Humanitarian Activities

Back to listJul 29, 2012

Seminars on Aftermath of March 11, 2011, Earthquake and Tsunami

Mr. Norio KannoMayor Norio Kanno giving a talk in Tokyo

Seminars were held in Tokyo and Iwate in late July to examine the aftermath of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan.

On July 27, Norio Kanno, mayor of Iidate Village, Fukushima Prefecture, spoke at Soka University in Tokyo, describing the challenges currently facing the people of Iidate. The lecture was sponsored by Soka University and the Tokyo Shimbun.

Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, Iidate was designated as part of the official evacuation zone, and all the inhabitants were evacuated. In his lecture, Mr. Kanno reported the struggles they have faced since the incident, and emphasized the importance of creating bonds among people. He also shared his determination to overcome any difficulties and build a society where people have strong trust in future generations.

Prof. Yoshihiro KumasakaProf. Yoshihiro Kumasaka at the Soka Gakkai Miyako Peace Center

On July 29, Yoshihiro Kumasaka, former mayor of Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture, and professor of nutritional science at Morioka University, spoke as part of the Seikyo Culture Lecture Series at the Soka Gakkai Miyako Peace Center. Prof. Kumasaka lectured on his experience of examining patients affected by the March 11 disaster.

In his lecture, Prof. Kumasaka emphasized that people have learned the importance of "social inclusion" and taking care of each other through experiencing the earthquake and tsunami; yet he pointed out that more than half of the evacuees are still living in the same conditions as they were in immediately after March 11. Prof. Kumasaka stressed the importance of imagining the suffering experienced by others and considering it as one’s own, and of sustainable and continuing relief efforts.

[Adapted from articles in the July 28 and 31, 2012, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]