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After Eight Years: Commemorating 3/11-from the President

Eight years have now passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. With this in mind, we at Chuo would like to offer our heartfelt sympathy to everyone affected by the disaster and convey our great respect for those people who continue to persevere in their efforts to embark on new chapters in life.

Every year when this day comes, I’m filled with mixed feelings that “one year has passed so fast again” and “one year has not been enough to recover from the heartbreak.”

In light of the disaster, Chuo University has made the following four pledges so far:

First, Chuo University will continue to fulfill its educational responsibilities as an institution of higher education.
Second, Chuo University will continue to perform its unique role in providing aid and fulfilling its responsibilities to society.
Third, Chuo University will continue to strengthen cooperative ties with relevant parties.
Fourth, Chuo University will continue to research disaster preparation, response and recovery measures to be shared with society.

These pledges have been reaffirmed by the university not only in relation to the Great East Japan Earthquake, but also subsequent natural disasters. Chuo University will continue to provide aid considering the perspectives both of those affected directly by disasters as well as those involved in recovery.

Tadahiko Fukuhara
Chuo University

Chuo University’s Disaster Relief Efforts

1. Financial support for students
Chuo University has developed a disaster relief scholarship and provides effective and immediate support to students impacted by natural disasters.

2. Disaster relief activities in affected areas
While continuing its earlier programs, Chuo University has further developed its relief activities, as described below.
  1. Chuo University student volunteers
    An officially accredited Chuo University student group provided support in areas such as Miyako in Iwate Prefecture, Kesennuma and Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture, and Nishiharamura in Kumamoto Prefecture, as well as in Tokyo. As in the past, this year many of our students from the Tohoku region and Kumamoto now stood on the side of those providing aid and joined support activities with local communities. Furthermore, in addition to the main support activities held during spring, summer and winter vacations, many students dedicated their weekends throughout the year to making preparations and conducting study tours. In 2018, a total of 414 students affiliated with Chuo University were involved in disaster relief activities conducted over 296 days.
  2. Cooperating with other universities and institutions
    29 students from Chuo University participated in the Tohoku Volunteer Program organized by the Inter-University Disaster Relief Volunteer Network.
  3. Information dissemination activities in the Tokyo area and providing knowledge on disaster prevention to Tama district residents:
    1. Chuo University continues to hold informational events and exhibitions related to disaster prevention and recovery to ensure that memories of the Earthquake do not fade and to take advantage of the lessons learned in Tohoku. In 2018, events and exhibitions showcasing emergency relief products and educating people on disaster preparedness were held both at the university and in the larger community, improving disaster prevention in the Tama area.
    2. One such exhibition organized by Chuo students at the Aeon Mall Tamadaira no Mori from February 6-10, 2019 drew in 845 visitors.
    3. Reporting events for sharing knowledge about volunteer activities in the disaster-hit areas were held at elementary schools, junior high schools, and high schools in Hino City, strengthening community bonds with the next generation of volunteers.

◎Hamagiku-no-tsubomi (Miyako City, Iwate)

Reading picture-story books to children at an after-school
Commemorative photo with the Mayor of Miyako City
Making kaleidoscopes with people of the Kuwagasaki District
Inspecting coastal levees in Taro Town

◎Omose academic support team (Omose, Kesennuma City, Miyagi)

Playing outside at a fureai agricultural farm
Enjoying nagashi somen (flowing noodles)
Studying at a community hall
Studying at a community hall
Playing cards during a break

◎Team Onagawa (Onagawa, Oshika District, Miyagi)

Having a lively conversation during a hand massage
Talking with locals at Marukichi Abe Shoten, a marine
product store
Making crafts with local residents at a community gathering
Helping with an exhibition in Tokyo showcasing products
from Onagawa

◎Chuo Riko Volunteer! (Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo—the Korakuen Campus area)

A café run by Chuo Riko Volunteer! at the Chuo University
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Participants in a cleanup activity around the Korakuen
Members from Chuo Riko Volunteer! participating in a
collaborative project held by the United Nations and
Chuo University
Participating in RUN TOMO-RROW, an awareness event for dementia

◎Team Disaster Prevention (Hachioji City and Hino City—the Tama Campus area)

Members of the Team
Playing a disaster prevention game at a fair for community
planning in Hino City
Playing a disaster prevention game at a fair for community
planning in Hino City
Participating in an emergency drill in Hirayamaen, Hino City

◎Team Kumamoto

Interviewing the chairman of a temporary housing residents’
Visiting newly constructed restoration housing
Hosting a tea party at a community gathering place in the
Komori Temporary Housing complex
Socializing with Kumamon, the beloved mascot of
Kumamoto Prefecture, at an event in Nishihara Village