New Project and Website

  • Voices from the field-Japan Earthquake and TsunamiWhy are we starting these news report series, and to whom are they addressed? More than six months have passed since the March 11th, 2011’s Higashi-Nippon (Eastern Japan) Disaster.For the people who suffered from the disaster triggered by the mega-earthquake and immediately followed by a super huge tsunami, the last six months must have felt like a limitless time of grief, agony and despair. Even in such extremely severe situations, however, there seem to be many common people who never give up, fighting every day with never-ending hardships, not necessarily handling bravely but rather struggling to do so.Are their voices being heard?

    Yes, there are already a lot of voices heard, day by day, and week by week, from the disaster-stricken fields located here and there. The voices talk about their worries and concerns, struggles and challenges, thus groping for a beam of light and hope. Naturally but somewhat regretfully, most of the voices are expressed and conveyed in their mother tongue, Japanese. Here’s a large bottleneck of communication.

    Are their voices reaching most of you who live outside of the damaged regions, particularly outside of Japan?

    If YOUR answer is “No”, this news report titled “Voices from the field- Japan Earthquake and Tsunami is just for YOU and anyone like YOU who wishes to gain access to their voices. We assist you by spanning a bridge between the language of Japanese and the global language of English. Perhaps there will be different audiences including you who may wish to read our reports. Some of you may find yourselves somewhat helpless even at this moment, frustrated about the little information available, particularly from the actual fields where people are actually suffering. Perhaps YOU may be also irritated about YOURSELVES for a lack of capacity to extend YOUR support to the people who still suffer. Some may accidentally visit our website first and later will become a frequent visitor, motivated to share more with others our news reports to be released on a regular basis.

    Who are manly involved to produce each news report?

    This is a new challenge taken by three parties, one group who supplies “fresh contents of “voices from the field” written in Japanese as major news sources, another group who volunteers to translate them into English, and the third group who serves as editors. These three groups are located at distant places, and come from different sectors. They are:

    • Disaster relief and response NPOs in Japan represented at this moment by two organizations. One is the Rescue Stockyard (RSY) based in Nagoya, and another the NVNAD based in Nishinomiya, Hyogo. Behind them are actual real fields and people who are suffering in the Northeastern Japan.
    • The Special Task Force of Global Toyonaka, an international exchange and communication support NPO based in Toyonaka, Osaka.
    • The Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM Society) who has its secretarial base in Uji, Kyoto, Japan.

    In addition to these three parties, we also depend on the forth party, who is YOU and other anonymous audiences around the world. This is, therefore, a kind of social innovation to test and continue at least a year. We wish to see if such a trilateral remote collaboration may eventually tap the undercurrent of global movements expected to promote the formation of synergetic linkages between people in the disaster fields and those who live remote but wish to reach them for any possible support. It is also a challenge to mobilize unused talents and resources owned by each party, together with good wills mutually shared. Thus it enables all concerned to become more communicative and imaginative about those suffer at remote places. Thus we all learn from the disaster.

    For this purpose “Voices from the field” have to be made reachable to the global community including YOU.

    “Registered Monitors” are also welcome

    Though common audiences are supposed to be anonymous, we also welcome some of you to volunteer to serve as a Registered Monitor (RM). To become a RM and the major role of RM is very simple and not much. To register as a member of the RM list. The RM list requires the full names of yours, nationality, and your contact email address. (If you agree, some other information such as gender, profession and/or interest.) The RM list is maintained by the Secretariat of the Voices from the Field-Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (VfF-JET) and not made open to other RMs, unless it is agreed to do so.

    To serve as a RM, you are contacted by our VfF-JET, every month if you have any questions, suggestions or advice so that our service become more improved. Of course this is totally based on your will to do so.

    As a RM, you are kindly requested to help us disseminate among others who are not aware of this service. You are also encouraged to raise any questions or clarifications related to translations, cultural backgrounds, related activities not mentioned or not well explained, etc. Moreover such offers as voluntary re-editing works in English are certainly very much welcome.

    Please visit the “Voices from the Fields” website at: