Tag Archives: 被災地

3.11 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami : One Year On

東北で起こった巨大地震から1年たった。しかし、テレビやメディアを通してみる被災地は、復興にはほど遠い。がれき撤去は遅々として進まず、多くの人が狭い仮設住宅に住み、仕事も中々みつからず、毎日を不安の中で過ごしている。特に、福島の方々は、福島原発が未だ放射能を垂れ流す中、日々放射能汚染にも怯えて暮らさなければならない。情報隠匿・事故に対する処理対応のまずさで海外においても悪名高い、東電からの補償は、出し惜しみする割に雀の涙のようなもので再建の足しにもならない。この状況はイギリスでも控えめにであるが伝えられているのに(原子力推進派が力を持ってるので他国ほど報道されないが)、驚くことにイギリス人の多くは原発に賛成なのだそうだ(参考:Huffington Post)。確かに地震や津波の危険性は低いし、安価で公害も少ないが、効果的な放射能対策がない現在、何か起こった後では後悔してももう遅いのだ。

たくさんのものを失っても、不屈の精神で一生懸命立ち上がろうと日々頑張っておられる東北の方々の姿には頭が下がる。でも個人でやれることには限界がある。政府には国民が信頼してついていけるような強いリーダーシップを発揮してほしいのだが、何だか頼りなくて一本筋が通っていない。労働組合からの猛反対にあっても、国の財政を立て直すため痛みの伴う政策を断固として進めている、イギリスのキャメロン首相を少しは見習ってはどうかと思う。

明るい話題の少ない今の日本の現状にあって、1年経った今も被災地、被災者を応援するために頑張っている人々の心が、唯一の救い。近い将来、東北地方に、そして日本に、明るい希望の光が差し込みますように。

→震災直後・現在の様子を撮影した写真:テレグラフ紙BBC。がれきが撤去されて綺麗になったけれど、何もない更地に寂寥を感じる。

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3月14〜18日まで、Westfield Stratford Cityにおいて、海外からの支援への感謝を表明し、日本の食や文化、ファッションなどを紹介する「Tasting JAPAN WEEK」が催される。お時間のある方は是非。

Japan earthquake and Tsunami marks one year anniversary today. However, recovery of the affect area of Tohoku is far from completed. Only 6% of 2.25 million tons of debris has removed (because other areas of Japan are reluctant to accept them), and tens of thousands of people still live in tiny temporary housing with uncertainty. Unemployment is high, as many industry were destroyed and haven’t been reconstructed or some may never be. The worst must be the areas near Fukushima nuclear plant, which is still releasing radiation, and people have to live with fear everyday, especially families with small children. People have very little hope to come back to their houses in evacuated area in their life time. Farmland is contaminated, and farming, which is an important industry in rural Fukushima, has been devastated. Still it is said that amazingly many British are pro-nuclear even after Fukushima (see Huffington Post)! There is little risk of earthquake or Tsunami in UK and nuclear maybe cheap and clean, but accident can happen, and once it occurs, there is nothing you can do about it. The area will be ruined and will remain inhabitable and non-cultivatable for long time. I’ve never thought that something terrible would happen to any nuclear power plants in Japan, but it happened for real!

People in Tohoku try their best to get their life back and to rebuid their town with determination, but there is a limitation that each individual can do. But the government can’t show us strong leadership in the past year, and Japanese people don’t have much faith in what the authority say & do any more. Prime minister Noda has to learn a lesson from David Cameron – his determination to fix the country’s finance, even making people (=unions) outraged.

I don’t see much hope in current situation in Japan, due to impotent government and bad economic circumstances, but it is encouraging to see continuous financial and psychological support to Tohoku in Japan and from abroad. Though it will take very long, hope Japan will regain its strength in near future.

→Photo gallery of aftermath & now: Telegraph / BBC. All the debris cleared, but the land with so much empty space looks dreary…

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London’s Westfield Stratford City hosts “Tasting JAPAN WEEK” from March 14 – 18. The objective of the event is to express a gratitude for the support to Japan from abroad after the earthquake & Tsunami, but also to introduce Japanese food, culture, and fashion etc.

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Responses from British Red Cross for the “Small Print”

昨日書いた「但し書き」の続きです。掲示板からの抜粋ですが、何人かの方が送った疑問について、イギリス赤十字からの返答を転載させて頂きました。

I would like to explain that we have to put this ‘Disaster Fund Caveat’ on every emergency appeal we run. As the statement explains it is only in the event that we raise far more money than we can responsibly spend in that area that we would put any extra money to our disaster fund.

This had never happened before as the need always tends to be greater than what we raise. All donations for this appeal are being sent directly to the Japanese Red Cross to use in the affected area.

