Our Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake
Basic Policy on Disaster Recovery
1. Basic Policy on Disaster Recovery (established in 2011)
To ensure effective and swift assistance for the stricken region, we recognized the importance of understanding how the needs of the region would change over time as the situation evolved. We also understood the need to put in place a Companywide organization to consider and implement concrete support measures. Plotting our activities along a time axis, we segmented them into "emergency response" and "medium- to long-term response" efforts, the former focused on assisting restoration and the latter on supporting via sustainable businesses implemented by leveraging Mitsui's capabilities. With the aim of administering effective support, we created plans and proposals for responses in each category, centered on Companywide organizations.
Immediately following the disaster, a quick response was needed to procure relief supplies, fuel, and other items. Based on the Guidelines for Disaster Relief, on the day following the disaster--March 12--we resolved to contribute monetary donations. On March 23, we established the Disaster Relief Study Group and the Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Support Team, operating under the council's supervision. These bodies promptly decided to organize volunteer and support activities. We backed up this assistance by simultaneously conducting aid, such as providing urgent imports of fuel and offering support to devastated companies.
Medium- to Long-Term Response
To achieve reconstruction of the stricken area, Mitsui considered it necessary to create a business that takes community needs into consideration. In June 2011, we set up a Domestic Business Development Department within our Corporate Planning & Strategy Division (transferred to Regional Business Promotion Division in July 2015), which will utilize the Tohoku Office as its response center when striving to provide sustainable support and pursuing coordination with relevant headquarter business units.
- Proposals and support will be offered to the municipal governments in affected regions working to revive agriculture or processed marine product industries or stimulate community development and tourism.
- Smart community proposals will be offered to cities looking to make themselves more earthquake resilient, more elderly friendly, or more environmentally sound.
- Biomass, mega solar, and other renewable energy ventures will be pursued.
- Initiatives such as constructing temporary housing or developing car sharing programs will be conducted in conjunction with municipal governments, regional companies, and NPOs.
With the aim of supporting the post-earthquake reconstruction effort through our business, we will conduct the following region-based, region-invigorating ventures into the medium-term to long-term.
2. Policy on Reconstruction Support Initiatives in Areas Affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in the Period to 2020 (established in 2016)
In March 2016, five years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, we adopted a policy on reconstruction support initiatives in the period to 2020.
In order to ensure steady progress in the reconstruction and regeneration of the disaster-affected areas, drawing on the foundation of various reconstruction initiatives that we have undertaken over the past five years, we will continue to provide sustainable support, such as through business operations closely connected to local communities, that contribute to regional revitalization, as well as environmental and social contribution activities, with particular emphasis on nurturing future generations, who will take up the task of recovery work.
Mitsui will continue to contribute to steady recovery and revitalization of the disaster-stricken areas through dialogue and cooperation with all people concerned to provide support that best suits the needs of the region in ways that reflect the changing situation in the disaster-afflicted areas with the passage of time.
Main Reconstruction Support Activities
|Kesennuma Shishiori Processing Cooperative||· Support for the recovery of the seafood processing business as core regional industry
In May 2015, three years after the establishment of the Cooperative, a new office was completed as a base for product development and commercial negotiations. Cold storage facilities and a seawater sterilization system have also been installed to improve the business efficiency of Cooperative members. Mitsui is providing comprehensive support for the stabilization of the Cooperative's business activities, including the restoration of sales channels disrupted by the earthquake, the development of new business, and the arrangement of labor resources.
|SENDAI UMINO-MORI AQUARIUM||· Revitalization of the local economy
Open since July 2015, the aquarium is based on the concept of creating new bonds between "the sea and people", and "water and people". Many people have visited and enjoyed the aquarium, which contributes to local economic revitalization as a new tourism resource symbolizing reconstruction.
|Environmental and social contribution activities / International exchange|
|TOMODACHI- Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program||· Development of next-generation leaders
This program was launched in 2013. Ten young professionals are selected from Japan and ten from United States to visit each other's countries and engage in dialogue with leaders in various fields. The aim is to strengthen mutual understanding and leadership skills. In 2016, Mitsui will cultivate new relationships and opportunities for people-to-people exchanges and strengthen communication of information regarding the region within Japan and abroad by arranging visits of the U.S. delegation to the disaster-afflicted areas.
|Environmental and social contribution activities / Education|
|Visiting Lecture by participants in the "Textbook for our Future" program on the 12BS Channel||· Career education
The "Textbook for our Future—For Our Children" has been broadcast since 2014 as a home education program. People featured in the programs become on-site teachers for a day by talking about their activities in disaster-stricken areas. The aim is to foster a robust approach to life in the children who will one day play a key role in the recovery and reconstruction processes.
|English Conversation Class Project Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture||· Global Human Resources Development
This program was launched in 2014. The program offers English conversation classes via Skype for junior high school students at Onawaga Kogakkan, a "Collaborative School" run by Katariba (an NPO) in Onagawa and career development support provided by Mitsui employees through sharing of their experiences of using English in their work in various parts of the world.
|Environmental and social contribution activities / Environment|
|Research activity grants through the Environmental Fund||· Contributing to the solution of global environmental problems
This activity began in 2005. From 2011, Mitsui started providing support for efforts to mitigate and overcome new environmental problems resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake and the tsunami, as well as activity and research grants for NPOs and universities working to regenerate a sustainable society, and support for community regeneration.