Director Mr. Hiroshi Urushibara
On 11th March an unprecedented disaster attacked Japan. The whole picture was getting clearer day by day and JLMM sought the way to support the disaster-stricken areas. We contacted Sendai Diocese and collected the information. Sendai Diocese Support Center (SDSC) started on 16th March and two JLMM staffs left for the disaster area on 19th March requested by Caritas Japan which runs the SDSC admin office. Most of the shops were closed in Sendai and there was three km's queue at every petrol kiosk.
We helped to set up the SDSC office and system to send volunteers to the Volunteer Center of Social Welfare Council. The project started in Shiogama, Ishinomaki and Kamaishi based on each church as lodging. The main activities are clean-up of mad from damaged houses, shops and factories, soup kitchen and sorting of the relief supplies.
When we went along the disaster-stricken coasts of Shiogama, Shichigaham, Ishinomaki and so on, we were shocked by the terrible situation of the areas and natural violence. We saw some people stare at mass of rubble with their stunned eyes and droop.
There was a big gap between the passionate message outside world "Gambaro Nippon" and the atmosphere "not motivated to work harder" of people in the ashes as far as they could see.
A month later we went to the disaster areas again. We visited the disaster areas and shelters in Watarimachi and Minami-sanriku where the tsunami had caused tremendous damage. Though a lot of relief supplies gathered there, they were not distributed to the places and people in need. Information, sorting and systems to control and adjust transportation got stacked for short of manpower.