Japan: Seven Months After the Great East Japan Earthquake: Activity Report

Easing the Mind and Warming the Body as Winter Approaches

October 5th – “Now I know I’ll be able to get through the
winter,” says Mr. HIRATSUKA, who received a heater
and a humidifier from AAR JAPAN. At left is Erika SAITO,
AAR JAPAN staff. (Temporary housing in Fukkiura,
Ishinomaki City, Miyagi 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, the elderly, and survivors living at home, AAR JAPAN is also repairing welfare facilities, providing vehicles, and preparing soup kitchens. 

As winter has already begun to settle into the Tohoku region, urgent measures are needed in order to prepare for the severity of the coming season. AAR JAPAN is continuing its support for the Building Healthy Communities Project, offering rehabilitation services, psychological care, and community interaction and exchange events to ease the minds and warm the bodies of disaster survivors, many of whom all too easily end up spending their entire day isolated behind closed doors or stuck inside a shelter.

Seven months have passed since the earthquake, and yet some survivors still continue to live in evacuation shelters. Many have finally decided that, regardless of their present situation, they have no choice but to move on and face the future. AAR JAPAN hopes to continue to offer the kind of support that will touch the heart of each individual survivor 

Below is a report on the activities that AAR JAPAN’s supporters have enabled us to carry out in the last seven 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 Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture

3.    Building Healthy Communities Project

4.    Delivery of Relief Supplies

5.    Soup Kitchens

6.    Reconstruction of Facilities for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities

7.    Vehicle Provision

8.    Container Housing Project

9.    Hand-made Tote Bags Project

10.   Psychological Care for Children in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture

11.   Charity Concerts

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

13.   Shuttle Bus Service (concluded June 4th)

1. Delivering Relief to 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.

October 5th – “I really appreciate being given a kotatsu
table,” says a woman who moved into temporary housing
in Fukushima City after evacuating from Iitate Village.
At right is  Daigo TAKAGI, AAR JAPAN staff.
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 September 30th, we have completed the delivery of relief supplies to 14,454 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.

2. Support for Food Service at Schools in Soma City, Fukushima

September 22nd – AAR arranged for a truck to cover a 
shortage of food delivery vehicles. At left is Daigo
AAR JAPAN provided vegetable juice and rice for 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. With local produce already stretched thin, it was difficult to provide school lunch for the increased number of children. Between July 1st and 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. Building Healthy Communities Project

September 17th – AAR JAPAN introduced physical fitness
exercises in Kyubunhama temporary community center in
Miyagi Prefecture. At right is Kentaro KOSUGE, AAR JAPAN
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, survivors staying in their own homes, 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 291 people from July 9th to October 2nd.
Sanitation Services
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 a 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.

With winter on the way, AAR JAPAN has now started to distribute heaters to temporary housing units and evacuation centers, with deliveries completed to 126 families as of October 5th.

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 75 people between August 6th and September 23rd.

Community Interaction and Exchange Events
September 11th – At a soup kitchen held as part of the
Building Healthy Communities Project, conversations
continued long after the dining ended. (Temporary
housing complex in Kamaishi City, Miyagi Prefecture)
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 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 center 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).
- Held a community interaction and exchange event along with a reggae mini-concert at a temporary housing complex in Kasshi Town, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (August 27th).
- Held a community interaction and exchange event for temporary housing residents and locals in Shichigahama Town, Miyagi Prefecture (August 28th). 
- Held a community interaction and exchange event at a temporary housing complex in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (September 11th).
- Held a community interaction and exchange event in the gym of Nakano Junior High School in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture (September 17th).
- Held a community interaction and exchange event at a temporary housing complex in Kuribayashi Town, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (September 25th).
- Held a community interaction and exchange event in the gym of Nakano Junior High School in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture (September 25th).

Mobile Clinics and Health-related Services
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 10th and September 15th. This service ended on September 30th as local medical facilities resumed operation.

4. Relief Supplies Delivered to Affected Areas from March 14th to September 30th  

The demand for relief supplies varies according to the progress of local reconstruction efforts. AAR JAPAN aims to promptly send the supplies that are best suited to the needs of the moment, such as office equipment that will allow social welfare offices to resume operation (personal computers, printers, etc.), heaters and humidifiers for winter, bicycles for commuting to school, or healthcare products such as care beds, sputum aspirators, wheelchairs or walkers.

