JSW Tohoku Research Trip Contents:

1. Visiting the Disaster Zone – Introduction
2. Ishinomaki
3. Minami-Sanriku
4. Kesennuma
5. Onagawa

6. On the Plains – From Higashi-Matsushima to Minami-Soma
7. Appendices


On July 1st-4th, I toured many of the major sites struck by the recent Great East Japan Earthquake trifecta of disasters that saw towns swept away, buildings toppled, crops ruined, transport infrastructure destroyed and left people homeless and scared for the future. In the coming days I will be trying to write about what I saw there and explain the trip, but this is a preview and introduction to those future posts.

Tsunami rubble at Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture

Tsunami rubble at Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture (July 3rd, 2011)

Based out of Sendai for four days, we drove to (from north to south, not chronologically) the outskirts of Rikuzentakata, Kesennuma, Minami-Sanriku, Onagawa, the Oshika Peninsula, Ishinomaki, Higashi-Matsushima, Sendai Airport, Yamamoto, Shinchi, Minami-Soma. I visited evacuees living in an evacuation center and gave what aid I could. In short, one of the most important things for them these days are anti-fly/mosquito goods to combat the influx of insects living in and out of the stagnant pools of water, mud, and particularly rotten fish (much is cleared up, but in the old fishing towns, the smell is still pungent).

The videos and photographs do not do the disaster justice, but the good news is that things are slowly improving: SDF operations have entered their third phase, temporary accommodation is being erected and a lot of repair work is underway. Life will go on.

There is a lot more to say, but I already summarized much of my trip in real-time. Feel free to look at those over at ChirpStory.

Until then, stay tuned!

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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch