Report on the 4th Day: Messages



At the talk event held at the Sendai City Civil Activity Support Center on 17 March, we looked into the future of DRR based on network-based DRR case studies with keywords such as “community-based” and “dealing with special needs”, under theme “Comfort and Reassurance in Our Daily Life Through Connecting with Community”. Let us introduce some messages from the participants of the interaction session held after the talk event.


“Never forget. We will be together forever,” wrote Haruyoshi Osada (56) from Hamamatsu NPO Disaster Relief Collaboration Committee, who participated in the talk event as a guest speaker.


“It is predicted that a huge Nankai Trough Earthquake within 30 Years in Hamamatsu city. We have so much to learn from the people of Miyagi prefecture as we prepare for this disaster,” says Osada.
 Every year, we organize experience-based tours for junior high and high school students, visiting disaster- stricken areas in Kesennuma city. We are happy to see the positive change in their mindsets toward DRR after this tour.


“5 Years Have Passed. Recovery Starts Now!” wrote Hiroyuki Abe (54) from KOT Network Motoyoshi. He is currently the principal of “Koizumi Nature School” which teaches experience-based DRR education in Koizumi region of Motoyoshi-cho, Kesennuma City. He met Osada immediately after the disaster. 


Abe believes that, “as time passes by, our recovery activities are starting to deviate to the wrong path. We hope to reflect on this and move back to the core of the problem now.”


“One Health! One Peace!” wrote Keiko Watanabe from NPO E-Cube. She did an exhibition on “People and Animals Living Together Happily After Disaster”.



The “one” in the title is a pun, which takes on the Japanese onomatopoeia for a dog’s barking sound, “wan”. “Thinking about our pets’ (dogs’) health would eventually lead to us thinking about our own health. Praying for peace for our pets (dogs) would lead to us praying for our own peace. All living things are connected as one,” wrote Watanabe in her message card.


 Tomizawa Bosuko (71) and Tomizawa Yuji (35) from NPO Life Improvement Center.

Starting from the Mother Teresa exhibition this time, they wrote that they hope to team up with staff from the psychological care center, doctors and counselors from Grief Care, to continue this meaningful activity.



 Grief Care helps to heal the psychological wounds of those who lost their dear ones in disasters.
Tomizawa said with a smile, “We will do our part and leave the rest to you.” Tomizawa hopes to make people happily, psychologically and spiritually.

Reporter: Citizen Write Yuri Fujinuma



【4日目・レポート】NPOと地域が連携、防災の取り組み紹介 / Report on 4th Day: Collaboration in DRR Between NPO and Community

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 NPOと地域が連携して防災に取り組む事例を報告するセミナー「つながりが育む暮らしの安心」が17日、仙台市市民活動サポートセンターで開かれた。 主催は防災からまちづくりを考える実行委員会。約35人の参加者が耳を傾けた。











長田さんのほかに、「ほっとネット in東中田」の小岩孝子(こいわ・たかこ)さん(62)、公益財団法人「日本財団」の青柳光昌(あおやぎ・みつまさ)さん(47)が講演。それぞれの活動を踏まえ、地域住民や行政とNPOの連携の重要性を訴えた。




同志社大3年 梅村雅(うめむら・みやび)
東北学院大2年 歳桃詩穂里(さいとう・しほり)


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【4日目・レポート】女の子の声を聴いて!~ガールズ防災会議~  Report on the 4th Day: Listen to the Girls (Girls’ Conference on DRR)

English translation will be available shortly.




“Neither adults, nor children”

This is what girls in their teens are called, and they tend to be overlooked in times of disasters. A forum called “Disasters and Girls ~Girls’ Conference on DRR~” was carried out in Sendai City on 17th March to think about the problems girls faced after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and how support could be improved. Approximately 150 people, 80% of them female, ranging from high school girls to old ladies, participated in the event. There were 5 guest speakers, including staff from female supporting organizations, doctors and volunteers who carried out humanitarian aid during disasters or conflicts. They presented on how the female teenagers suffered during the disaster and how they should be protected.




Many girls were trapped in evacuation centers where they had to stay for several days after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Changing rooms were makeshift partitions that were insufficient in height, leading to them being peeped by others sometimes. The temporary toilets were not separated between men and women, and the cubicles could not be locked. The girls felt unsafe and insecure going to toilets at night. Some even feel their lives at risk.




“Being in such a situation, it seems as if the girls were appealing to be assaulted,” explained Keiko Miyahara from JOICFP. Many girls suffered psychologically then, but sadly, they were not given chances to report these cases, nor were there socio-psychological care work done for them. Most girls keep these to themselves, as they are unable to tell neither their parents nor their friends. The disaster just worsens the situation.




NGO BOND has been listening to the problems of girls through emails, interviews and house visit patrols, who have resorted to drugs or hurting themselves physically. The director of NGO BOND, Jun Tachibana suggested, “Girls need a space where they can share their problems and information, so that when something like a disaster happens, that is where they can turn to”.





The panel discussion with the 5 speakers revolved around the necessity of support that takes into account teenager girls’ special needs. Mayo Aoki (18), a high school student in Sendai, told us that she hopes to look for something that she can do to help.




宮城学院女子大4年 作間温子(さくま・あつこ)
明治大3年 若井琢水(わかい・たくみ)
東北大3年 馬場翔子(ばば・しょうこ)


Atsuko Sakuma, 4th Year at Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University

Takumi Wakai, 3rd Year at Meiji University

Shoko Baba, 3rd Year at Tohoku University


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“Culture sometimes disrupts human rights”. When a disaster happens, moral degeneration happens. This was what happened at the evacuation centers, leading to the girls’ privacies being intruded. Japanese are fond of “tolerating”, but this culture of toleration prevented the girls from expressing their problems. We should consider the feelings of the girls and children and think of how we can support them in a different way. -Sakuma



Not many people fully understand the situation of the girls during the disaster. When people set up evacuation centers, they never considered the risks of girls being peeped at or assaulted, especially in changing rooms and temporary toilets. Now we know that we had failed terribly in understanding the girls’ needs, it is crucial now that we listen to their voices. -Wakai




There are several reasons why the girls’ special needs were not taken into account till now. During emergencies, in the midst of chaos, the girls who could not assert themselves are largely ignored and the response to their needs is delayed. In addition, there is no one in the supporters or evacuation center management who can lend a ear to their voices. I hope to pick up these voices, during peace times, and keep them in mind. -Baba