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Report on the 4th Day: Messages

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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.

MSG1

“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. 

MSG2

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”.

 

MSG3

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.

 

MSG4

 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

 

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Report on the 5th Day: Information Volunteers at WCDRR

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“Information Volunteers @ Sendai” within the Kahoku Shinpo Newspaper Agency Online Community is a blog reporting on current events going on in Sendai. A wide variety of DRR-themed conferences, forums and events are held during the period of WCDRR. People from all around the world and country are seen on the streets on Sendai, as the world is connected as one through the theme of DRR.

 In the blog, there will be detailed information on what kind of events and their contents are going on at the Sendai City Civil Activity Support Center, as part of the thematic pavilion “Civil Society Collaboration and DRR”.

We will also be showcasing voices of the participants of events taking place in the various public forum venues open to public in Sendai city. There will also be a column named “From WCDRR with Love” showing people holding sketchbooks with their personal messages.

 

 This blog not only reports on the events happening in Sendai but more importantly the level of excitement and hype buzzing in the city. There are approximately 30 writers, mostly students, writing on this blog.
 The student members of the blog consist of past interns of Kahoku Shinpo Newspaper Agency’s Journalist Internship. It is mainly made up of students who worked in the disaster stricken areas disseminating information after the disaster. The interns learnt interview and article writing skills from reporters from Kahoku Shinpo Newspaper Agency.
 The students are not only from universities in Miyagi prefecture but also from Kanto and Kansai regions in japan. Many of them are aspiring newspaper journalists and magazine writers.

 Takumi Wakai, 3rd Year Student at Meiji University, who worked as information volunteer, was one of those aspiring to become a newspaper journalist. He hopes to accumulate experience and learn journalism skills from this event.
In the article “Disaster Recovery by 3 Survivor Storytellers at the Global Conference on DRR for Civil Society” written by Wakai, the importance of survivor storytelling, as well as the motivation of the storytellers, is emphasized, in order to pass the message on to the readers.

 

▲情報ボランティアは、カメラマンも務める。若い感性が捕らえた写真の中には、ハッとさせられるものもある

▲The information volunteers also work as cameramen, snapping pictures that capture the scenes from a different perspective.

▲人懐っこい笑顔で取材を受ける若井さん。若井さんの記事は、笑顔からは想像できないほど切れ味がよい。

▲Wakai with a friendly and amicable smile, who writes in style and eloquence.

 

The WCDRR was reported in various forms of mass media. The blog reports the conference in a vastly different perspective with its group of young talented writers.

Reporter:
Citizen Writer Wakako Yamada

 

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Report on the 5th Day: Citizens’ Participation Indispensable in Strengthening of DRR

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The five-day United Nations World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction culminated in the General Forum, “DRR and Recovery Supported by Civil Society”, on 18th March at the Hagi Hall, Kawauchi Campus of Tohoku University, Aoba ward in Sendai City. The main aim is to share the contents of the discussions made at the public forums that took place at various venues in the city and the Sendai International Center where the main event was held. At the forum, we reflected over the meaning of organizing this event in Sendai, which suffered during the Great East Japan Earthquake, what we have done so far, and what beholds in the future for the local governments and civil society from the perspective of DRR.

 

The forum was divided into three parts- the second part included a panel discussion with the theme “DRR and Recovery Supported by the Civil Society”. The panelists included four people who were involved in the management of the two thematic pavilions- “Women and DRR” and “Civil Society Collaboration and DRR”. 

18フォーラム1

 

Emiko Munakata, director of NPO Equal Net Sendai, spoke about the importance of incorporating gender equality into DRR at the thematic pavilion “Women and DRR”. She emphasized, “We must not underestimate the capabilities of women, as a relief supporter during a disaster. We need to provide space for women to unleash this power.”

Yaeko Kisu, director of Sendai Gender Equal Opportunity Foundation, mentioned that 17 out of 34 of the guest speakers at the five symposiums in the thematic pavilion were victims of the disaster. She emphasized our responsibility to pass on these “fresh voices” from the victims with firsthand experiences.

Naoki Ishizuka from the Miyagi Cooperative Reconstruction Center was involved in the “Civil Society Collaboration and DRR” thematic pavilion. He shared both success and failure stories of attempted collaboration between exhibitors and the citizens, though he insisted that it was a great opportunity for both parties to be able to communicate from close distance.

Shigehiro Goda from the Secretariat Office of JCC 2015 organized the Global Conference on DRR for Civil Society, which included 10 sessions initiated by the civil society. He affirmed the success of the public forum by mentioning how more than 150,000 people turned up for the public forum although the number was estimated to be 40,000 at first.

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“Passing on is a Japanese tradition”. This phrase left a deep impression.
Even painful memories of the disasters will be shared and passed on.
This is to assert the importance of “preparedness” to our next generations.
Many stories and experiences were shared over the five days.
With this message in mind, every participant will take up the shared responsibility of the society to take action towards the future.

 

Reporters
Saki Miura, 2nd Year at Yamagata University
Rio Suzuki, 2nd Year at Yamagata University
Yu Goto, 3rd Year at Ibaraki University

 

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