On July 1st-4th, James Simpson and JSW guest writer Hisanori Hirata visited Miyagi Prefecture to conduct a tour of the areas affected by the tsunami, as well as to deliver anti-insect supplies to the evacuation center in the town of Onagawa. Reports from this trip were written up over the course of July and posted here on Japan Security Watch. This post brings together all those posts, and adds some final features to the appendices.

The devastation in Tohoku may remain uncleared in places, but overall there has been great progress

The devastation in Tohoku may remain uncleared in places, but overall there has been great progress


  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

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Report Appendices

Note on SDF Activities

As noted in the report, the Self-Defense Forces were winding down their activities in the region during our visit. Their initial search and rescue phase and the recovery of the dead ended July 1st when the tri-service taskforce headed by Lt. Gen. Eiji Kimizuka was disbanded. During our visit, the SDF’s key role at that time was providing relief to the most isolated and needy of areas, as well as bathing facilities. From today, the start of August 2011, the individual units are wrapping up their work as evacuees move into pre-fabricated housing and become more able to take care of themselves.

Otsukare-sama deshita!

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Report Location Map

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Key Statistics

Location Usual Daytime Population Combined Fatalities Fatalities as %age of Pop. Total # of Houses Houses Fully Destroyed Destroyed Houses as %age of Total
Ishinomaki 160835 5867 3.6% 57812 28000 48.4%
Kesennuma 63841 1467 2.3% 25464 8383 32.9%
Natori 69311 1019 2.1% 25150 2745 11.0%
Iwanuma 43326 183 0.4% 15530 705 4.5%
Higashi-Matsushima 35522 1181 3.3% 13995 4791 34.2%
Yamamoto 13649 714 5.2% 5233 2134 40.8%
Onagawa 10390 923 8.9% 3,968 2979 75.1%
Minami-Sanriku 16294 1205 7.4% 5295 3167 59.8%
Minami-Soma 69171 693 1.0% 23643 4682 19.8%
Shinchi 7141 113 1.6% 2461 548 22.3%

*All data from CATDAT, as of June 16th

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Complete Slideshow

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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