Relief Supplies Delivered from March 14th to September 30th

75,863 people in 1,106 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, Rikuzentakata City, Kamaishi City, Yamada Town
Fukushima Prefecture:
Soma City, Minami-soma City
Yamagata Prefecture:
Kamiyama City

Distribution 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, 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 (20 units), Folding beds (2 units), Futon sets (30 units), Wheelchairs (19 units), Care chairs (2 units), Walkers (35 units), Power generators (3 units), Laundry machines (24 units), Drying machines (22 units), Refrigerators (24 units), Microwave ovens (7 units), Electric fans (51 units), Vacuum cleaners (40 units), Air cleaners (11 units), Rice cookers (8 units), Futon dryers (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, Electric heaters, 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, others.

5. Soup Kitchens
September 11th – Our soup kitchen was welcomed by
the local people, who told us they were glad that we
did not forget to return as promised. (Kasshi Town,
Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
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 September 25th, AAR JAPAN has held soup kitchens in the following locations:

Soup Kitchen Locations (22,051 meals served in 63 places)
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

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, Radish salad, Fruit jelly, Udon noodles, Almond jelly, 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, Tada farm cheese pudding, etc.
6. Institutional Reconstruction

September 12th – Kamuri Gakuen, a rehabilitation
facility for people with mental disabilities, has now
been restored after suffering extensive damage
from the earthquake. “Thanks to the restoration,
we were able to resume bread and konnyaku
production.” (Miyagino Ward, Sendai City, Miyagi
In coordination with local construction companies, AAR JAPAN has been repairing senior care centers and facilities for persons with disabilities in 60 locations to accelerate resumption of services. From April 21st to September 30th, AAR JAPAN repaired the following facilities:

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

This project has been funded by Japan Platform (JPF), Accenture Plc, Mitsubishi Corp., Felissimo Corp., the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Inc. (JCCI), and through the generous donations of our individual supporters. 
7. Vehicle Provision

September 6th – AAR JAPAN arranged for a vehicle to
bring clients to Kujira-no-shippo (“Whale’s Tail”), a
facility for persons with disabilities run by Ishinomaki
Shoshin-kai Social Welfare Corporation. (Ishinomaki
City, Miyagi Prefecture)
AAR JAPAN has been providing vehicles as vital means of transportation for people who make use of welfare facilities. AAR JAPAN has provided vehicles for the following 10 welfare facilities:

1. One (1) van – Senshin-kai Nozomi Fukushi Sagyojo Social Welfare Cooperation (Minami-sanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture)
2. One (1) mini-vehicle – Huck’s House (NPO, Tanohata Village, Shimohei County, Iwate Prefecture)
3. One (1) van for Ishinomaki Shoshin-kai Kujira-no-shippo Service Facility for Persons with Disabilities (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 for pickup – Harmony Utatsu Kibogaoka Group Home (NPO, Minami-sanriku City, Motoyoshi County, Miyagi Prefecture)
9. Three (3) vehicles for pickup – Sasae-ai Yamamoto (NPO, Yamamoto Town, Watari County, Miyagi Prefecture)
10. One (1) mini-vehicle – Warabi Gakuen Facility for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (Otsuchi Town, Kamihei County, Iwate Prefecture)

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

8. 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 41 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. This project has been conducted in cooperation with Goldman Sachs Asset Management Co., Ltd.

9. Hand-made Tote Bags Project

September 11th - People in the disaster-affected areas
enjoy their Sunny-chan tote bags, finding cheer in the
encouraging messages enclosed within. (Temporary
housing in 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, with the intention of sending more to the disaster-affected areas after October 31st.

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

11. 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.

12. “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.

13. 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.

All of the relief efforts outlined above are based on financial and material aid from private companies, various organizations and associations, schools, and individuals, along with a grant from Japan Platform, action medeor, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, AmeriCares, Caritas Diozese Bozen-Brixen, Caritas Germany, Direct Relief International, Give2Asia, Global Giving, International Rescue Committee, Islamic Relief Deutschland, Japanese Cultural and Community Center of North California, Jewish Federations of North America, JTI Foundation, Relief International, Rolex, Subaru UK, World Jewish Relief. 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. 

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