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03/08/2012

Looking at stranded boat

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This is a picture of a mid-size trawler taken on December 10, After 9 months since the earthquake, yet not to be able to remove until only this one has been left in harbor.

The owner of this boat is a man now JEN are supporting. We would like to tell a story about this boat and the owner himself.

The owner, who is running a scrapping company bought this boat before the earthquake and was preparing for discharge and dismantlement. He was caught by enormous shake while he finished setting things up to discharge the boat 5minutes later. He realized that tsunami comes shortly so he has to evacuate to higher ground. He was hit by the first wave after he stayed 30 minutes in harbor to moor his boat again on dock, because of his concern to the boat, and swept away. He clung onto tombstones in cemetery to save himself. After then he went up on the hill, helped many other people evacuating from the swell. However, he remembers with only fragments about the second wave that have swallowed all the houses.

He moved to Pachinko shop near the hill. He spent 2 nights there. On the third day he walked 7 hours and went back his home. He found his house and his family safe, but has lost one of his employee, 2 trucks, and 1 heavy machine.

Days he spent in the disaster were realities those were too unreal to him, not knowing what to do hereafter. When he was struggling to get over himself he found JEN. He got offer from JEN about lending a truck to self-employed business.

He have never heard of its name, have not met them before, that was enough for him to think such kind of business must not be true, but in fact he could not find any trucks by himself at that time. He could not find even one by purchase or by lease.

He contacted us with only half belief, but the issue has moved forward. Finally we have agreed with him that JEN will provide 2 trucks for him by lend-lease. With these he could restart business by himself. He could also employ additional 4 staff. Now he is also positive in using his trucks for social support activities.

(Project for restoring people’s life continued until the end of February with the support from Japan Platform)

He said. “I have watched people supporting disaster recovery on TV. Now I am the one who needs support and I appreciate so much that I cannot explain with word. It was a really good experience for me.”

[JEN staff listening to the owner’s story]

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Now then, let us tell about his boat. On this year January 10 we have succeeded to land his boat on the ground. In fact we have tried two times previously and failed both. This was a third try for us. That day both owner and JEN staff were fulfilled with happiness.

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And on February 27 we started dismantlement of the boat. Trucks supported by JEN are also here.

[Dismantled ship parts carried away by truck]

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The last one boat stranded in the harbor, this image will remain in people’s memory for a long time. The scenery of the disaster area will change constantly, but we strongly think we should not forget about the lesson of the disaster and concept of helping each other.

March 8, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |