January 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake – First 500 Cardboard Beds Delivered to Evacuation Center in Suzu CityHEROs support for affected areas

The Nippon Foundation would like to extend its deepest condolences to all who have been affected by the magnitude 7.6 earthquake that struck Japan’s Noto Peninsula and nearby areas on January 1, 2024, and their families.

The Nippon Foundation’s HEROs project,*1 which promotes social contribution by top-tier athletes, has begun providing support to areas affected by the earthquake through activities by HEROs athletes to collect donations to the Special Fund for Disaster Preparedness, and in cooperation with the Social Emergency Management Alliance (SEMA)*2 being administered by LY Corporation (created by the merger of Yahoo Japan Corporation and the mobile messaging application operator LINE Corporation).

Photo of cardboard beds installed in a gymnasium
Cardboard beds installed in a gymnasium in Suzu City, Ishikawa Prefecture

The HEROs project began collecting donations to support relief efforts on January 2, including collecting donations at competition venues and through public messaging by HEROs athletes, and as of January 8 the amount of these donations had surpassed 100 million yen. The entire amount of donations received will go to relief efforts; donations will not be used for the Foundation’s administrative expenses.

As a first round of support, 1,200 cardboard beds are being installed at evacuation centers in response to requests from affected areas. Donations from the general public are being used to purchase 1,000 beds, with the remaining 200 provided in cooperation with clubs and club stakeholders of Japan Professional Basketball League, operator of Japan’s professional men’s basketball B.LEAGUE, and Japan Professional Football League, operator of Japan’s professional men’s soccer J.LEAGUE.

The floors of gymnasiums being used as evacuation centers are very cold, and create hygienic concerns as well. Compared with the floor, the temperature on a cardboard bed feels roughly 10˚C warmer to the human body. Many people who have been staying in evacuation centers were having difficulty sleeping because of the cold, and welcomed the arrival of the cardboard beds. With more time being needed until people are able to move into temporary housing, ongoing efforts are being made to improve the environments in evacuation centers to prevent additional disaster-related deaths.

  • * 1. The Nippon Foundation’s “HEROs Sportsmanship for the future” program promotes social contribution by top-tier athletes, with the aim of using the appeal of athletes to their fan bases to broaden the scope of efforts to address social issues.
  • * 2. SEMA is an alliance of companies and organizations that possess resources that can be critical when disasters strike, and NGOs that carry out on-site relief activities. When a disaster strikes, NGOs survey on-site needs and the alliance matches members’ resources with actual needs. As of December 2023, the alliance comprised 81 corporate members and six NGOs.
Photo of a gymnasium where cardboard beds are about to be installed
A gymnasium where cardboard beds are about to be installed
Photo of assembled cardboard beds and partitions
Assembled cardboard beds and partitions
Photo of people working in groups to assemble the cardboard beds, and photo of bed partitions
Working in groups to assemble the cardboard beds (left), partitions around the beds provide privacy (right)