Japan: Making Survivors’ Lives More Comfortable

Improving Conditions in Evacuation Centers and Temporary Housing

Many survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake continue to live under uncertain conditions in shelters and temporary housing. AAR JAPAN has been undertaking efforts to make their lives as comfortable as possible in the hot and humid summer, as well as preparing for the severity of the coming winter.

(The efforts outlined below have been supported through donations from HOPE FOR JAPAN.)

Improving Sanitation in the Heat of Summer
The rainy season came to the disaster zone 4 months after the earthquake, in the middle of July. Futons and blankets used in shelters had not been washed or dried since March, and some damp tatami (straw floor mats) became moldy and were infested with ticks. The rising temperature also brought out a large number of flies and mosquitoes that led to a further deterioration in sanitary conditions.

AAR JAPAN visited Ishinomaki City and Minami-Sanriku Town in Miyagi Prefecture to conduct sanitation improvement activities. With the cooperation of survivors living in shelters, we cleaned the shelters and removed futons and cardboard boxes that had not been moved since the earthquake. Then we collected dirty futons and handed out new summer blankets, as well as providing futon drying machines and dehumidifiers.  

AAR JAPAN also provided insecticide, set up mosquito screens and nets, provided refrigerators to preserve food, and set up blinds to block out direct sunlight where needed. Some survivors living in shelters told us that drying machines for futons would be very useful, as they had not been able to dry their futons in the sun since the earthquake. They also complained that, while the city had provided insecticide, the quantity had been insufficient, and not everyone was able to receive any. “We really appreciate that AAR JAPAN has provided the resources we need when we need them,” they said. We’re glad to have been able to contribute to making survivors’ living environments even a little more comfortable.

Preparing for Winter in Temporary Housing
In September, AAR JAPAN provided heaters to survivors in temporary housing on the Oshika Peninsula, part of Ishinomaki City. Some survivors said that they had been worrying about how they would get through the coming winter given the short supply of heaters in the area. In order to ease their concerns, AAR JAPAN provided heaters to 80 families in shelters in Ayukawahama, an area where many elderly people live.

Residents of temporary housing chose a leader to coordinate with AAR JAPAN for the distribution of the heaters. We hope that the establishment of a community leader will encourage the survivors to continue to work together to get through this difficult time.  

Through these efforts, AAR JAPAN provided emergency supplies to a total of 965 people in 9 shelters from July 13th to September 7th. AAR JAPAN will continue our efforts to support survivors and enable them to live healthier and warmer lives during the coming winter.

July 20th – The second floor of this storehouse gets hot in the daytime, and it doesn’t cool down even at night. This blind will help block the sunlight during the day. With Moeko NAGAI (left) of AAR JAPAN.

July 20th – Mizuho SEKII (right) of AAR JAPAN provides insecticides to shelters on the Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi Prefecture.

September 7th – “I was told that I would have to wait 3 months to get a heater. Now I have a heater already, and I think I’ll be fine for the winter.” With Erika SAITO of AAR JAPAN (back left) in Ayukawahama, Ishinomaki City.

Erika SAITO, AAR JAPAN Sendai Office
Has been working on medical assistance projects in AAR JAPAN’s Sendai Office since April 2011.



East Africa: Building Classrooms for Refugee Camps

AAR JAPAN has been sending staff to Kenya for emergency assistance in the East African areas (including Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) where damage from severe drought continues to spread. On September 7th, AAR JAPAN’s emergency assistance team set up 15 tents to be used as school classrooms and five days later delivered school supplies such as blackboards and stationery to the refugee camp in Dadaab near the Somali border. Ikuko NATORI of AAR JAPAN’s Tokyo office reports on the ongoing effort.

August 16th – Dadaab, the world largest refugee camp, home to more than 400,000 people: Assistance from the international community is needed to help a swelling population in the camps.
Too Few Schools for Too Many Kids!

Approximately 300,000 people (mostly Somali refugees who fled the ongoing civil war in that country) were already living in refugee camps in Dadaab before the drought hit. This year alone, an additional 154,000 Somali refugees flooded into the camps, with 1,300 more arriving every day.

In response to this critical humanitarian crisis, several UN organizations, including UNHCR and other aid groups from around the world have stepped up to engage in relief efforts. Food and water are being distributed by every aid organization, though supplies are still not sufficient. At the same time, the number of schools is far from sufficient for the increasing number of refugees. Currently, of 156,000 school-aged children living in Dadaab; only 42% of eligible children are enrolled in primary school, and for middle school, enrolment is as low as 5%.

September 12th – Children in a classroom tent, where they can study with some peace of mind.
I met many people in Angola and South Sudan who found jobs at home or in other countries after leaving the refugee camps thanks to the education they received while in the camps. For people who may not have a house, land, or livestock, just having an education can lead to employment.

A local NGO, ADEO (active mainly in the fields of medicine and education in East/West Africa), runs primary schools in Dadaab. Concerned by the severe lack of classrooms leading into the start of the new semester, ADEO sought support from AAR JAPAN.

