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Final report of the Special Education Program on the Great East Japan Earthquake

2013.11.08

The final report of the Special Education Program on the Great East Japan Earthquake was presented on Monday October 28, 2013 at Hachioji Campus.

Faculty of Economics head Isao Hirota addressed an audience of around 230 students who took part in the Program. He reminded them of the importance, three years after the earthquake and tsunami, of remembering the original purpose and objectives of the Program.

Seven students with outstanding reports spoke about their experiences on the Program and their ideas for the future.
One of these, fourth-year Tourism Management student Yuki Tomomura, has been involved in the program for three years running. She spoke of her conviction that we must never forget the destructive power of earthquakes, and also mentioned that there had been times when she wondered whether continuing with the program was the right thing to do. But she came to be glad she kept going after knowing the word, “Sometimes we wonder, what can we do to help? But rather than giving up and declaring it all too difficult, the thing to do is to sit down and consider the ways in which we can be of use.” Tomomura has already been offered a job at a long-haul bus company after finishing university, and she plans to use her position to develop schemes to attract people to the Tohoku region and revitalize the economy.

Third-year Tourism Management student Fuji Yokota spoke about visiting a temporary housing facility on the grounds of a local junior high school. Yokota’s group, including the accompanying teaching staff, delivered classes and ran recreational activities. “It was a hit with the locals, but I think the experience of volunteering did us even more good than them!” said Yokota. “To go to one of the affected towns and see and hear everything first-hand really teaches you the importance of flexibility and creative thinking from the student perspective.” The students are keen to maintain their involvement with the region after the Program through initiatives such as NPO information sessions on seawall design.

The reconstruction plan developed by the Miyagi Prefectural Government is divided into three years of rebuilding, four years of rejuvenation and three years of sustained development. The Teikyo University Special Education Program, meanwhile, has been running for three years, and in that time we have seen significant progress in rebuilding and in the reconstruction process in general. The Hachioji Campus is committed to maintaining the Program on an ongoing basis in line with the requirements of the rebuilding process.

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