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Japan beyond 3.11 Stories of Recovery

GREAT EAST JAPAN EARTHQUATE PROJECT NHK WORLD
Tomorrow Logo
3rd & 4th Season
APRIL 2014 - MARCH 2016

The TV series TOMORROW documented the lessons and wisdom gained through enduring the March 2011 disaster. Covering the fields of disaster prevention, environmental well-being, psychological care, and new technology, we shared our findings with the world.The program transcripts are available as reading materials in Stories of Recovery.

SHOW ARCHIVE
Nuclear Disaster Evacuees' Untold Stories
Mar 7, 2016

It’s nearly five years since the accidents at the Tokyo Electric Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Uncertain about their future, around 100,000 evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture who are now spread all over the country are being pressed to make various decisions. In order to help them, lawyers are listening to their stories.One mother who voluntarily evacuated now lives with her children in very needy circumstances with nothing and nobody to depend on. And amongst those forced to evacuate who used to be close friends, ill feelings have grown as a result of differences in compensation and aid measures.The program introduces the unvoiced opinions of those who had no option but to evacuate after the 3.11 disaster. It includes interviews with a female ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) lawyer who deals mainly with those who evacuated voluntarily to Saitama Prefecture, where many evacuees now live. And it introduces a lawyer couple who have returned to Fukushima to support the evacuees.

Tohoku Returns the Favor to Nepal
Feb 8, 2016

At the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, a tremendous amount of support was provided to the Tohoku region from all over the world. A portion came from the government of Nepal. Though the country is known as one of the least developed in Asia, the Nepalese government provided 5,000 blankets, and Nepali people living in Japan distributed food. In April 2015, Nepal was struck by a massive earthquake. Residents of the Tohoku region, eager to repay the generosity shown by Nepal, were quick to respond. The Japanese owner of a Nepalese restaurant in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, assisted by local residents, raised money and sent supplies to stricken areas. In Sendai, children who experienced the 3.11 earthquake have painted pictures of the sun to provide moral support to Nepali children. This episode reports on ongoing activities in the Tohoku region that provide support to Nepal.

Young Fukushima Farmers Make Agriculture Cool
Jan 11, 2016

Farming in Fukushima was hit hard by the 3.11 nuclear accident. There is, however, a young farmer (and former model) who has been steadily increasing his sales. Long lines of women form at the “Pizza Kitchen Car” launched by his apple and peach farm, ‘Oononouen.’ The farm’s fruit as well as local vegetables are used as pizza toppings, highlighting delicious Fukushima produce. Far from being an oddity, Oononouen farm is part of a larger trend. In 2015, 40 young farmers from all over Fukushima joined forces to establish the “Cool Agri” organization, which acts as a prefecture-wide framework for agricultural production and promotion. This program shows viewers how the organization’s activities provide a model for energizing farming, not only in Fukushima, but across the nation.

Russell Goodall

Russell Goodall

TV Producer

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Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Russell Goodall

Russell Goodall

TV Producer

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The Experience of 3.11 in Silence
Dec 14, 2015

The mortality rate of disabled persons during the 3.11 disaster was approximately double the average; specifically, more than 70 deaf people lost their lives. Why is that? As it happened, in the time between the quake and the arrival of the tsunami, TV broadcasts had been cut off and the deaf were unable to access the information in radio and neighborhood warnings. Moreover, these people suffered an information gap at the evacuation sites, where they were unable to hear announcements. This edition of TOMORROW explores this issue and seeks effective measures for future disasters.

High School Students' Tsunami Simulation Modeling Team
Nov 9, 2015

The 3.11 tsunami inflicted tremendous damage on Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture. Students of a high school there present demonstrations that simulate a tsunami using an elaborate model of the coastal area of the Tohoku region. Designed to enhance disaster prevention awareness by teaching how scary a tsunami is, these demonstrations started six years before the 3.11 disaster at local elementary schools. In fact, there were no victims at any of the schools that had seen them. What are the high school students' motivations? The reporter is Daniel Kahl, who has been actively involved in volunteer work in the stricken areas.