Providing Classrooms, Blackboards, and Stationery

On September 7th, AAR JAPAN installed 15 tents to be used as classrooms on the premise of the primary school in Ifo Camp, Dadaab. The installation was finished just in time for the new semester, and many children are now enrolled in the school. AAR JAPAN also delivered school supplies such as blackboards, chalk, notebooks, and pencils, on the 12th of September.
“I’d never gone to school before. I’m having so much fun every day,”said Nazzi Muhammed Omar, a 12-year-old boy, who came from Somalia three months ago. He lost his father to disease and had been helping his mother in the field. Due to the drought, however, all the crops they were growing, including beans, rye, and maize, were destroyed. They used to go 20 kilometers by carriage to obtain water, but the donkey that was pulling the carriage died from hunger. Tears in his eyes, Nazzi told us that after that he jumped onto the back of a truck along with his mother and five brothers to cross the border. When asked what his dream was, he answered assertively, “I want to become a school teacher.” I hope he’ll continue his studies and achieve his goal.

September 12th –Nazzi Muhammed Omar tells his story: “My favorite subjects are English and Swahili.” At right is Ikuko NATORI of AAR JAPAN.
Assistance to Local Kenyans in the Surrounding Areas

The influx of refugees continues today. AAR JAPAN is committed to maintaining its aid efforts in coordination with other aid groups, such as international institutions and other NGOs, as well as the local people, carefully taking into consideration both what is most needed by the growing number of refugees and what AAR JAPAN can do to support them.

It is not only those who live in the refugee camps who need help. Damage done by the drought across the North Eastern Province of Kenya is enormous, with many local residents facing the same hardships as those living in the camps. Since they are not considered refugees, however, relief assistance seldom reaches these locals. Therefore, AAR JAPAN intends to give attention to the host communities as well, assisting them as we did in the eastern Kenyan town of Garissa where we distributed food not only to the refugees but also to residents living nearby.

Although this crisis has had low media exposure in Japan, in East Africa a great number of people are barely surviving day by day and desperately need help.
With your assistance, many more refugees’ lives can be saved. AAR JAPAN humbly asks for your continued support.

The refugee camp in Dadaab in the North Eastern Province of Kenya. At center is Ikuko NATORI from AAR JAPAN’s Tokyo office.
September 12th – Children come out of a classroom  installed by AAR JAPAN

*This project has been made possible thanks to a grant provided by Japan Platform in addition to generous individual donations.

Overseas Division Chief, AAR JAPAN Tokyo office
Engaged in assistance to developing nations as staff for the United Nations and NGOs since 1999. With AAR JAPAN, in charge of mine action in Angola from 2006, and water and sanitation projects in Southern Sudan (now the Republic of South Sudan) from 2008. Overseas Division Chief at AAR JAPAN Tokyo office since 2010. Involved in various emergency relief efforts such as the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. (Born in Shiga Prefecture)
(Profile at the time of posting)



Japan: Baseball Lessons and Aromatherapy Cheer Survivors

AAR JAPAN has been carrying out the Building Healthy Communities Project, providing mobile clinics, sanitation services, psychological care, and community interaction and exchange events such as soup kitchens and massage services in the disaster-affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures.

The following is a report on our activities in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture.

Baseball Lessons with Retired Professional Players 
On August 18th, AAR JAPAN held a community interaction and exchange event in Ishinomaki City, where a women’s group supporting the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles organized baseball lessons in the schoolyard at Higashihama Elementary School.

Mr. Daisuke MASUDA and Mr. Katsumi YAMASHITA, retired players who are now junior coaches with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, offered baseball lessons for the students and teachers of Higashihama Elementary School and survivors of the March 11th disaster who are still living in the school and its surroundings.

People practiced playing catch and batting, and everyone was excited to be taught enjoyable lessons by pro-level players.

Wearing Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles jerseys, students and parents play baseball with the principal of Higashihama Elementary School, Mr. KAKUDA (right).

Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles junior coaches, Mr. Daisuke MASUDA (right) and Mr. Katsumi YAMASHITA (left), along with Shinichiro OHARA of AAR JAPAN’s Sendai office.

We also organized a soup kitchen and provided steak and fried noodles for 150 people, including both the lesson participants and people staying at the evacuation center in the Futsukiura area of Ishinomaki City. People working to remove disaster debris also came out during their lunch break, happily commenting that eating steak made them feel energized.  

“Please eat lots!” Tsutomu KATO, AAR JAPAN board member (right), talks to children while grilling steak.

Providing Relaxation Services for Parents

On August 23rd, AAR JAPAN organized an aromatherapy session for 24 parents at Higashihama Elementary School, making 8 professional aroma therapists available to offer them physical and mental relaxation. Equipment, including special beds, was provided by the therapists themselves or through donations from across the country. Relaxed lighting, ambient background music, the smell of oils, and a comfortable room temperature created a relaxing atmosphere that rejuvenated both the mind and body.  

Unable to release their pent-up stress and both physically and mentally exhausted, we discovered that some of the parents had developed a great deal of physical tension and very low body temperatures. Professional treatment allowed them to gradually relax.

Mr. KAKUDA, the school principal and also a disaster survivor, commented after the treatment, “I felt that I was truly able to relax for the first time since the earthquake. The time went by slowly, and it felt so good.” Others said that the session helped with backaches they had developed from living in evacuation centers, adding, “I never knew if felt this good”.

Various kinds of oils used in aromatherapy. Each aroma is selected based on the conditions and symptoms of the person receiving treatment.

Parents at Higashihama Elementary School receive massages. Exhausted since the earthquake, they finally get a chance for a little relaxation.

We sincerely appreciate the generous support of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, our aroma therapists, and the individual supporters who made these events possible.
AAR JAPAN plans to continue our Building Healthy Communities Project in cooperation with organizations and corporations so the people in the disaster zone can get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Erika SAITO, AAR JAPAN Sendai OfficeHas been working in medical assistance projects in AAR JAPAN’s Sendai Office since April 2011.


Six Months Since 3.11, A Decade Since 9/11―An Address from AAR JAPAN Chairperson of the Board, Yukie OSA

Half a year has passed since March 11th, 2011. As of the 10th of September, a total of 15,781 people are confirmed dead, and police continue to search for the 4,086 who remain missing. From the bottom of my heart, I pray for the souls of those who so suddenly lost their lives, and express my deepest condolences to their bereaved families.

The earthquake and tsunami have deprived countless people of their homes and property, their means of livelihood, and above all, the basic security of their day-to-day lives. In Fukushima Prefecture, there are people who, in the aftermath of the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, have been forced to leave their places of birth behind, seeking refuge in other municipalities. To all the people who have suffered from this calamity, I once again offer my heartfelt sympathy.

Since the disaster struck, we at the Association for Aid and Relief JAPAN (AAR JAPAN) have received contributions and financial support in excess of 18 million yen, as well as materials and services from corporations, civil organizations, financial associations, and individual supporters both inside and outside Japan. The details of our activities have been reported on our homepage and in newsletters. I would like to take this opportunity to renew my sincere gratitude for all the assistance we have received, and I pledge to make the best possible use of the contributions entrusted to us for the benefit of the victims of this disaster.

AAR JAPAN is an NGO founded on the principle of international cooperation, formed at the initiative of former President Yukika Sohma (1912-2008), who, at the inception of an Indo-Chinese refugee crisis in 1979, called for extending the Japanese tradition epitomized in the adage, “When in need, all are equals”, to even strangers overseas, thereby demonstrating Japan’s goodwill to the world. AAR JAPAN is committed to non-sectarianism and humanitarianism—in other words, a conviction that assistance should be extended to the most vulnerable and to those most severely distressed, regardless of political, ideological, or religious beliefs, and without any discrimination due to nationality, race, or ethnicity. Since its founding, AAR JAPAN has implemented emergency assistance, engaged in mine action, supported persons with disabilities, and worked to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in over fifty-five countries and regions across the world.

In 1999, at the 20th anniversary of AAR JAPAN’s establishment, founder Sohma reflected, “It is wonderful that an organization such as AAR JAPAN, which has no regular backing whatsoever, with only the goal of helping overseas refugees, has been able to sustain its activities for as long as twenty years without being disbanded. This is not to be taken as a sign that an unfortunate state has persisted in the world, in which there continues to be a need for an organization such as AAR JAPAN. Rather, the continued viability of AAR JAPAN, existing as it does without reliable backing, and only for the purpose of helping refugees, is a manifestation of the reality that the Japanese people are not indifferent to the suffering of the world’s refugees. In other words, AAR JAPAN is an expression of the Japanese people’s warm-heartedness.”

Standing here, half a year after March 11th, looking back at six months over which AAR JAPAN’s team of 100 staff and volunteers have been carrying out relief efforts both in Tokyo and in the field, we see the same principles embraced by supporters across Japan—including in the disaster zone itself—as well as around the world. I would once again like to express our appreciation for the support and understanding we have received, which we hope will enable us to continue our relief and reconstruction efforts for at least two more years as we work to rebuild the lives and livelihoods of all the people suffering as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

AAR JAPAN is an organization that seeks to offer unconditional support for refugees and displaced persons, carry out mine action, and offer assistance to persons with disabilities, in addition to engaging in relief efforts in developing nations where local governments do not have the ability to protect or care for their own citizens in the wake of conflict or disaster.  It is hard for us to believe that here in Japan we could confront such a scene of misery and suffering as we have seen in Tohoku. We are shocked to see the Japanese government unable to provide sufficient assistance to the affected people, particularly our most vulnerable citizens such as persons with disabilities and the elderly. We, as a humanitarian organization, feel an acute sense of frustration. Yet, on the other hand, we find satisfaction in being able to utilize in Japan the experience and methods of operation acquired through our responses to large-scale natural disasters and emergency assistance in places of conflict abroad. We also believe that it is the mission of AAR JAPAN, as an international NGO born in Japan, to mobilize such experience and practices for the purpose of national reconstruction.

We engaged in local relief efforts at the time of the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake in 1995, and again in Niigata following the quake of 2004. However, organizing efforts on the scale needed to care for the whole of the three prefectures most affected by the March 11th disaster has been a completely new experience for us. Though well-versed in activities overseas, we had no prior experience in the Tohoku area. As a result, we had to listen and learn from the requests, complaints, and concerns we heard every day. Thanks to the advice and cooperation we have received, including from those living in temporary shelters who continue to care about the people around them, we have been able to sustain our efforts while meeting with words of appreciation from those whom we have helped. We are also indebted to the firefighters and volunteers who spare no effort in performing their duties to the limits of their capabilities, as well as to the mayors of cities, towns and villages, the staff of local self-governing bodies, the officials and workers in charge of facilities for persons with disabilities, and coordinators at temporary shelters. We express our sincere appreciation to all of them for enabling us to work with and learn from them in the midst of this calamity.

AAR JAPAN feels a heavy sense of responsibility for the extensive impact of the accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, not only in Fukushima Prefecture, but also throughout the Tohoku and Kanto regions. The electricity generated there was supplied not to the Tohoku area, but to Tokyo and other parts of Kanto. In other words, it is we ourselves who have lived off the benefits of the electricity generated in Fukushima, which has now resulted in a disaster comparable only to Chernobyl.

In addition to our efforts centered around assistance to persons with disabilities in Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures, with financial support from Japan Platform and in collaboration with ADRA Japan, AAR JAPAN is presently providing daily necessities for the 35,000 families residing in temporary shelters or rented houses within Fukushima Prefecture. AAR JAPAN’s target beneficiaries are the 13 cities, towns, and villages located in the Hamadori (Coastal Road) and Nakadori (Central Road) areas, including Soma City, Minami-Soma City, and Iitate Village. Despite being an NGO born in the only nation in the world to have suffered first-hand the horrors of atomic bombing, we are still groping to find the way forward now that we are faced with our first nuclear power accident, and we are still unsure as to what assistance we can provide beyond the delivery of daily essentials. We intend to overcome any radiation fears and support economic and infrastructural recovery by carefully heeding the wishes of the disaster-affected people and their local governments.

I teach in a university, specializing in a field called “Human Security”. It was very embarrassing for me to learn for the first time the reality that, despite periodic safety checks, many workers at the Dai-ichi plant had regularly been forced to expose themselves to radiation even before the accident. Who is the “human” in the concept of “Human Security”? Believing in the premise that human security within Japan was already fully guaranteed, I had focused my attention only on human security for people in regions overseas where there existed no functioning government or no government of any kind. Yet the safety of the nuclear plant workers is precisely an issue of human security. I believe that if the security of nuclear plant workers had been recognized by industries, labor unions and us, the end users of electricity, and if consequently a system to protect their security had been properly put in place, an accident of this kind might not have occurred.

A life that capitalizes on the sacrifices of others may be possible for a brief period of time, but it is not viable in the long term. Happiness based on someone else’s sacrifice cannot make anyone truly happy. This is the thought that dwells on my mind at the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks as I speak with my Afghan colleagues currently visiting Japan for program coordination consultation.

Guaranteeing human security for all of humanity may turn out to be an unrealistic goal. I would venture to suggest, however, that human security can be assured only when we keep in mind and aim for the realization of happiness and security not merely for the Japanese people, but for all people the world over—and in the same way, not merely for the people of developing nations, but also for all the people of Japan.

The Sphere Project sets the minimum standard for assistance in the arena of emergency relief through international cooperation. In an industrialized nation such as Japan, though stricken by disaster, such standards should be met quickly once the confusion of the immediate post-disaster period passes. However, in many areas the Sphere Project standards remain unmet, including minimum calorie intake, living space, and the environment for women. To address these shortfalls, AAR JAPAN intends to draw upon the experience and knowhow gained in our many years as an NGO engaged in international cooperation.

Among our staff, there are those who, coming from the disaster-hit area, have had their homes completely destroyed, losing as a result any chance to engage in support endeavors overseas. On behalf of those colleagues, as well as on behalf of all the victims of the disaster, we will redouble our efforts. As we mark the passage of six months since March 11th, 2011, and ten years since September 11th, 2001, I take this opportunity to reconfirm AAR JAPAN’s commitment to future efforts, and ask for sustained support from all of you.

The Sphere Project

Started in 1997 by a consortium of international NGOs and the international Red Cross/Red Crescent Society, the Sphere Project sets the minimum standards to be met through emergency humanitarian support in response to disasters. The Sphere Handbook outlines a charter for humanitarianism, including the minimum standards and basic indices in the main sectors of disaster assistance (water supply and sanitation, nutrition, food relief and food acquisition, shelter, and health services). These are regarded as the most reliable indices for use in the field when the international community, including UN agencies, carries out humanitarian assistance. The Sphere Handbook has been revised several times, the latest version being published in 2011.

Chairperson of the Board of AAR JAPAN, Yukie OSA
Born in Tokyo in 1963 and raised in Ibaraki.  She graduated from Department of Political Science, School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University.  After working at a foreign bank for several years, she went to the Graduate School of Political Science, Waseda University and took Master of Political Science degree.  While working at a foreign company, she began working at AAR JAPAN as a volunteer member in 1990 and became a full-time staff in 1991.  She worked as a Resident Representative of the former Yugoslavian office, Managing Director/Deputy Secretary General, and Executive Director/Secretary General(2000-2003).  In those years, she engaged in emergency humanitarian assistance, landmine actions, and activities of the International Campaigns to Ban Landmines(ICBL) for the total demolition of landmines.  In 2004 she joined the doctoral program on “Human Security” at Graduate School of Art and Sciences, Tokyo University and received Ph.D degree in 2007.  In July 2008, she became the Chairperson of the Board of AAR JAPAN.  She is also the professor of the Graduate School of Social Design Studies, Rikkyo University since April 2009 and also a professor of the faculty of Sociology at Rikkyo University since April 2010. She is the author of the “Srebrenica-discussion about genocide”(Toshindo, 2009) and some other books.


Japan: 200 Bicycles Provided to Junior and Senior High Schools in Ishinomaki City

Securing the Means to Go to School

Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, was devastated by the March 11th earthquake. Months later, some of the city’s train and bus lines have yet to be restored, and although some students were driven to school by their parents during the spring semester, the daily drive has been a burden on families, as all Japanese students normally walk, ride bicycles, or take public transport. In addition, many students transferred from emergency shelters to temporary housing during the summer vacation, moving them even further from their schools.

Managing junior and senior high school students’ means of transport became a major issue as  the new semester approached in September. In response, AAR JAPAN delivered a total of 200 bicycles to 5 junior and senior high schools in Ishinomaki City: Ishinomaki Municipal Girls’ Senior High School, Ishinomaki Senior High School, Ishinomaki Kobunkan Senior High School, Ishinomaki Kita Senior High School, and Ishinomaki Municipal Inai Junior High School.

Pleased with the bicycles they have received, two students offer V-signs.

On August 19th, a bicycle presentation ceremony was held at Ishinomaki Municipal Girls’ Senior High School, with principals, vice-principals, teachers and students from the five schools in attendance. Mr. Bruce R. BAILLIE, Representative Director of Rolex Japan Co., Ltd., on behalf of Rolex Co., Ltd. in Switzerland, Fusako YANASE, President of AAR JAPAN, and Tadamasa FUKIURA, Special Advisor to AAR JAPAN, also took part in the ceremony.

Ceremony participants in front of Ishinomaki Municipal Girls’ Senior High School. At front right of center is Mr. MIKUNI, Principal of Ishinomaki Municipal Girls’ Senior High School. Front left of center is Mr. BAILLIE, Representative Director of Rolex Japan Co., Ltd. Front third from left is Fusako YANASE, President of AAR JAPAN. Back third from left is Tadamasa FUKIURA, Special Advisor to AAR JAPAN.

 “We’ll Do Our Best to Make the Most of our School Lives, Both in Class and in Club Activities.”

The students were thoroughly pleased with the bicycles they received. This project was realized through a donation from Rolex Co., Ltd. in Switzerland, with support from Bridgestone Cycle Co., Ltd., the Miyagi Prefectural Rifle Association, and the Inai Oyaji Group. We express our sincerest gratitude to everyone who helped make this project possible.

                                                             Sayako NOGIWA, head of AAR JAPAN’s Tohoku office
Worked at AAR JAPAN since April 2005. Engaged in a number of emergency assistance operations, including the Myanmar cyclone in 2008, the Sumatra earthquake in 2009, the Pakistan floods in 2010, and others. Entered the disaster area 2 days after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and has worked as the head of the Tohoku office for the emergency assistance team.

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Japan: Six Months since the Great East Japan Earthquake: Activity Report

Please Don’t Forget the Disaster Zone – Your Support is Still Needed!

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, the elderly, and survivors living at home, AAR JAPAN is also repairing welfare facilities, providing vehicles, and preparing soup kitchens.

Some survivors continue to live in emergency shelters, while many others have transferred to temporary housing. The move to temporary housing has led to new concerns, such as survivors’ tendency to stay inside because they have few friends or acquaintances in their new neighborhoods. Through the Building Healthy Communities Project, AAR JAPAN has been providing rehabilitation and healthcare services, psychological care, and community interaction and exchange events that enable survivors to reclaim and maintain their physical and mental health.

Half a year has passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake, yet many survivors in the disaster zone still need your support. The further people live from the disaster zone, the more quickly the earthquake and its aftermath slip from their collective memory. AAR JAPAN will continue our efforts on the behalf of the survivors, and we beg your ongoing support.

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

September 7th – Kentaro KOSUGE of AAR JAPAN delivers relief supplies to Yamoto-aiiku-kai Gin-no-hoshi Social Welfare Corporation. (Higashi Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture.)

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

1.        Delivering Relief for Families in Temporary Housing and Leased Housing in Fukushima Prefecture (Approximately 35,000 families)
2.        Building Healthy Communities Project
3.        Delivery of Relief Supplies
4.        Soup Kitchens
5.        Institutional Reconstruction
6.        Providing Vehicles
7.        Container Housing Project
8.        Hand-made Tote Bag Project
9.        Providing Musical Instruments
10.      Psychological Care for Children (Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture)
11.     “Let’s Bring Hot Springs to the Disaster Zone!” Project (Concluded)
12.     Shuttle Buses (Concluded June 4th)
13.     Support for Food Service at Schools in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture (Concluded)

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

With a grant from Japan Platform (JPF)* and in cooperation with ADRA Japan, we have been supporting the day-to-day lives of all the families living in temporary housing and leased housing in Fukushima Prefecture. As the Japanese Red Cross has 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: Soma City, Minami-Soma City, Shinchi Town, Iitate Village, Tomioka Town, Kawauchi Village, Koriyama City, Sukagawa City, Kagamiishi City, Shirakawa City, Nishigo Village, Yabuki Town, and Izumisaki Village. 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 August 31st, we have completed the delivery of relief supplies to 12,100 households in the target area.

*Japan Platform (JPF) facilitates the cooperation of NGOs, governments, and corporations in conducting emergency assistance for natural disasters, refugees, and internally displaced people. JPF operates with government funding and donations from corporations and individuals.

August 5th– Daigo TAKAGI of AAR JAPAN delivers relief supplies to an evacuee living in temporary housing. (Yabuki Town, Fukushima Prefecture.)

2. Building Healthy Communities Project

AAR JAPAN has been providing rehabilitation and health-related services, mobile clinics, sanitation services, psychological care, and community interaction and exchange events for about 3,000 people, focusing on people with disabilities, the elderly, survivors staying in their own homes, and people staying in temporary housing in the 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 providing rehabilitation services by sending occupational therapists and physiotherapists to evacuation centers, senior care facilities, facilities for people with disabilities, temporary housing, and individual homes in Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures, offering rehabilitation visits and massages to 457 people from July 9th to September 3rd.

August 13th – Ms. Nodoka MIURA, an occupational therapist, offers instruction on simple exercises using a towel at a meeting place for temporary housing residents. (Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture.)

Mobile Clinics and Health-related Services

AAR JAPAN has visited Makinohama, Takenohama, Kitsunezaki-hama, 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’s medical team has 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 772 people between April 9th and August 31st. Home-care nurses visited an additional 242 people in temporary housing in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, between August 10th and August 31st.

Sanitation Services

AAR JAPAN has 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, collecting old and dirty futons while offering new summer-season bedding. We also engaged in general cleaning in evacuation centers, where summer’s rise in humidity and temperature led to the deterioration of sanitary conditions, including a huge increase in flies and mosquitoes.

We also distributed futon driers, vacuum cleaners, dehumidifiers, cleaning equipment, insect repellent and insecticides (fly tape, mite killer, etc.) with instruction 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.

Psychological Care

In order 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 47 people between August 6th and September 3rd.

Community Interaction and Exchange Events

AAR JAPAN has been actively promoting community interaction and exchange events to help promote the development of social ties in evacuation shelters 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 the following community events:

- Participated in a festival at Wako Kindergarten in Shichi-ga-hama Town, Miyagi Prefecture (July 23rd).  
- Participated in the Bon Festival in Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture (August 15th).
- Organized a soup kitchen and a community interaction and exchange event at an evacuation shelter in Higashi-hama Elementary School on the Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi Prefecture (August 18th).
- Organized a soup kitchen, massage services, and a community interaction and exchange event in Touni Town, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (August 20th).
- Organized a soup kitchen, massage services, and a watermelon-splitting game (a traditional summer event) in Otomo Town, Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture (August 20th).
- Organized a relaxation event with aromatic therapists at Higashi-hama Elementary School in Miyagi Prefecture (August 23rd).

August 20th – A woman enjoys talking to neighborhood children in a community interaction and exchange event at Sayuri Multifunctional Small-scale Home. (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture.)


3. Delivery of Relief Supplies to Affected Areas from March 14th to September 8th

Delivery Points

978 locations totaling an estimated 73,244 people
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
And others.

Delivery Facilities

Evacuation shelters, 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, day-care centers, kindergartens, elementary schools, junior high schools, senior high schools, and others.

