March 20, 2014,10:00 +0900(JST) Three Years Has Passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake
On March 11, 2011, I came back to Osaka from a business trip to Tokyo, and then arrived at my office in the afternoon after a meeting held outside our company. All of a sudden, I heard creaking sounds in the room and immediately after felt the floor shake for a long time. When I hurriedly turned on the television, I saw a caption that said: “A large earthquake has hit the Tohoku region.” Immediately I tried to know the situation of our customers and affiliates in eastern Japan, but I couldn’t find out in detail. Meanwhile, I saw the raging tsunami broadcast live on TV, and I was really at a loss for words.
Three years has passed since then. As many as 270,000 people are still forced to live as evacuees. We realize how much destruction was left behind from the unprecedented national tragedy when we see various challenges still being reported such as redevelopment and regional promotion projects that have not made good progress, difficulty in taking appropriate disaster prevention measures, and the handling of the ongoing nuclear accident, all casting a shadow of uncertainty.
However, on the other hand, there are also media reports saying that residents around the disaster-stricken area, as well as the national and local governments, companies and many others involved, have continued struggling to overcome a huge number of such challenges. On the 3rd anniversary of the quake, I am reminded that our memory of the disaster tends to fade over time and become buried in a sea of information; however, each and every person in Japan should continue doing what they can in their own way to help recover from the disaster, while keeping in mind what they experienced that day and what they have learned since then.