寄付金が多く集まり過ぎた場合は他の事案に回すかもしれないが、過去に例はなかった。全ての寄付金は日本赤十字社に直接送られ、被災地のために使われるとのこと。

もう一人の方への返事はこういうもの。

Yes, the information you read does stand, but has only (in my experience), had to happen at the end of a very long appeal. And in most cases the disaster that is being provided for had initially received a lump sum from the Red Cross reserve as it was needed in a hurry obviously, while we collected specifically for the appeal. Therefore if there is any surplus it will only be replacing the initial sum of money so that there is a reserve that can be instantly accessed when we respond to the next disaster. The Red Cross works this way because the nature of our Disaster Response work dictates that in each case funds will be needed instantly.

但し書きに書いてあることは本当だが、経験上、長期間に渡るアピールの終わりにのみ起こりうる。そして、もし超過が出たとしても、災害直後に赤十字の貯蓄分から緊急支出された額を補填する目的のみに使われる。との説明。

過去にそういう例があったか無かったかは、二つのレスは矛盾しているけれど、この説明が本当なら、納得できる。British Red Crossも募金サイトやQ&Aでちゃんと明記していれば、私達も疑いもたずにすみ、質問状など送る必要は無かったのに。ちなみに私も質問メールを送っていますが、2日経った今、まだ返事は頂いていません。

A new information to my yesterday’s entry about “small print” of charities. Here are responses from British Red Cross to some people inquired about the issue, excerpted from the internet communication board.

Here is one.

I would like to explain that we have to put this ‘Disaster Fund Caveat’ on every emergency appeal we run. As the statement explains it is only in the event that we raise far more money than we can responsibly spend in that area that we would put any extra money to our disaster fund.

This had never happened before as the need always tends to be greater than what we raise. All donations for this appeal are being sent directly to the Japanese Red Cross to use in the affected area.

Another response to a different person.

Yes, the information you read does stand, but has only (in my experience), had to happen at the end of a very long appeal. And in most cases the disaster that is being provided for had initially received a lump sum from the Red Cross reserve as it was needed in a hurry obviously, while we collected specifically for the appeal. Therefore if there is any surplus it will only be replacing the initial sum of money so that there is a reserve that can be instantly accessed when we respond to the next disaster. The Red Cross works this way because the nature of our Disaster Response work dictates that in each case funds will be needed instantly.

If what they say is true, I have no problem, though two responses conflict with each other whether any case of surplus happened in the past or not. However, the problem is that British Red Cross doesn’t explain the issue on their web page, either in the appeal or Q&A. If they do, we don’t have to be suspicious or waste some time to write to them and their time to write back. I also sent an inquiry to the Red Cross but I haven’t heard from them so far for two days. I guess they are busy at this time – another reason for them to clarify it on their website!

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悲しいニュースが多い中で、心温まる話。涙を誘います。早く助けが来るといいな。

Heartwarming footage of the dog that refuses to abandon the wounded companion. Hope they will be saved soon…

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Read the “Small Print” on Charity’s Appeal

東北地方での地震発生から5日。まだ原発は危険な状態が続いており、各国政府は、被災地のみならず東京からの自国人の緊急避難を促している。被災地では寒さが続き、燃料不足と被曝への不安から物資が届かず、被災者の方たちの苦難は続く。国内外で不安がどんどん高まり、気分が滅入る。そんな絶望的な状況の中で、イギリスで支援の輪が増えてきたのが、せめてもの慰めだ。

ただ、インターネット掲示板などでも話題になっている事だが、いくつかの慈善団体が、日本への義援金集めと言いながら、目立たぬ但し書きで「もし必要以上にお金が集まった場合は、余剰の寄付金が他の案件に使われることもある」と書いている(イギリス赤十字Save the Childrenなど)。私が何とか力になりたいという衝動で寄付した時は、東北地震と謳っているからには当然集まったお金は日本の被災地のために使われると思い込んでいたので、説明なんて読まなかった。売買や契約などの際は、きちんと規約を読むようにしていたけれど、まさか慈善団体への寄付も、詳細を隅から隅まで読まないといけないとは思わなかった。どの慈善団体もそうなのだろうか?最後尾にせよ、募集サイト上に書いている赤十字は可愛いもので、Save the Childrenなどは、「寄付」をクリックしたあと、右側にある「Donation Q&As」から「What happens if an emergency appeal exceeds its target?」を再度クリックしないと、表示されないという手の込みよう。

慈善団体は、彼らなりに今どこが援助を最も必要としているかを考えて、寄付金の使途を決めるのだろうが、特定の義援金集めを謳っている場合、人々は寄付金をその為に使ってくれると信じて寄付する訳だから、もしその他の事に使う可能性があるのであれば、そのことを人々に明確に告知する義務があるのではないか。これは掲示板からの抜粋だけれど、このことを赤十字に指摘したところ、返ってきた答えが以下の通り。

For sure that the charities allocate the fund wherever necessary and won’t waste the money (though British Red Cross is said to charge 28% commission), but I feel a bit betrayed if they call an appeal for specific cause but use the money for something else. I believe that not many people read all the description and know that their money may be spent for other causes, therefore, charities should be more clear about it – writing big or in red, or whatever make it more visible. Someone on the communication board pointed out the issue to the British Red Cross, and here is their response.