Relief 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: about 627 kg, carrots: about 515 kg, onions: about 1,213 kg, spinach: about 348 units, cabbage: 786 units, Chinese radishes: 345 units, leeks: about 170 kg, bell peppers: about 4 kg, tomatoes: about 421 bags; also 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, small watermelons: about 568 units, grapefruit, melons, and others), Eggs (124 packs), Other food (Retort foods, food for the elderly, canned food, miso, soy sauce, dietary supplements, etc.), Blankets, Bedclothes, Underwear, Clothes and scarves, Towels and hand cloths, “Furoshiki” wrapping cloths, Face masks (73,280 units), Hand warmers (5,000 units), Sleeping bags (3,400 units), Cold medicine and other medical supplies, Toothbrushes (10,000 units), 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 (12 units), Boots (100 pairs), Books and picture books (20 boxes), Crayons (300 sets), Cell phone chargers (120 units), Computers (39 units), Computer desks (3 units), Printers (2 units), Bicycles (284 units), Carts (10 units), Carriage(1 unit), Washing machines (18 units), Dryers (26 units), Refrigerators (25 units), Telephones (6 units), Televisions (14 units), CD players (10 units), Portable radios (10 units), Phlegm suction devices (2 units), Care beds (23 units), Rollaway beds (2 units), Beds (1 unit), Wheelchairs (8 units), Care chairs (8 units), Walkers (48 units), Walking sticks (71 units), Power generators (3 unit), Knives (20 units), Cutting boards (20 units), Small shelving units (13 units), Book shelves (1 unit), Clothing cases (6 units), Disinfectant spray (500 units), Hand soap (168 units), Reading glasses (100 units), Stuffed toys, Irons and ironing boards (60 units each), Electric fans (103 units), Vacuum cleaners (57 units), Rice cookers (11 units), Dish driers (2 unit), Futon dehumidifiers (34 units), Dehumidifiers (40 units), Microwave ovens (9units), Thermos (13 units), Digital cameras (6 units), DVD players (1 unit), Video cameras (1 unit), Reflective heaters (6 units), Automated blood pressure meters (38 units), Scales (30 units), Rotary duplicators (2 units), Futon sets (139 units), Mattresses (50 units), Sheets (35 units), Cotton blankets (183 units), Insecticide, insect-repellant spray, fly tape, mosquito coils,  mosquito nets, etc. 12-roll sets of toilet paper (15 bags), Laundry detergent, Dishwashing detergent, Toilet-bowl cleaner, Washing baskets (50 units), Hangers (30 units), Cleaning buckets (50 units), Paper plates (1,000 units), Notebooks (40 units), Copy paper (500 sheets), Tinfoil and cling wrap (60 units each), Grass cutters (10 units), Lawn mowers (1 unit), Cucumber seedlings (74 units), Tomato seedlings (82 units), Flower seedlings (10 units), Screen windows (14 units), Laundry poles, Summer clothing, Boots, sandals, Slippers, Ice packs (35 units), neck coolers (5,000 units), Play pools, Nutritional supplements (2,000 bags), Umbrellas (4 units), Nagoya harps (3 units), Electric pianos (1 unit), Pianos (2 units), Keyboards (1 unit), Taiko drums (4 units), Tea paraphernalia, Musical instruments, Sewing machines, and others.

4. 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. From March 31st to August 28th, we prepared soup kitchens in the following locations:

Soup Kitchen Locations (Estimated 21,891 meals served in 61 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
Fukushima Prefecture: Hara Town in Minami-Soma City

Soup Kitchen Menu

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 vinegared rice), Cooked radish and minced meat, Kashiwa mochi (rice cake wrapped in oak leaf), Fried whitefish, Miso soup with radish, Root 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, 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, etc.

August 18th, 2011- Ben KATO, director of AAR JAPAN, grills up meat for survivors at a soup kitchen at Higashi-hama Elementary School. The survivors tell us they’re pleased to be able to eat meat for the first time in a while. (Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi Prefecture.)

5. Institutional Reconstruction

In coordination with local construction companies, AAR JAPAN has been repairing senior care facilities and facilities for persons with disabilities in 60 locations in order to accelerate resumption of services. From April 21st to September 6th, we repaired the following facilities:

- Minori-kai Rubert Social Welfare Corporation
(Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Shinwa-kai Clovers Pier Wasse Social Welfare Corporation
 (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Himawari Senshin-Kai Yume-no-mori Workshop Social Welfare Corporation
(Kesen-numa City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Yamoto-aiiku-kai Gin-no-hoshi Social Welfare Corporation
 (Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Kurihara-shuho-kai Social Welfare Corporation
 (Kurihara City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Fureai-no-mori Social Welfare Corporation
 (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Yoko Fukushi-kai Echo Ryouiku-en Social Welfare Corporation
 (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Coconet Autism Peering Center
 (NPO, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Seiwa-kai Miyama-sou Special Nursing Home
(Social Welfare Corporation, Yamamoto Town, Watari County, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Aisen-kai Kamuri Gakuen Social Welfare Corporation
 (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Hoshin-kai Omatsu-Gakuen Social Welfare Corporation
 (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Kamikuri-sou Kamaishi Kyosei-kai Group Home
 (NPO, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Yoshihama-sou Aisei-kai Facility for Persons with Disabilities
 (Social Welfare Corporation, Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Kojuen Special Elderly Nursing Home
 (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Kourin-kai Lumbini-en Social Welfare Corporation
 (Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Sansan-kai Asunaro Home Social Welfare Corporation
 (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Yamada Kyosei-kai Yamada Kyosei Workshop Social Welfare Corporation
 (Yamada Town, Shimohei County, Iwate Prefecture)
- Taiyou-kai Jiai Fukushi Gakuen Social Welfare Corporation
 (Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Taiyou-kai Social Welfare Corporation
 (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Taiyou-kai Aomatsu-kan Social Welfare Corporation
 (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Matsubara Home Social Welfare Corporation’s Aiiku-kai Machikado Counseling Room
 (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Shouyu Kamaishi Work Station Social Welfare Corporation
 (Kamaishi City, Iwate 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 reconstruction of facilities for persons with disabilities and senior care facilities in the affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures in coordination with each prefecture’s welfare division, social welfare council, and other related organizations. AAR JAPAN’s reconstruction efforts have been made possible through the cooperation of our supporters and a grant from Japan Platform (JPF).

