicles for food delivery from August 23rd.

3. Psychological Care for Children (Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture)

AAR JAPAN has been supporting the SOMA Follower Team, a nonprofit organization formed by Soma City to provide psychological care for children. The six-person team includes clinical psychologists, psychiatric social workers, and healthcare workers who have been providing psychological care for students and their parents at affected kindergartens, elementary schools, and junior high schools in Soma City.

In November, the SOMA Follower Team started offering counseling at elementary schools near the 20-km exclusion zone, where radiation levels from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant have not been deemed high enough for evacuation, but residents are advised to remain indoors as much as possible to limit their exposure. Here the children cannot play outside, and must remain inside during recess, lunch, and gym class, and they must also play indoors when they go home. At this time of year they would normally enjoy picking up chestnuts and colored leaves from the ground, but this year they cannot.

4. Building Healthy Communities Project

October 29th, 2011 – AAR JAPAN’s occupational therapist, Kenji NAKAMURA (left) offers massages at Workshop Himawari. (Kesen-numa City, Miyagi Prefecture)

AAR JAPAN has been providing rehabilitation and health-related services, mobile clinics, sanitation services, psychological care, and community interaction and exchange events for roughly 3,000 people, focusing on persons with disabilities, the elderly, displaced people, and people staying in temporary housing in the disaster-affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. Through these comprehensive efforts, AAR JAPAN continues to support people in the disaster zone as they work to maintain both their physical and mental health.

Rehabilitation Services
AAR JAPAN has been sending occupational therapists and physiotherapists to evacuation centers, senior care facilities, facilities for persons with disabilities, temporary housing, and individual homes in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, offering rehabilitation visits and massages to 612 people from July 9th to November 26th.

Psychological Care
To mitigate stress both from the earthquake and from long-term evacuee life, AAR JAPAN has been sending counselors to evacuation centers, temporary housing units, and individual homes to provide psychological care. We provided counseling for 265 people between August 6th and December 3rd.

Community Interaction and Exchange Events
AAR JAPAN has been actively promoting community interaction and exchange events to help encourage the development of social ties in evacuation centers and temporary housing. In this effort, we have been organizing soup kitchens, delivering relief supplies, and providing rehabilitation services such as massages and aroma therapy. To date, we have organized or participated in events in the following locations:

Festival at Wako Kindergarten in Shichi-ga-hama Town, Miyagi Prefecture (July 23rd)
- Bon Festival in Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture (August 15th)
- Higashi-hama Elementary School on the Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi Prefecture (August 18th)
- Touni Town, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (August 20th).
- Otomo Town, Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture (August 20th)
-Offering aromatherapy at Higashi-hama Elementary School in Miyagi Prefecture (August 23rd)
- Workshop for persons with disabilities in Yamada Town, Chimohei County, Iwate Prefecture (August 26th)
- Temporary housing complex in Kasshi Town, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (August 27th)
- Temporary housing complex in Shichi-ga-hama Town, Miyagi Prefecture (August 28th)
- Temporary housing complex in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (September 11th)
- Gym of Nakano Junior High School in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture (September 17th)
- Day room in a temporary housing complex in Kashinai, Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture (September 24th)
- Temporary housing complex in Kuribayashi Town, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (September 25th)
- Gym of Nakano Junior High School in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture (September 25th)
- In front of a shop in Sakuragi Town, Otsuchi Town, Kamihei County, Iwate Prefecture (September 28th)
- Temporary housing complex in Kesen Town, Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture (October 2nd)
- Festival at Kurosaki Shrine in Hirota Town, Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture (October 9th)
- “Everyone’s Festival Bureiko” in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture (October 10th)
- Dosen Subsidized Apartments in Kasshi Town, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (October 16th)
- Higashi-hama Elementary School in Iwate Prefecture (October 11th)
- Otsuchi Dai-kyu Temporary Housing Complex in Otsuchi Town, Kamihei County, Iwate Prefecture (October 23rd)
- Taki-no-Sato in Takekoma, Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture (October 25th)
- Nakano Sakae Community Center, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture (November 27th)

5. Delivery of Relief Supplies

November 7th, 2011 – AAR JAPAN delivers portable heaters to Mr. Daihachi MURAKAMI and his wife. Little support reaches survivors in partially destroyed homes. At left is Mutsumi SAKA of AAR JAPAN. (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)

Needs have altered as seasons change and people’s lives inch toward normalcy. AAR JAPAN is currently delivering portable power generators to persons with disabilities who rely on respirators to breathe. We have also been providing winter necessities for the harsh cold of the season.

