The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, Graduate Program in Sustainability Sciences, Reconstruction Support Group

Creation of the Saving the Taste of Tohoku website and information dissemination by graduate student volunteers: Supporting the reconstruction of Iwate Sanriku through the ongoing communication to Japan and world of information required for supporting companies in the disaster area

Activity grant

Project Description

The purpose of the project is to communicate in an ongoing matter information necessary for the reconstruction of Iwate Sanriku both inside and outside the region, encourage interaction, and lead many people to action aimed at reconstruction. Under the support of local institutions such as the Iwate Prefecture Coast Wide Area Promotion Bureau, students make repeated visits to the Iwate Prefecture Coast Wide Area, hold interviews with businesses affected by the disaster, and as a result summarize web contents and communicate information that will interest other people including stories that communicate the feelings and experiences of businesses affected by the disaster, information on affected areas visited, and frameworks enabling direct interactions between businesses and consumers. The website has many postings aimed at contributing and assisting businesses that aim to resume business in the future, and it is also available in multiple languages in order to broadly spread information overseas as well.

Grant year
FY2011 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years and 6 months
October 2011 - March 2015
Grant amount
3,450,000 yen
Activity region
Iwate Prefecture coast, Japan
Interview with Representative Mr. Sasaki of Yamada Kaki-Boy in Hanamaki City, Iwate prefecture, Japan

Overview of the Organization

Professor Shingo Kimura
Professor Shingo Kimura
Establishment year
2011 (year of establishment as a reconstruction support group)
Establishment purpose
Preparation for disasters and the ability to recover from disasters (resilience) are important elements of sustainability studies aimed at the establishment of a sustainable society. As a group within the Graduate Program in Sustainability Science that was started in 2007 for the purpose of research and education in sustainability studies, the purpose of the group is to establish sustainability studies as a practical science by recording and supporting the reconstruction process following the Great East Japan Earthquake, and to build up an educational curriculum.
Main activity areas
Iwate Prefecture Coast Wide Area
Number of staff members
10 full-time staff members
WEB site
Collaborating organizations
Iwate Prefecture Coast Wide Area Promotion Bureau
Main activities
Support the reconstruction process by gathering information on the business resumption process by food-related companies in the affected area and communicating this information to the world through the Saving the Taste of Tohoku website. We will also assist with the establishment of sustainability studies with the insights gained on the creation of sustainable societies and resilient societies through these support activities.