6. Providing Vehicles

AAR JAPAN has been providing vehicles as a vital means of transportation for people who use welfare facilities. We have provided the following vehicles to 7 facilities:

- 1 van - Senshin-kai Nozomi Welfare Workshop Social Welfare Cooperation
 (Minami-Sanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture)
- 1 mini-vehicle – Hak’s House
 (NPO, Iwate Prefecture)
- 1 pickup van – Ishinomaki Shoshin-kai Kujira-no-shippo Service Facility for Persons with Disabilities
 (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- 1 mini-vehicle – Kick-off Career and Life Support Center for Persons with Disabilities
 (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
- 1 van – Work House Atelie
 (Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture)
- 1 elderly-care taxi – Yamazaki taxi
 (Yamada Town, Shimohei County, Iwate Prefecture)
- 1 compact car – Hikami-no-sono
 (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)

August 23rdAAR JAPAN provided a van for Kick-off Career and Life Support Center for Persons with Disabilities in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture. 

This project has been carried out in cooperation with Accenture Co., Ltd., the Tokyo Art Club, JTI Foundation, and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Inc. (JCCI).

7. 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 30 units in the town of Onagawa in Oshika County, Miyagi Prefecture. These container housing units are being used by evacuees as private residences and small shops.

August 15thOnagawa Container House Village Shopping Arcade. The next challenge is to attract as many customers as possible. (Onagawa Town, Oshika County, Miyagi Prefecture.)

8. Hand-made Tote Bag Project

AAR JAPAN collected hand-made tote bags in response to requests from people in evacuation centers and senior care facilities for bags 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. People who received the bags were pleased not only with the bags themselves, but also with the various encouraging messages written inside.

9. Providing Musical Instruments

In cooperation with AAR JAPAN’s sister organization, Support 21 Social Welfare Corporation, we held two fund-raising concerts: “Home” at the Opera City Concert Hall in Tokyo on May 20th, and “Concert of Heart: Hope” at the Seinen Culture Center in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. Through concert revenues we provided a total of 232 musical instruments to the following institutions, at an equivalent value of 35 million yen:

- Takata Senior High School (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Takata Elementary School (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Kamaishi Higashi Junior High School (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Watanoba Junior High School (Ishinomaki Ciity,Miyagi Prefecture)
- Minato Junior High School (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Kobunkan Senior High School (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Noda Junior High School (Noda Village, Iwate Prefecture)
- Kamaishi Higashi Junior High School (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Ishinomaki Brass Band Association (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)

June 6th – Students in the Kamaishi Higashi Junior High School brass band club enjoy musical instruments provided by AAR JAPAN. Left is Fusako YANASE, President of AAR JAPAN; center is Tadamasa FUKIURA, Special Advisor to AAR JAPAN. (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture.)

With the support of Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan and Yamano Music Co., Ltd., we delivered 8 sets of electronic pianos, amplifiers, and microphones, as well as other items, to the following daycare centers in Miyagi Prefecture between July 11th and July 31st:

- Hashikami Daycare Center (Kesen-numa City)
- Shishiori Daycare Center (Kesen-numa City)
- Shizugawa Daycare Center (Minami-Sanriku Town, Motoyoshi County)
- Isatomae Daycare Center (Minami-Sanriku Town, Motoyoshi County)
- Watari Daycare Center (Watari Town, Watari County)
- Akai Minami Daycare Center (Higashi-Matsushima City)
- Arisu Daycare Center (Ishinomaki City)
- Yoshihama Daycare Center (Ishinomaki City)
- Hagihama Daycare Center (Ishinomaki City)

August 31st – Children are pleased with the piano they received at Arisu Daycare Center. (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture.)

10. 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. During summer vacation, they visited schools on fixed dates and gave counseling at meeting places in temporary housing sites. Although few children have shown strong signs of stress, some complain of headaches, stomachaches, nausea, and other concerns. AAR JAPAN will continue to care for the children of Soma City.

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

In coordination with Manyo Club Co., Ltd. (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture), Ascendia Inc. (Shinagawa-ku, 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 evacuation centers in Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture: Yamoto Icchu 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 to 6 evacuation centers: Yamoto Icchu (later divided into 2 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, every day except Sundays. These 6 delivery points enabled 500-600 evacuees to bathe every day. AAR JAPAN provided the service until the end of May.

12. Shuttle Buses (Concluded)

In Miyagi Prefecture, 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. After roads were repaired and normal bus lines resumed operation, the shuttle bus service was concluded on June 4th.

13. Support for Food Service at Schools in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture (Concluded)

In Fukushima Prefecture’s Minami-Soma City, all the elementary and junior high school children still living within a 30-km radius of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (Haramachi and Odaka Wards) have been directed to take buses to school in Kashima Ward, which is outside of the 30-km radius. While the number of students in Kashima Ward has suddenly increased, the supply of local vegetables has been limited as a result of the power plant accident, and it became difficult to supply lunches for the students. AAR JAPAN cooperated with the local board of education to deliver vegetable juice and rice for the students (approximately 2800 students), providing vegetable juice twice a week and 2 tons of rice for everyday use from July 1st to July 22nd.