We always caveat our donations for international appeals as dependent on the coverage some appeals can be heavily over subscribed leaving charities with restricted money that they cannot reasonably spend and in some cases, as happened in America when Hurricane Katrina struck a few years ago, there is no option left but to simply give out cash grants to those affected.

Of course it is unlikely to happen for this appeal, but we are deliberately keeping it low level because the Japanese Red Cross has been overwhelmed with donations from within country and is now receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

As a developed country well able to withstand this type of emergency, Japan was not looking for financial assistance, but at the same time the UK public want to give in support of the appeal and so we have agreed to act as a conduit in the short term.

その中で赤文字部分が気になる。日本赤十字社などとやり取りをした中でこう言われたのかもしれないが、あれだけの惨状を目当たりにして、「日本は先進国だから自分たちの面倒は自分で見られる、財政援助は求めていない」なんて無神経な事が、どうして言えるんだろう。財政援助はいらないと思うのであれば、寄付金を集める意味などないのでは?イギリス赤十字社のサイトに、目標額と現在の寄付金総額が記されていないのも、疑問が残る。しかも、28%のマージンまで取ると聞いている。まあ、疑心暗鬼になっていても仕方ないから、被災者の方々にできる限りの支援が届く事を信じるしかないか。

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It’s been five days since the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami. But nuclear fear still remains and many countries encourage their people to evacuate from not only affected area but also from Tokyo as well. It is freezing cold in Tohoku, but substantial amount of aid materials can’t be reached out to the evacuees due to lack of fuels and drivers’ fear of radiation. Fear and anxiety inside and outside of Japan has been heightened, and it makes me feel depressed. However, a little hope in such despair is that the circle of help in Japan is getting bigger in UK.

However, there is a concern being discussed on Japanese internet communication boards – some charities, such as British Red Cross and Save the Children, put “small print” on their Japan earthquake and Tsunami appeal, indicating that there is a possibility that the money raised may not necessary be used for Tohoku region, when the funds raised exceed the “need”. When I donated money to British Red Cross, I rushed to proceed without reading the description as I was so concerned, believing that all my money would be delivered to the victims in Japan. I always read terms and condition carefully when I sign a contract or purchase something, but I’ve never thought that even established charities use the same tactic that commercial companies use. Now I am confused if all charities do the same?! British Red Cross put the sentence on the same page of appeal at least, though it is all the way down the bottom, but Save the Children let us click twice to see it – it is on the second page after you click “give now”, then “What happens if an emergency appeal exceeds its target?” from Donation Q&As on the right – clever way to make it less visible!

For sure that the charities allocate the fund wherever necessary and won’t waste the money, apart from the fact that British Red Cross is said to charge 28% commission, but I feel a bit betrayed if they call an appeal for specific cause but use the money for something else. I believe that not many people read all the description and know that their money may be spent for other causes. Charities should be more clear about it – writing big or in red, or whatever make it more visible. Someone on the communication board pointed out the issue to the British Red Cross, and here is their response.

We always caveat our donations for international appeals as dependent on the coverage some appeals can be heavily over subscribed leaving charities with restricted money that they cannot reasonably spend and in some cases, as happened in America when Hurricane Katrina struck a few years ago, there is no option left but to simply give out cash grants to those affected.

Of course it is unlikely to happen for this appeal, but we are deliberately keeping it low level because the Japanese Red Cross has been overwhelmed with donations from within country and is now receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

As a developed country well able to withstand this type of emergency, Japan was not looking for financial assistance, but at the same time the UK public want to give in support of the appeal and so we have agreed to act as a conduit in the short term.

I am quite disturbed with the sentence in red. They might be told by Japanese Red Cross, but it is quite insensitive comment by such an established charity. Considering the intensity of the damage caused by massive earthquake, fierce Tsunami, and possible nuclear contamination, how on earth they can think that there is no need for financial help?! If they believe so, why they even try to raise funds for?? I also don’t like that their website doesn’t show project target and progress, as Ocado Japan Appeal does, so that I have a choice not to donate if the target is achieved and the further donation will be given to others. Well, no point to be overly suspicious, and I just really hope that enough help will be delivered to the victims in Japan…

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