RECOVERY VIA STRENGTHS OF WORKERS (FOREWORD) | Discuss Japan-Japan Foreign Policy Forum
Culture, No.7  Aug. 7, 2011


The Japanese economy suffered tremendous damage from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. As recovery progresses, much attention is placed on cases where a company and its employees act voluntarily and highly effectively toward recovery.

The following examples are reports on actual cases in which several companies volunteered efforts toward recovery. Some points of particular note are as follows.

One is that these corporate employees gave their efforts toward recovery based on their own motives rather than from top-down command. In the case of Japan’s largest logistics company Yamato Transport, we see Yamato employees who witnessed the confusion in relief supply delivery in affected areas manage relief supplies and create a distribution system on their own.

The cases of Honda Dream and Sendai Toyopet illustrate automotive dealers keeping their stores open every day in the disaster-hit area to work on repairing cars and delivering scooters.

Another point is that companies of other areas that are in the same business offered a helping hand to the company facing difficulties.

The Sendai Gas Bureau example shows how technicians and workers gathered from around the nation cooperated to restore gas in damage-hit areas, and the NTT DOCOMO case portrays a cell phone company that incurred severe damage receiving support from many different areas to quickly spread recovery.

The final point is that these efforts at the worker level help speed recovery of social infrastructure, which helps people get relief, and helps the economy.

The JR East example illustrates how the Tohoku Shinkansen which incurred damage in 1,200 locations reopened its entire line in a mere 50 days. The Tohoku Electric Power case shows the company receiving support from other areas and working to recover electricity in areas that suffered many blackouts in addition to severely damaged power lines.

These are only a few of such a great number of corporate and employee efforts on site at victimized areas. These efforts of so many people are what rapidly improve the economy and life in disaster-hit areas.