Category Archives: news

Three months after the quake

Candles are lit to mark three months since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami

The “Big Picture” blog at has just published a set of photos showing how things have progressed in the three months since 11th March.

Although the clean-up operations are now well under way, the rebuilding process is going to take years.


Rebuilding a business after the Japan tsunami

Michihiro Kono is the president of Yagisawa Shoten, a 200-year-old soy sauce company called  that was hit hard by the tsunami. In this video he describes what happened on 11 March and explains why rebuilding local industry is vital for the area’s recovery.

According to a recent article in the Mainichi Daily News, the company’s future is now slightly less bleak due to the discovery of a small quantity of a vital ingredient called moromi that the company had sent to a nearby university for scientific research.

A new centre for children and the elderly

Martin van der Linden is a Dutch architect who has lived in Tokyo for 16 years. After Japan was hit by the tsunami, he wanted to do something to help. But when the Dutch Embassy and the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Japan failed to act promptly, he decided to take the initiative himself:

Three days after the quake, he sent out an email to the chamber of commerce saying, “We need to do something.”

Some member Dutch companies such as Rabobank, a financial services provider, DSM, a chemical and food manufacturer, as well as members of Trekpaert Foundation, a club of about 50 Dutch company executives, quickly offered donations and support for whatever van der Linden would be doing.

With the help of PA International Foundation (an organisation that undertook similar projects in Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami), van der Linden is now working with the World Health Organization, UNICEF Japan and the U.N. Development Program to build a community house for both children and elderly people in the town.

Visit the Japan Times Online for the full story.