Relief Supplies Delivered to Affected Areas from March 14th to November 30th
Provided to 79,460 people in 1,284 locations

Distribution Areas
Miyagi Prefecture:
Sendai City, Ishinomaki City, Kesen-numa City, Natori City, Tome City, Higashi-Matsushima City, Onagawa Town, Tagajo City, Iwanuma City, Minami-sanriku Town, Yamamoto Town, Shiogama City
Iwate Prefecture:
Otsuchi Town, Ofunato City, Rikuzen-takata City, Kamaishi City, Yamada Town
Fukushima Prefecture:
Soma City, Minami-Soma City
Yamagata Prefecture:
Kamiyama City

Distribution Facilities
Evacuation centers, facilities for persons with disabilities, facilities for the elderly, social welfare councils, foster homes, shopping centers, social welfare corporations, volunteer centers, ambulatory facilities for the elderly, disaster countermeasures offices, temporary housing, evacuees’ homes, daycare centers, kindergartens, elementary schools, junior high schools, senior high schools, others.

Supplies Delivered
Diesel oil (13,600 liters), Kerosene (4,400 liters), Gasoline (2,060 liters), Water (14 tons), Rice (2.5 tons), Milk (480 packs), Sweet-bean cakes (41,000 units), Vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, spinach, cabbage, radishes, green onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, chives, eggplants, kidney beans, edamame beans, pumpkins, burdock roots, taro, sweet potatoes, Chinese cabbage, corn, Japanese mustard spinach, dried shiitake and others), Fruit (mandarin oranges, bananas, watermelons, grapefruits, melons, etc.), Eggs, Other food (retort foods, food for the elderly, canned food, miso, soy sauce, dietary supplements, etc.), Blankets, Bedclothes, Underclothes, Clothes and scarves, Towels and hand cloths, Furoshiki wrapping cloths, Face masks, Hand warmers, Sleeping bags (3,400 units), Cold medicine and other medical supplies, Toothbrushes, Paper diapers, Adult diapers, Women’s sanitary products, Batteries, Baby products (baby food, pacifiers, feeding bottles, baby wipes, etc.), High-pressure washers (32 units), Chainsaws (30 units), Shovels, Boots, Books and picture books, Crayons, Cell phone chargers, Computer sets (37 units), Printers (2 units), Photocopying machines (5 units), Bicycles (294 units), Sputum aspirators (2 units), Care beds (31 units), Folding beds (2 units), Futon sets (30 units), Wheelchairs (21 units), Care chairs (2 units), Walkers (35 units), Power generators (3 units), Laundry machines (29 units), Drying machines (22 units), Refrigerators (28 units), Microwave ovens (7 units), Electric fans (51 units), Vacuum cleaners (44 units), Air cleaners (16 units), Rice cookers (8 units), Futon dehumidifiers (34 units), Reflective heaters (5 units), Kerosene heaters (2 units), Automatic blood pressure meters (34 units), Television sets (22 units), Dish dryers (2 units), Electric fans, Dehumidifiers, Weight scales, Clothes irons, Ironing tables, Rotary printing machines, Pull carts, Dollies, Audio players (10 units), Portable radios, Walking sticks, Cooking knives, Cutting boards, Small shelving units, Bookshelves, Clothing cases, Disinfectant spray, Hand soap, Reading glasses, Stuffed toys, Other toys, Thermos bottles, Digital cameras, DVD players, Video cameras, Mattresses, Sheets, Cotton blankets, Pesticides, Bug repellant, Mosquito nets, Toilet paper, Laundry detergent, Kitchen detergent, Toilet soap, Laundry baskets, Hangers, Cleaning buckets, Paper dishes, Notebooks, Copy paper, Tinfoil and cling wrap, Grass-cutting scythes, Grass cutters, Cucumber seedlings, Tomato seedlings, Flower seedlings, Screen windows, Laundry poles, Summer clothes, Rubber boots, Sandals, Slippers, Ice packs, Neck coolers, Inflatable play pools, Nutritional supplements, Umbrellas, Taisho harp sets, Electric piano sets, Keyboards, Taiko drums, Tea ceremony sets, Other small musical instruments, Sewing machines, Scarves, Sweaters, Jackets and other winter clothes, Farming boots, Garden supplies, Table tennis sets, Electrical generators (7 units), Foot-operated aspirators, Hearing aids, Braille printers, Cultivators, Air purifiers, Heated carpets, Rugs, Kotatsu (heated table) sets, Gas and electric heaters, Hot water bottles, Electric blankets, Down jackets, Fleeces, others.

6. Soup Kitchens
In coordination with Ingram Co., Ltd., which is responsible for the Peace Project, AAR JAPAN has been organizing soup kitchens in Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima prefectures. The project began on March 31st, and as of November 25th, AAR JAPAN held soup kitchens in the following locations. Since August, the soup kitchens have been operated as part of the Building Healthy Communities Project.

Soup Kitchen Locations (25,121 meals served in 72 locations)
Miyagi Prefecture:
Watanoha, Aikawa, Kitakami, and Ayukawa areas (Oshika Peninsula) in Ishinomaki City; Wakabayashi District in Sendai City; Tagajo City; Shizugawa and Utatsu in Minami-sanriku Town; Niitsuki, Shishiori, and Omose areas in Kesen-numa City
Iwate Prefecture:
Kamaishi City, Rikuzen-takata City, Taro Town in Miyako City, Yamada Town, Otsuchi Town
Fukushima Prefecture:
Haramachi Ward in Minami-Soma City

Tokushima ramen, Oden, Beef stew, Yakisoba (fried noodles), Fried chicken, Vegetable sticks, Chukadon (Chinese-style stir-fried meat and vegetables on rice), Beef steak, Onion soup, Tuna sashimi on rice, Chanko-nabe (hot pot), Apple pie, Onion sauté, Minestrone, Ground chicken with egg and vegetables on rice, Fish miso soup, Hijiki seaweed mix, Fried sweet potato, Cabbage rolls, Mixed bean-curd lees and vegetables, Autumn rice, Pork miso soup, Stewed fish, Cabbage and spinach side dishes, Somen noodles, Minced fish soup, Hand-made sweet potato pies, Hand-made langue du chats, Samgyetang (Korean chicken ginseng soup), Yakitori (grilled chicken), Miso soup with tofu and shimeji mushrooms, Stewed meat and potatoes, Boiled komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), Pasta with meat sauce, Potato salad, Miso soup with Chinese cabbage and shiitake mushrooms, Boiled field mustard, Inarizushi (fried tofu stuffed with venerated rice), Cooked radish and minced meat, Kashiwa mochi (rice cake wrapped in oak leaf), Fried whitefish, Miso soup with radish, Radish salad, Fruit Jell-O, Udon noodles, Almond Jell-O, Stir-fried meat with vegetables, Gyoza (Chinese dumplings), Borscht, Miso soup with clams, Marinated octopus, Miso soup with cabbage and Japanese mustard spinach, Raw squid with wasabi, Seafood curry and rice (with scallops, clams and shrimp), Japanese sweets and amazake (sweet mild sake), Charcoal-broiled fish, Kakigori (shaved ice with flavored syrup), Grilled corn, Kitsune udon, Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes), Japanese dace, Daikon-oroshi (grated Japanese radish), Pickled vegetables, Unaju (grilled eel on rice), Vegetables pickled in sake lees, Miso soup with wakame seaweed and green onion, Rice-fed pork from Sumida Town grilled with local vegetables on rice, Tada farm cheese pudding, Rice balls with chestnuts, Soba with tempura, etc.