Science to the Rescue of the Fisheries!
Oct 12, 2015

The ocean off the Tohoku region has long been a rich fishing ground, but the fisheries suffered serious damage in the 3.11 disaster. Four years on, they were showing signs of recovery, but then it was discovered that some marine products were unexpectedly suffering a new disaster. In the Shizugawa Bay in Miyagi Prefecture, many sea urchins adversely affected by the tsunami have been developing spongy roe, making them unsalable. And in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, the number of scallop culturists has drastically fallen, seriously threatening the future of scallop aquaculture. To deal with these problems, help arrived from marine scientists. In cooperation with fishermen, they are using their expertise to help local fishing businesses to recover.

Ashley Ryan

Ashley Ryan

CODA, ASL interpreter

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Daniel Kahl

Daniel Kahl

TV & Radio Personality / Expert of northeastern Japanese dialects

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Russell Goodall

Russell Goodall

TV Producer

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Memories of 3.11 Shown in Story Cards
Sep 7, 2015

In the belief that memories of the 3.11 disaster should be handed down to posterity, more than 100 stories have been produced for ‘kami shibai’, public storytelling with pictures. Many of them are based on actual events in Fukushima Prefecture at the time of the earthquake. They cover a wide range of topics, including the story of a boy who saved many local residents from the tsunami and the experiences of people forced to evacuate after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident. American Jason Hancock reports on the true stories behind the storytelling.

Strangers at an Isolated Airport
Aug 10, 2015

The 3.11 tsunami surged into Sendai Airport, located just one kilometer from the sea. The runways were submerged, the terminal buildings were flooded, and 1,700 people, including travelers, airport staff and local residents were left stranded. How did people of all ages, occupations and nationalities survive without essential utilities? The program follows the stories of stricken travelers who happened to be at the airport. We see sew bonds created by a disaster at an airport, a place that symbolizes the Japanese concept of every encounter being a once-in-a-lifetime experience?

A Tradition of Restoration
Jul 13, 2015

The Great East Japan Earthquake damaged many cultural assets, such as temples, shrines, and statues of Buddha. Since ancient times most Japanese buildings and statues have been created from the country’s rich sources of timber, including Horyuji Temple, the world’s oldest wooden building. It’s very important to preserve such treasures that have witnessed the nation’s history, but how has that been possible in the face of so many natural disasters? The answer lies in the restoration skills that have been handed down from generation to generation. This edition of TOMORROW focuses on Japan’s expertise in post-disaster restoration work.

Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Russell Goodall

Russell Goodall

TV Producer

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Morley Robertson

Morley Robertson

Journalist & DJ

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The Power of Radio
Jun 8, 2015

Immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake, two Tohoku radio stations were suddenly unable to receive accurate local information, and the tsunami and nuclear accident occurred shortly afterwards. However, “Radio Fukushima”, which covers the whole of Fukushima Prefecture, and “TBC Radio”, which has a network right across Miyagi Prefecture, continued broadcasting. They used every possible means, including outside broadcast vans and the Internet. How did they handle the information they asked their listeners to send in? TV producer Russell Goodall from New Zealand visits those who were involved to report on that time when a relationship of great trust developed between the radio stations and their listeners.

An Isolated Village That Survived Disaster
May 11, 2015

Some communities were isolated after the Great East Japan Earthquake because the roads had become impassable. Half of the homes of the Nagahora community in Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture were washed away by the tsunami, but the residents evacuated to private houses on the hillside. The tsunami had destroyed the road, so there was no access. With no idea of when they would receive help, they decided to do their best to manage by themselves for at least one month. They weathered the crisis by creating 10 groups, each given a different role to perform. What made this possible was community power, a phenomenon that is now once again receiving a lot of attention. The program reports on the way a community can be created in urban areas and high-rise apartment blocks that tend to lack a community spirit.

Women-friendly Evacuation Sites
Apr 13, 2015

After the 3.11 disaster, it was said that many evacuation sites lacked proper consideration for the needs of women. Comments included: “There were no partitions, so I had trouble with changing clothes and breastfeeding”, “There was nowhere to hang underwear”, and “It was embarrassing to receive sanitary goods in public”. The leaders at many of the sites were men, so women found it difficult to say what they wanted and had to remain patient. In an emergency situation, survival is always the most important consideration, but more sensitive care could be provided. Bonnie Waycott reports on the issues and solutions.

Russell Goodall

Russell Goodall

TV Producer

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Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Bonnie Waycott

Bonnie Waycott

Narrator & Translator

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Memories from across the Pacific
Mar 16, 2015

Many items carried out to sea by the tsunami in 2011 have been found on the west coast of North America. TOMORROW has previously reported on the memories evoked by the return of nostalgic items, and how their owners have made a new step forward driven by them. This episode introduces the owner search project conducted by a Japanese NPO ‘Kids Now’ and Kevin Easley, an American dentist living in Alaska. Through their efforts, a football returned to 13-year-old Rin Goto in Minamisanriki, Miyagi Prefecture. Encouraged by the return of his football, he wrote an essay and won the top award at a junior high school essay contest in the Tohoku region. Jason finds out what impact the return of the football had on Rin.

Railways and Disaster
Mar 9, 2015

When the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred, no train passengers lost their lives. We look at the legendary safety of the Shinkansen by observing simulations of how safety is ensured at the time of an earthquake thanks to the Urgent Earthquake Detection and Alarm System. The program also reports on a case where human wisdom saved lives. Nobiru Station on the Senseki Line connecting Sendai and Ishinomaki was badly damaged. A train that left the station a few minutes earlier stopped on a hillside; following the advice of local residents, the conductor instructed all the passengers to stay on the train instead of following the manual, and they were safe.

TOMORROW Special - Lin Chiling: I'll be there for you
Mar 8, 2015
Lin Chiling

A famous Taiwanese actress revisits a children’s theater troupe that she supported after the Great East Japan earthquake of 2011. After the quake, the children in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the hardest-hit areas, banded together to re-enact their version of the disaster. Taiwanese actress Lin Chiling coached them on how to express their feelings. Almost four years since the disaster, some troupe members now worry that memories of their experiences are fading, and may soon be forgotten. We go back with Lin to visit and talk with them.

Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Lin Chiling

Lin Chiling

Actress

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A Shortage of Playgrounds
Mar 2, 2015

Children’s physical strength tests conducted in 2013 have showed poor results compared with those for 2010, the year before the 3.11 disaster, especially in the coastal areas. The reasons include the fact that many temporary housing complexes were erected in parks and school playgrounds, an increase in the number of students going to school by bus because of the closing and mergers of schools, and self-restraint regarding outdoor activities due to radioactive contamination. Various efforts to solve this issue are underway, including the ‘Two-minute jump exercise’ (Kamaishi, Iwate Pref.), and the large-scale indoor playground called ‘Pep Kids Koriyama’ which is attracting many family groups. The reporter is Bobby Ologun, a TV personality popular with children.

SCK GIRLS Sing for the Locals
Feb 16, 2015

The local ‘idol group’ SCK GIRLS was formed in 2011 to back up the recovery of the disaster-stricken town of Kesennuma. The way they enthusiastically practice their dancing and singing in the community space at Minamimachi Murasaki Market, a temporary shopping district, has provided great mental support to local people. Many fans began visiting Murasaki Market. But as they enhanced their name recognition holding concerts in various cities, they felt their bonding with their hometown was weakening. Now the girls’ desire to deepen the bonds with local people is strengthening again. They plan to hold a ‘Thanking Local People’ 4th anniversary concert in the area.

Food Allergies and Disaster
Jan 26, 2015

About 450,000 Japanese schoolchildren at all three levels (elementary, junior high and high schools) suffer from some kind of food allergy. However, local government disaster prevention plans pay insufficient consideration to the needs of allergy sufferers. The program introduces various efforts to provide countermeasures for allergy sufferers during a disaster, based on lessons learned in 2011. Allergy sufferers have also fully realized the importance of reporting that they are allergic to certain items. A group of mothers has developed “Cards to prevent food allergy” which can be carried even by babies and small children.

Bobby Ologun

Bobby Ologun

TV Personality

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Morley Robertson

Morley Robertson

Journalist & DJ

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Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Teaching Children How to Save Themselves
Jan 19, 2015

More than 700 schoolchildren perished in the 3.11 disaster. As new types of disaster education are being considered nationwide, the “Disaster moral education” developed by students of Shizuoka University Faculty of Education is drawing attention. The students conducted a survey on the behavior of children during the disaster in Kesennuma, where many schoolchildren lost their lives. Everyone was faced with a crucial decision before the tsunami arrived: to escape or to check out the safety of their family? The program covers an actual “disaster moral education” lesson for 6th graders at an elementary school near Suruga Bay. It clearly shows how the children’s disaster prevention awareness changes: “Every man for himself”.

