Support for Recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake (“ROAD Project”)

Photo of tsunami damage

The Great East Japan Earthquake, which struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, with an epicenter off the coast of the Sanriku region, triggered the largest tsunami ever recorded in Japan, and caused extensive damage from the Tohoku region of northeastern Honshu to the Kanto region around Tokyo. The earthquake and tsunami also caused an accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Fukushima Prefecture, with evacuation orders still in place for some nearby areas. Immediately after the earthquake and tsunami struck, The Nippon Foundation decided to provide support and continued to be engaged in ongoing activities to contribute to the region’s recovery and reconstruction. A fund was set up using roughly ¥9 billion in donations received from across Japan and around the world to support activities addressing the constantly changing needs of the people in affected areas. We would like to express our deepest thanks and appreciation to everyone who contributed.

ROAD Project

We named the project the ROAD Project, using an acronym for Resilience will Overcome Any Disaster. It also conveys the sense of involving many converging roads: the road to recovery; the road to dreams for tomorrow; and the road to fulfilling individual dreams. In addition to our unique support utilizing the Foundation’s ability to respond quickly and flexibly as a private organization, we also cooperated with companies based in Japan and overseas to meet the needs of affected areas.

(1) Emergency Support

In addition to distributing condolence and consolation monies, supporting the opening and operation of emergency FM radio stations, and supporting emergency relief operations being carried out by NGOs and volunteer organizations, we facilitated the use of special vehicles loaned gratis by Daimler AG to support reconstruction activities.

(2) Community Support

To repair the community ties that were severed as a result of the disaster, we provided support for community-building in temporary housing facilities, the restoration of traditional local festivals, and expectant mothers and mothers who had recently given birth in affected areas.

(3) Staffing Support

We provided sustained, ongoing support for the emotional care of children in affected areas, and to cultivate a younger generation of community leaders for 10 to 20 years in the future. The Daimler-Nippon Foundation Innovative Leaders Fund was established jointly by Daimler AG and The Nippon Foundation to assist with educational expenses for young people seeking to play a role in the region’s reconstruction.

(4) Industrial Support

We supported the recovery of the shipbuilding and fishery and marine products industries along the Tohoku coast, which were devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. Cooperative activities included the Kirin KIZUNA Relief-Support Project with the Kirin Brewery group, and Qatar Friendship Fund established by the State of Qatar.

(5) Organizational Support

The Wagamachi (My Hometown) Fund was established in cooperation with local credit unions to support small and medium-sized businesses that experienced damage, and entrepreneurs launching social businesses in affected areas. The WORK FOR TOHOKU project was also launched as a platform for dispatching private-sector human resources to local governments and other organizations in affected areas.

Related links


The Nippon Foundation