7. Institutional Reconstruction

In coordination with local construction companies, AAR JAPAN has been repairing senior care centers and facilities for persons with disabilities in approximately 60 locations to accelerate resumption of services. From April 21st to November 30th, AAR JAPAN repaired and provided equipment to the following social welfare facilities and NGOs:

1.   Rubert (Operated by Minori-kai, Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture)
2.   Clovers Pier Wasse (Operated by Shinwa-kai, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
3.   Workshop Himawari (Operated by Senshin-kai Yume-no-mori, Kesen-numa City, Miyagi Prefecture)
4.   Gin-no-hoshi (Operated by Yamoto-aiiku-kai, Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture)
5.   Kurihara-shuho-kai (Kurihara City, Miyagi Prefecture)
6.   Himawari Family (Operated by Fureai-no-mori, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
7.   Echo Ryouiku-en (Operated by Yoko Fukushi-kai, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
8.   Coconet Autism Peering Center (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
9.   Miyama-sou Special Nursing Home (Operated by Seiwa-kai, Yamamoto Town, Watari County, Miyagi Prefecture)
10.  Kamuri Gakuen (Operated by Aisen-kai, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
11.  Daimatsu Gakuen (Operated by Hoshin-kai, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
12.  Group Home Kamikuri-sou (Operated by Kamaishi Kyosei-kai, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
13.  Yoshihama-sou (Operated by Aisei-kai, Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture)
14.  Kojuen  (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
15.  Lumbini-en (Operated by Korin-kai, Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture)
16.  Asunaro Home (Operated by Sansan-kai, Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
17.  Yamada Kyosei Workshop (Operated by Yamada Kyosei-kai, Yamada Town, Shimohei County, Iwate Prefecture)
18.  Taiyou-kai (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
19.  Machikado Counseling Link Matsubara Home (Operated by Aiiku-kai Social Welfare Corporation, Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
20.  Care Home Megumi (Kesen-numa City, Miyagi Prefecture)
21.  Harakara Fukushi-kai (Shibata Town, Shibata County, Miyagi Prefecture)
22.  Cosmos House (Operated by Shiraishi Yoko Gakuen, Shiraishi City, Miyagi Prefecture)
23.  Sakurambo Club (Tome City, Miyagi Prefecture)
24.  Shiraishi Jukouen (Operated by Shiraishi Yoko Gakuen, Shiraishi City, Miyagi Prefecture)
25.  Zao Suzushiro (Operated by Harakara Fukushi-kai, Zao Town, Katta County, Miyagi Prefecture)
26.  Hatamaki Kyodo Workshop (Operated by Harakara Fukushi-kai, Igu County, Miyagi Prefecture)
27.  Riverside Song, Song of the Surf, Seaside Song (Operated by Dreamers’ Home, Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
28.  Izumi Workshop (Operated by Aiko Fukushi Kyokai, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
29.  Fukushi Net ABC (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)  
30.  Hoyu-kan (Operated by Taiyo-kai, Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture)
31. Sendai Tsudoi House Koppel (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
32. Nakata Sun Farm (Tome City, Miyagi Prefecture)

Reconstruction Sites
Miyagi Prefecture:
37 locations (14 in Sendai City, 2 in Shiraishi City, 4 in Kesen-numa City, 1 in Tome City, 1 in Higashi-Matsushima City, 4 in Natori City, 1 in Kurihara City, 2 in Ishinomaki City, 1 in Shiogama City, 2 in Yamamoto Town, 2 in Minami-sanriku Town, 1 in Zao Town, 1 in Marumori Town, 1 in Shibata Town)
Iwate Prefecture:
23 locations (4 in Ofunato City, 5 in Rikuzen-takata City, 6 in Kamaishi City, 1 in Hanamaki City, 2 in Otsuchi Town, 2 in Yamada Town, 1 in Miyako City, 2 in Tanohata Village)

AAR JAPAN will continue the reconstruction of facilities for persons with disabilities and senior care facilities in the disaster-affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate prefectures in coordination with each prefecture’s welfare division, social welfare council, and other related organizations.  