Foreign Evacuees in Japan
Dec 15, 2014

More than half of the 1,000 evacuees were foreigners at an evacuation site in the Sanjo district of Sendai. This happened because many overseas students lived in the area and widely circulated e-mails reported that the Sanjo evacuation site was safe. However, the foreigners who escaped there were soon at a loss. Few of the Japanese evacuees could speak English and they were unable to explain the rules of the site well. Cultural and behavior differences stood out in relief and led to friction. Since then, the Sanjo district has been trying to make improvements in various ways based on the lessons learned. There will be more and more foreign residents in Japan in the future. The program presents hints on surviving disasters through mutual assistance.

Soak for the Soul: Mobile Baths for Evacuees
Dec 8, 2014

The Japan Self-Defense Forces have carried out a variety of lifesaving and support activities since the 3.11 disaster. Not many people know that they provided bathing facilities for people who were experiencing a protracted evacuee life. The JSDF set up its temporary bathing equipment called ‘Field Bathing Set Mk.2’ at 42 different locations. A tank car pumps up water from the river, filters it, and then heats it for 45 minutes to provide 5.4 tons of hot water per hour. It allows 30 people to shower at the same time and 1,200 people to take a bath per day. The baths had a great healing effect on those forced to escape from the tsunami and the nuclear accident with just the clothes they were wearing. This mobile bathing service is unique to Japan with its traditional bathing culture.

Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Elderly People Back on Their Feet
Dec 1, 2014

Many of the elderly people forced to live as an evacuee or in temporary housing ever since the 3.11 disaster lead inactive lives with nothing special to do. This can result in hypofunction of the whole body, making them susceptible to ‘disuse syndrome’. Dr. Yayoi Okawa identified many such cases after the 2007 Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake, and since then she has been supporting sufferers in various ways. The program interviews people who have managed to overcome the syndrome by getting involved in the revival of tangle-net fishing and seaweed farming, which has reenergized them and rejuvenated their sense of confidence. It also looks at ways to avoid the syndrome and how it can be treated with the support of families and friends.

Clearing Roads for Rescue!
Nov 17, 2014

Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, is an important crossroads where Routes 106 from Morioka and the coastal 45 meet. Local construction workers took just two days to clear the roads of tsunami debris: first opening up the area within 800 yards of the junction, and then the route south to Yamada-machi. Bonnie Waycott reports on the men who overcame many difficulties in the chaos right after the disaster, including seismic wave warnings and a lack of communication means, fuel and food.

Forest-powered Recovery 2
Nov 3, 2014

The 2011 tsunami caused serious damage to Iwate’s forestry industry. The Kamaishi Local Forestry Association was in danger of closing down. Its office had been washed away, its leader and four other members had perished, and the coastal plywood factory had been badly damaged. Hoping to save the association, secretary Yukio Takahashi started a project to promote ‘local construction with local materials’. It now works with local wood-processing firms, design offices, and building contractors to construct quality houses at a cost of 10 million yen each for disaster victims using local timber. In this two-part series, we see how Takahashi overcame many problems to work on Kamaishi’s recovery by harnessing the power of wood while considering the establishment of sustainable forestry.

Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Bonnie Waycott

Bonnie Waycott

Narrator & Translator

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Morley Robertson

Morley Robertson

Journalist & DJ

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Forest-powered Recovery 1
Oct 27, 2014

The 2011 tsunami caused serious damage to Iwate’s forestry industry. The Kamaishi Local Forestry Association was in danger of closing down. Its office had been washed away, its leader and four other members had perished, and the coastal plywood factory had been badly damaged. Hoping to save the association, secretary Yukio Takahashi started a project to promote ‘local construction with local materials’. It now works with local wood-processing firms, design offices, and building contractors to construct quality houses at a cost of 10 million yen each for disaster victims using local timber. In this two-part series, we see how Takahashi overcame many problems to work on Kamaishi’s recovery by harnessing the power of wood while considering the establishment of sustainable forestry.

Tohoku Teenagers Bloom in Paris
Oct 13, 2014

The opening of the OECD Tohoku School in March 2012 launched a 30-month project in which 100 teenagers from three disaster-stricken Tohoku prefectures would think up ways to promote their regions at a presentation in France in summer 2014. Although many of the students had lost relatives in the disaster and still live at evacuation sites, they put great effort into planning ideas and promoting them, and the Paris event was a great success. Focusing on students from Okuma-machi, Fukushima prefecture, and Otsuchi-cho, Iwate prefecture, preparing photo exhibits, the program shows how children from the stricken areas have matured through the school’s activities.

Pharmacists' Innovative Approach
Oct 6, 2014

After the tsunami had washed away most patient’s prescriptions, pharmacists in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, received special permission to distribute the stocks left at pharmacies, especially drugs for evacuees with chronic diseases. Confusion was avoided through the cooperation of various pharmacies. They also helped sort out the chaos at evacuation centers in Otsuchi by gathering prescriptions every day and delivering the drugs the following day. This reduced the waiting time for treatment and medicine preparation, and also facilitated inventory control. The program reviews the vital support role of pharmacists at the time of a major disaster.

Morley Robertson

Morley Robertson

Journalist & DJ

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Stuart Varnam-Atkin

Stuart Varnam-Atkin

Narrator & Author

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Morley Robertson

Morley Robertson

Journalist & DJ

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Convenience Stores in the Disaster Areas
Sep 29, 2014

Many convenience stores in the Tohoku region suffered damage and casualties at the time of the 3.11 disaster. However, those that reopened shortly after played an important role as a lifeline for people in the stricken areas, selling food and carrying out administrative activities. Japan’s unique convenience stores, renowned for their careful and versatile service have evolved further since the disaster. They are now perfecting disaster prevention manuals, installing earthquake and tsunami alarms, and storing food, fuel, and backup resources in cooperation with local governments. Daniel Kahl reports on the way convenience stores are preparing themselves to be ‘disaster stations’ supporting the local community.

Corporate Volunteers in the Disaster Zone
Sep 8, 2014

In the fourth year since the 3.11 earthquake, the number of volunteers to the Tohoku region is rapidly decreasing. At the same time, there’s a change in the corporate volunteerism that has continued since right after the disaster, with a growing focus on corporate specialization to meet actual needs. For example, Ajinomoto provides cooking classes at temporary housing sites, and Fuji Xerox now includes document cleaning as part of staff training, has cleaned and digitized 4,500 official documents, and has developed a system for clinics to check medical records on tablet terminals. The program investigates sustainable support using corporate specialization.

Radio Taxis in Support of Fire Brigades
Aug 25, 2014

The firemen of Kesennuma City in Miyagi Prefecture faced serious problems when the Great East Japan Earthquake cut off communication tools, including mobile phones. They couldn’t transmit on-site reports because their radios functioned only for reception. Local taxi drivers came to their rescue with their analog radios, providing support at the disaster HQ, evacuation sites and mortuaries. Learning from this, Kesennuma has been developing a multiplex information communication system. The program looks at ways to improve communications when a disaster strikes.

Daniel Kahl

Daniel Kahl

TV & Radio Personality / Expert of northeastern Japanese dialects

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Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Recovering Ocean: The Sanriku Coast
Aug 18, 2014

For the past three years, local fishermen and more than 3,000 volunteer divers have continued working hand in hand to remove underwater debris. Their efforts have helped to revive the seaweed essential for marine life, and largely restore the former ocean ecosystem so that fish and shellfish can return. The program includes photos and video footage taken during these underwater recovery activities and looks at the vital mechanism of eelgrass in the fish feeding grounds.

The Neighboring Town that Welcomed 100,000 Volunteers
Jul 7, 2014

In the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, many local authorities were unable to handle the huge influx of volunteers eager to help. However, in Tono City in Iwate Prefecture, which suffered relatively little damage, a volunteer group called “Magokoro Net” provided the coastal areas with logistic support. It handled 100,000 volunteers, allocating work and organizing transport and accommodations. The program investigates the logistic support system provided by the city of Tono that managed massive numbers of volunteers in the post-quake chaos.

The Mystery of the Pneumonia Epidemic
Jun 28, 2014

Right after the 3.11 disaster, there was a sudden increase in pneumonia cases in Kesennuma, especially amongst elderly evacuees. Recovered medical records revealed a 240% increase from 2010, and a 710% increase at evacuation sites. Why? Clinicians suspected oral bacteria to be the cause, and dentists began promoting better oral health conditions. By June 2011, the pneumonia symptoms had been eradicated. Study meetings and practical training sessions are now being held based on the lessons learned.

Morley Robertson

Morley Robertson

Journalist & DJ

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Roland Kelts

Roland Kelts

Journalist

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Morley Robertson

Morley Robertson

Journalist & DJ

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Taking on the Mountain of Aid
Jun 23, 2014

Babies' diapers and powdered milk went to facilities for the elderly, rice and vegetables arrived at places with no means of cooking... There was great confusion and congestion in the transportation and distribution of emergency supplies right after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Evacuees who were drivers for home-delivery companies used their experience and local knowledge to help solve the problems, and in Iwate Prefecture truck association experts provided invaluable logistic solutions. This program reviews cases of successful cooperation that provide tips for the future.

How to Protect Children's Lives
Jun 16, 2014

More than 700 nurseries were damaged in the Great East Japan Earthquake, but there were few infant fatalities. Even so, lawsuits have laid the blame for them on the nurseries. Reviewing the case of the one known as the “Miracle Nursery” because all 54 of the children in its care survived from the tsunami, the program reveals it had been implementing regular safety measures, including monthly evacuation drills and disaster manual updates. We see its new manual being prepared based on lessons learned from 3.11 and hear about regional initiatives to protect children.

Accepting and Telling the Stories about the Disaster
Jun 9, 2014

The 3.11 tsunami wiped out the small port town of Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture. One month later, the town’s junior high school resumed classes earlier than any other school in the disaster-stricken areas. Soon, they started unique classes in which students confront the reality of the disaster. They wrote haiku, a very succinct form of poetry, and expressed their inner feelings. We take a close look at how their haiku composition served as psychological care after the disaster.

Morley Robertson

Morley Robertson

Journalist & DJ

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Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Morley Robertson

Morley Robertson

Journalist & DJ

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The Nursing Home that Saved 1,000 Lives
May 19, 2014

The 3.11 tsunami devastated Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture. Hundreds of residents flocked to Kojuen, a special nursing home for the elderly on elevated ground. Although not a designated evacuation site, it unexpectedly served as a shelter for more than 1,000 people. Based on the reports of nutritionists, who had to do their best in an environment with food shortages and no utilities, and staff members who struggled to maintain order, the program reviews how people survived evacuation life in an extreme situation and what is needed at such times.

The Magical Power of Cinema
Apr 28, 2014
The Magical Power of Cinema

Movies have provided great support to people in the Tohoku region. From two months after the disaster, the “Cinema Yell Tohoku” project has held more than 500 free-of-charge screenings of popular movies in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. With the help of people in the movie industry, screenings have been held at elementary schools and temporary housing complexes. People are once again enjoying watching movies together with others, and movies are starting to become a new focus for community-building. The program investigates the spirit of people connected by movies and the regeneration of communities.

Disaster Medicine Direct
Apr 14, 2014

When Kesennuma City Hospital was cut off from critical services and food supplies following the 3.11 tsunami, it managed to protect the lives of both its inpatients and other citizens. Since then, the hospital has developed various new measures to provide better medical treatment in future disasters, such as the introduction of telemedicine, multipurpose helicopters, and networks of local home nursing teams. What did the hospital’s medical staff learn from their experience during the disaster? An American journalist reports on the situation at the hospital as it faces the challenge of providing new types of medical care.

Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Actor

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Morley Robertson

Morley Robertson

Journalist & DJ

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Catherine Makino

Catherine Makino

Journalist

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Save Lives! Citizens Stand Up to Tsunami
Mar 31, 2014

As local communities weaken due to aging and depopulation, the presence of volunteer fire brigades organized by each district is becoming ever more essential for disaster prevention. During the 3.11 disaster, members of volunteer fire brigades in the three prefectures of the Tohoku region bravely committed themselves to shutting floodgates and guiding people to safety in the face of the imminent onslaught by the huge tsunami. While saving many residents' lives, 254 volunteer firefighters lost their lives. Why did so many of them have to die? Three years on, the program investigates the new “regional disaster prevention” initiatives appearing in disaster-prone Japan.

Eric Talmadge

Eric Talmadge

AP Tokyo News Editor & Pyongyang Bureau Chief

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