TOMODACHI Summer 2012 BEYOND Tomorrow U.S. Program – Reconstruction and Planning – Orientation

1. Summary

 The orientation for the TOMODACHI Summer 2012 BEYOND Tomorrow U.S. Program – Reconstruction and Planning – (U.S. Program) took place over a weekend at the foot of Mount Fuji. The forthcoming program in the U.S. will provide the students opportunities to draw the lessons from the U.S. experience of reconstruction following Hurricane Katrina and 9/11, and examine what could be applied for mid-/long-term Tohoku reconstruction process.

2. Objectives

  1.  To deepen the students’ understanding of the September 11th terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina, learning the issues associated with subsequent reconstruction and urban planning.
  2. To summarize the issues concerning the reconstruction of Tohoku, and to discuss what they want to communicate in the U.S. as representatives of Tohoku
  3. To create a sense of team unity in preparation for the 2-week U.S. Program.

3. Date

Friday, June 29 – Sunday, July 1, 2012

4. Location

Shikitei (Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture)

5. Participants

Nine students participating in the 2012 U.S. Program and three students planning to study abroad through the BEYOND Tomorrow High School Study Abroad Program. A click of a photographs will display a profile.

6. Speakers and guests

A variety of workshops were conducted by experts in reconstruction planning and study-abroad activities, offering advice to the students in preparation for the U.S. program and High School Study Abroad Programs.
 Satoru Nishikawa Director of Land and Real Property Market Division, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
 Masatomo Miyazawa Public-Private Initiative Policy Division, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
 Eiji Yokoyama Senior Consultant Educational Information, Consulting & Mentoring
 Taichi Fujita Owner, Shikitei Vice President, Fujisan Farm

7. Program Summary

Friday, June 29
  • Orientation 1: Program Outline
  • Orientation 2: Icebreaking
  • Workshop 1: U.S.-Japan Cooperation in the context of Disaster Reconstruction
  • Workshop 2: The 3/11 Earthquake, Myself, and BEYOND Tomorrow
Saturday, June 30
  • Nature walk
  • Workshop 3: Hurricane Katrina and the September 11th Terrorist Attacks
  • Workshop 4: Reconstruction and Planning of the Ideal City: Part 1 (Speaker: Masatomo Miyazawa)
  • Workshop 5: Disaster Response in the World” (Speaker: Satoru Nishikawa)
  • Workshop 6: Reconstruction and Planning of the Ideal City: Part 2 (Drafting a presentation of what we want to learn in the U.S. about reconstruction)
  • Barbeque
  • BEYOND Tomorrow Game tournament
Sunday, July 1
  • Breakfast with the owner of Shikitei (Speaker: Taichi Fujita)
  • Group Work 1: Three things we want to convey from Tohoku to the U.S. (Drafting team presentations in English)
  • Cow milking experience

8. Key Learning

The program focused on three themes: 1. Reconstruction and City Planning, 2. The situation in Tohoku that we want to convey in the U.S., 3. Reflection on the Disaster Experience

1.  Reconstruction and City Planning

Workshop1: U.S.-Japan Cooperation in the Context of Disaster Reconstruction

– Why going to America as representatives of Tohoku? Why Japan-U.S. cooperation in the reconstruction of Tohoku? What is the TOMODACHI Initiative?

Workshop 3: Hurricane Katrina and the September 11th Terrorist Attacks

 What was 9/11? What was Hurricane Katrina? Gaining a deeper understanding of post-disaster policies and initiatives
“In America, regardless of skin color or appearance, everyone is considered an American.” “Issues like poverty, violence, infrastructure, racial problems, oil prices, population drain are all related with ‘reconstruction’ and ‘city planning.’ ” “What were countermeasures only possible in the U.S.?”

Workshop4&6: Reconstruction and City Planning

In groups, students categorized the issues associated with mid-term Tohoku reconstruction based on their own experiences, and discussed their vision for the “ideal city”.
Team A “A safe, secure, and stable city”  ■ Issues Rebuilding the land damaged by the tsunami, infrastructure development, employment, revitalization of local businesses, public-private partnerships, human relationships within the community, etc. ■ Ideal City Planning “A safe, secure, and stable city”: We aim to create a city that is resilient to natural disasters, where people can feel safe and secure. Also, since we believe that just feeling safe and secure in a city is not enough for the city to grow further, we want to create a city that is socially and economically stable so that it can develop dynamically.
Team B “A city that will make people want to return to”  ■ Issues Post-disaster population decrease, population outflow of young people to outside the region, decrease in tourists, etc. ■ The city we want to create “A city that will make people want to return to”: We want to create a city where things like jobs, medical care, and education are firmly implemented, making people from Tohoku (especially young people) want to return home. Also, in order to bring back the tourists who have stayed away due to the nuclear accident, we want to create a city that makes Tohoku more attractive.

Workshop 5: Disaster Relief Efforts in the World

  • The Joint Field Office (JFO)’s reaction to Katrina
  • Post-disaster reconstruction planning processes –a comparison of the planning processes of Kobe and New Orleans-
  • Lessons learned from the response to Hurricane Katrina and resource mobilization for disaster response
  • Moving to higher ground, donating to the proposed site (Asahi Shimbun January 11, 2012)”

2.  The situation in Tohoku that we want to convey to the U.S.

 Group work 2: Three things we want to convey from Tohoku to the U.S.

In groups, the students developed presentations on what they would like to convey to American people from Tohoku in English.
 「We are the team of BEYOND Tomorrow. We would like to tell our stories of the 3.11 earthquake and tsunami」 「We will show our gratitude to American people for their support after the disaster」  「We would like to tell American people about the current situation in Tohoku after one year since the disaster」 「We would like to show that Tohoku, our hometown, is one of the most beautiful places in Japan」

3.  Facing the Disaster Experience

Workshop 2: The 3/11 Earthquake, Me, and BEYOND Tomorrow

 After experiencing the Great East Japan Earthquake, why did I get involved with BEYOND Tomorrow? What was my most special moment after meeting people from BEYOND Tomorrow? One year after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the participating students reflected on their experiences once again.
 “If there wasn’t BEYOND Tomorrow, I would have focused on trying to forget about the earthquake and I would not have been able to reflect on it and think about what would need to happen in the future” “When I met the people from BEYOND Tomorrow, I felt that I could air out my emotions here. It was the moment that I found precious people who I could consider as my dearest friends.”  “I lost a lot from the earthquake, but since I had entrance examinations for the university at the time, I tried not to think too much about it. But the time I couldn’t sort out my feelings, I met BEYOND Tomorrow.” “I lost my house and my parents lost their jobs in the earthquake. It was when I had to give up my dreams for the future that I met my friends and found a new role for myself. Now, I can walk towards the future, facing my new dreams.”


 U.S.-Japan Council
 Japan Disaster Relief Fund Boston
 KPMG Japan

Cooperating organizations

The orientation for the U.S. Program was carried out due to the cooperation of many people. We are truly grateful for their support. (Management Cooperation) We thank the three staff members from POINT INC. who served as volunteers. (Venue Cooperation) We are grateful to Shikitei for providing the venue as well as accommodation.
We appreciate the generosity of the following local farmers, from whom we received fruits, vegetables, and eggs.
Sumito Osawa, Osawa Nouen (Yamanashi-City) Tatsuya Tanabe, Tamagoya (Oshino-mura) Satoshi Takeno (Fuefuki-City) Yuko Kutsuma (Fuefuki-City)

【Based on what they have learned during this orientation, the students will set off for the U.S. Program, to take place from August 6-22, 2012.】