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Ten years on from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

12 Mar 2021 10:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Yesterday, March 11 2021, ANZCCJ paused to mark 10 years since the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, which struck off the coast of Tohoku in 2011.

In a small Memorial Service in Shiba Park, Tokyo, ANZCCJ Chair Sally Townsend spoke of the experience of those on the ground in Japan on that day, as well as the close relationships that have formed between Australia, New Zealand and Tohoku in the 10 years since.

Tim Barnstable, Chair of the Food, Agriculture & Hospitality Committee shared stories and photos from the many volunteering trips the committee has made to Minami Sanriku and his experience working alongside the local people to develop and harvest new farm crops, helping out at the annual Friendship Festival and recovery market, and the warmth of those who welcomed them each time.

Andrew Gauci, Managing Director and CEO of Lendlease Japan described his experience of arriving in Tohoku just after the disaster struck, and how he and his staff worked to restore telecommunications services in the region as quickly as possible. He remarked on the way his staff and the local people in Tohoku cared for each other in the days following the disaster, and their selflessness during a time of such difficulty. Andrew shared the words of Minami Sanriku Mayor Jin Sato, that the most important contribution outside volunteers to the area could make was simply the act of coming to Tohoku itself. A more in-depth look at Lendlease Japan’s Minami Sanriku Community Support Project is available here

Matthew Walker, Senior Vice President of AIG Japan Holdings described his experiences across the region and emphasised the positive impact of sport throughout the recovery period. On a larger scale, visits by top rugby players Scott Fardy and Richie McCaw and the Rugby World Cup match held in Kamaishi in 2019 had meant a great deal to these towns, but smaller projects to engage the young people of the region had also provided much healing to the local people who are still suffering from the psychological impact of the disaster to this day.

In raising a glass of local sake to the future of the Tohoku region, New Zealand Ambassador to Japan H.E. Hamish Cooper paid tribute to the resilience of the communities who continue to work towards their recovery, and the way that the Australian and New Zealand people had rallied in support. 

The Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan sends its thoughts and prayers to the people of the Tohoku region. We will never forget March 11 2011, and remain committed to supporting our friends in Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate into the future. 

Gambarō Tōhoku



Food, Agriculture, Hospitality Committee (FAHC)の委員長ティム・バーンズテーブルは、同委員会が南三陸町で行ってきた数多くのボランティア活動の中で、地元の人々と一緒に新しい農作物を開発・収穫したり、年に一度のフレンドシップ・フェスティバルや復興市を手伝った経験や、毎回訪れる度、温かく歓迎してくれた地元の方々についてのエピソードや写真を紹介しました。







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