Mar 10


The below interview appeared in PhilanTopic, the Philanthropy News & Digest blog which is part of The Foundation Center. It’s a really terrific explanation of the situation in Japan from a philanthropy/fundraising/non-profit perspective by Jim Gannon (Ehime-ken, 1992-94), Executive Director of the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE/USA), who has become one of the experts in this field. 

March 09, 2012

James Gannon (Ehime-ken, 1992-94)

One Year Later: Rebuilding After the Great Tōhoku Earthquake

James Gannon is executive director of the Japan Center for International Exchange/USA, which works to strengthen U.S.-Japan cooperation across a range of fields. Recently, Laura Cronin, a regular contributor to PhilanTopic, spoke with Gannon about the progress of rebuilding efforts in the quake- and tsunami-affected Tohoku region of the country.

Philanthropy News Digest: The earthquake and tsunami affected a four hundred-mile region along the northeastern coast of Japan — an area roughly comparable to the BosWash corridor in the United States. What are conditions in the region like now, a year later? And how have people in the affected region, and the country at large, been changed as a result of the disaster?

James Gannon: Even now, some communities are still disposing of rubble, while things appear almost normal in other, less-hard-hit areas. Compared to the scenes of utter devastation we saw a year ago, there has been extraordinary progress. But if you spend any time in these communities, you realize the depth of the wounds. More than three hundred thousand people are still without homes, and that is weakening traditional community ties. Many of the jobs in the fishing industry, agriculture, and small business have not returned, resulting in high unemployment and all the social problems it brings.

Meanwhile, women who lost family members, men who are ashamed that they can no longer support their families, and children traumatized by the disaster are grappling with mental health issues. The stoicism of the people in the Tōhoku region is stunning — even by Japanese standards — but most acknowledge that the road to recovery will be long.

On the other hand,

CLICK HERE to read the full interview on the PhilanTopic blog.

Comments are closed.

Page Rank