8. Vehicle Provision

AAR JAPAN has been providing vehicles as vital means of transportation for people who make use of welfare facilities. AAR JAPAN has provided the following vehicles:

1. One (1) van – Nozomi Fukushi Workshop (Operated by Senshin-kai, Minami-sanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture)
2. One (1) mini-vehicle – Huck’s House (Tanohata Village, Shimohei County, Iwate Prefecture)
3. One (1) van – Kujira-no-shippo (Operated by Ishinomaki Shoshin-kai, Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
4. One (1) mini-vehicle – Kick-off Career and Life Support Center for Persons with Disabilities (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
5. One (1) van – Work House Atelier Sun (Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture)
6. One (1) elderly-care taxi – Yamazaki Taxi (Yamada Town, Shimohei County, Iwate Prefecture)
7. One (1) compact car – Hikami-no-sono (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
8. One (1) mini-van – Group Home Kibogaoka (Operated by Harmony Utatsu, Minami-sanriku City, Motoyoshi County, Miyagi Prefecture)
9. Three (3) vehicles – Sasae-ai Yamamoto (Yamamoto Town, Watari County, Miyagi Prefecture)
10. One (1) mini-vehicle – Warabi Gakuen (Otsuchi Town, Kamihei County, Iwate Prefecture)
11. One (1) mini-vehicle – Kamaishi Workshop (Chidori Town, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
12. One (1) van – Suzuran-to-Katatsumuri (Takekoma Town, Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
13. One (1) vehicle – Madoka Arahama (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
14. One (1) elderly care taxi – Otsuchi Taxi (Otsuchi Town, Iwate Prefecture)

9. Supporting Market Expansion for Products made by Persons with Disabilities

Persons with disabilities pour their hearts into their work at a workshop in Asunaro Home. (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)

AAR JAPAN supports various workshops for persons with disabilities, many of which raise funds by selling products such as home-made sweets in their local area. Sales in the disaster-affected areas have decreased sharply since the Great East Japan Earthquake, and AAR JAPAN has been supporting the exploration of new markets for these welfare facilities’ products. We are currently supporting the following facilities:

1.     Harakara Fukushi-kai (Shibata Town, Shibata County, Miyagi Prefecture)
2.     Kurihara-shuho-kai (Kurihara City, Miyagi Prefecture)
3.     Smile Workshop (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
4.     Kamuri Gakuen (Operated by Aisen-kai, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
5.     Fukushi Net ABC (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
6.     Shomatsu-kan (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
7.     Asunaro Home (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
8.     Miyako Work Station (Miyako City, Miyagi Prefecture)
9.     Kamaishi City Fukushi Workshop (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
10.  Warabi Gakuen (Otsuchi Town, Kamihei County, Iwate Prefecture)
11.  Hoyu-kan (Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture)

10. Container Housing Project

At the recommendation of international journalist Izuru SUGAWARA, AAR JAPAN has been providing easy-to-build prefabricated container housing units in the disaster zone. To date, we have installed 43 units in Onagawa Town in Oshika County and in Minami-sanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture, and in Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture. These container housing units are being used by evacuees as private residences and small shops.

11. Hand-made Tote Bags Project

November 20th, 2011 – Hand-made tote bags are very popular among the elderly at temporary housing complexes. (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)

AAR JAPAN collected hand-made tote bags in response to requests from people in evacuation centers and senior care facilities for bags in which to carry their personal belongings. By May 20th, AAR JAPAN had received 5,000 bags from inside and outside of Japan. Volunteers helped to attach AAR JAPAN’s “Sunny-chan” mascot straps to the bags and deliver them to evacuees, with a special focus on the elderly. Survivors who received the bags were pleased not only with the bags themselves, but also with the various encouraging messages written inside.

The project was such a success that AAR JAPAN began collecting bags again in October. As of November 14th, AAR JAPAN had received 2,781 bags, which we are now distributing in the disaster-affected areas.

12. Charity Concerts

In cooperation with Support 21 Social Welfare Foundation, AAR JAPAN’s sister organization, we held a fund-raising concert at the Opera City Concert Hall in Tokyo on May 20th. Through concert revenues we provided 227 musical instruments to the following institutions, at an equivalent value of 35 million yen:

1. Takata Senior High School (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)          
2. Takata Elementary School (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
3. Kamaishi Higashi Junior High School (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
4. Watanoba Junior High School (Ishinomaki Ciity,Miyagi Prefecture)
5. Minato Junior High School (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
6. Kobunkan Senior High School (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
7. Noda Junior High School (Noda Village, Iwate Prefecture)
8. Ishinomaki Brass Band Association (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture) 

On August 5th we held another concert entitled “Concert of Heart: Hope” at Seinen Bunka Center in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, which many disaster survivors were able to enjoy for free.

On October 20th, AAR JAPAN co-hosted “Hope” at the Lyceum Theatre in Shanghai, China, where eight Shanghai-based musicians performed a concert supporting reconstruction in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Led by Mr. Kaoru SHINSHI, the Shanghai-based Japanese volunteer group Friend played a vital role in the concert’s planning committee, which was headed by Mr. Hiroyoshi IKEDA of the Shanghai branch of MYTS Co., Ltd. AAR JAPAN’s Deputy Chairperson, Taki KATOH, presided at the concert.

13. “Let’s Bring Hot Springs to the Disaster Zone!” Project (Concluded)

In coordination with Manyo Club Co., Ltd. (Yokohama City, Kanagawa), Ascendia Inc.(Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo) and other companies, AAR JAPAN implemented the “Let’s Bring Hot Springs to the Disaster Zone!” Project. With the cooperation of Kanagawa Prefecture’s Yugawara Onsen (hot spring), on the first day of the project, April 9th, AAR JAPAN delivered hot spring water to four sites that were used as evacuation centers in Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture: Yamoto Dai-ichi Junior High School, Akai City Center, Ushiami Community Center, and Asai Civic Center. After April 12th, in partnership with Miyagi Prefecture’s Onikobe Onsen (hot spring), AAR JAPAN delivered hot spring water every day except Sundays to six evacuation centers: Yamoto Dai-ichi Junior High School (later divided into two locations), Ushiami Community Center, Akai City Center, Asai Civic Center, and Miyato Elementary School in Higashi-Matsushima City, as well as Ishinomaki Shoshin-kai Social Welfare Corporation in Ishinomaki City. These six delivery points enabled 500-600 evacuees to bathe every day, and AAR JAPAN provided the service until the end of May.

14. Shuttle Bus Service (Concluded)

In Miyagi, AAR JAPAN aided in the operation of a shuttle bus service on Ishinomaki City’s Oshika Peninsula, providing mobility for those who had lost their regular means of transportation. A light shuttle bus circulated twice a day in the Ogihama area and once a day in the Ayukawa area. Beginning April 10th, approximately 530 people in the Ogihama area and 220 people in the Ayukawa area used the buses. The service was concluded on June 4th after roads were repaired and normal bus lines resumed operation.

15. Mobile Clinics and Health-related Services (Concluded)

AAR JAPAN visited Makinohama, Takenohama, Kitsunezakihama, Sudachi, Fukkiura, Kozumihama, and Kobuchihama on the Oshika Peninsula, where approximately 640 survivors are taking shelter in their homes. Led by Dr. Toshiaki YASUDA, a local medical practitioner, AAR JAPAN’s medical team established a mobile clinic and implemented health-related services such as checking up on sufferers of chronic illnesses, preventing the spread of infectious diseases, and implementing psychological support. We examined a total of 817 people between March 19th and September 18th. Home-care nurses visited an additional 387 people in temporary housing in Ishinomaki City between August 10thand September 15th. This service ended on September 30th as local medical facilities resumed operation.

16. Sanitation Services (Concluded)

AAR JAPAN implemented sanitation services for approximately 1,000 people in evacuation centers in Ishinomaki City and Minami-sanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture. As futons, blankets, and mattresses became dirty as a result of long-term use in evacuation centers, we dried them in the sun and collected old and dirty futons to be replaced with summer-season bedding. We also engaged in general cleaning in evacuation centers, where the summer rise in humidity and temperature led to deterioration in sanitary conditions, including a huge increase in flies and mosquitoes. AAR JAPAN also distributed futon driers, vacuum cleaners, dehumidifiers, cleaning equipment, insect repellent and insecticides (fly tape, mite killer, etc.) with instructions on their use. To reduce the risk of food poisoning, we delivered refrigerators to evacuation centers that lacked them. We implemented these efforts in 25 evacuation centers from June 14th to August 31st. This service ended on August 31st.

All of the relief efforts outlined above are based on financial and material aid from private companies, various organizations and associations, schools, and individuals as well as Japan Platform. While it would be impossible to introduce all of our individual supporters, we offer you our sincerest thanks. We deeply appreciate your generous and continued support. 

To see some of the international donors supporting our Great East Japan Earthquake Relief Activities, please refer to the following URL: