Disaster Relief

The Mitsui Chemicals Group is committed to building a system that can quickly and effectively provide relief that closely fits the needs of people in areas affected by a disaster by working closely with organizations such as NPOs and local authorities. We are also exploring actions that can contribute to enhanced co-creation as part of our New Disaster Recovery Activities.

Disaster Relief Supplies

Our disaster relief activities here at Mitsui Chemicals originated from suggestions submitted by employees, who wanted to help those affected by earthquakes and other major disasters by providing them with useful Mitsui Chemicals products. In fiscal 2009, we set up warehouses to store relief supplies at two of our sites – the Iwakuni-Ohtake Works (Yamaguchi Prefecture) to cover West Japan and the Mobara Branch Factory (Chiba Prefecture) to cover East Japan – and put in place the necessary framework to swiftly send out supplies upon request from contact partners*1 and local governments. We have stockpiles of items such as urethane mattresses (cushioned materials to lay on the floors of gymnasiums being used as evacuation shelters), waterproof tarpaulin sheets (to cover buildings damaged by water or landslides), and air cushions*2 (for use at evacuation shelters) at both of these warehouses.
In fiscal 2019, we offered relief supplies to those areas affected by the Northern Kyushu Heavy Rain, Typhoon Faxai (No. 15), and Typhoon Hagibis (No.19). We also donated five million yen to the Japanese Red Cross Society to support the people and areas affected by those typhoons. A donation of one million yuan (approx. 16 million yen) was also made to the Red Cross Society of China to support COVID-19 countermeasures.

*1Contact partners:
Team Rescue
Peace Winds Japan

*2Air cushion:
Developed by Wako Plastic Industry Co., Ltd. in response to comments from people affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, air cushions provide an alternative to pillows, conventional cushions, and matrasses. Boasting a host of features, air cushions provide sound protection and comfort against the hard and cold floors of evacuation shelters.
Made from the polyethylene EVOLUE™ material manufactured by Prime Polymer Co., Ltd., a Mitsui Chemicals Group company, the cushioning properties of these air cushions can be adjusted using a single straw. These air cushions also withstand heavy loads and offer environmentally friendly properties.

Goods delivered by an NPO to an evacuation center
Goods delivered by an NPO to an evacuation center
Urethane mattresses carried by an NPO to an evacuation center
Tarpaulin sheets carried by an NPO to an evacuation center

Distribution of Disaster Relief Supplies in Fiscal 2019

Northern Kyushu Heavy Rain

Location Contact Details of Relief
Supplies Provided
Omachi Branch, Shiraishi Fire Station,
Fire Dept. HQ of Kito Cross-Border Municipalities
Hakata Port and Airport Office
Kyushu Regional Development Bureau, MLIT
- TAFNEL™ Oil Blotter™ 22 boxes, etc.
Welfare & Health Center and Omachi-cho Community Hall in Omachi-cho, Kishima-gun, Saga Prefecture Social Emergency Management Alliance (SEMA)
A-PAD Japan
- Urethane mattresses 200
- Tarpaulin sheets 200
Green COOP Wakamiya Distribution Center
(Evacuation housing for Takeo City)
NPO Team Rescue - Urethane mattresses 100

Typhoon Faxai (No. 15)

Location Contact Details of Relief
Supplies Provided
Kyonan Elementary School and
Tateyama City Hall, Chiba Prefecture
SEMA
Peace Winds Japan
- Tarpaulin sheets 99
Central Fire Station, Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture Ichihara City - Tarpaulin sheets 100

Typhoon Hagibis (No. 19) and heavy rain

Location Contact Details of Relief
Supplies Provided
Central Fire Station, Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture Ichihara City - Tarpaulin sheets 150

Establishment of SEMA, Japan’s First Private-led Disaster Response Alliance

Alongside 17 other private companies*1 and six non-profit organizations*2 Mitsui Chemicals participated in the establishment of SEMA (Social Emergency Management Alliance), Japan’s first privately led disaster support alliance. The organization provides one-stop support, including goods and services of participating companies and NPOs in the event of a large-scale natural disaster in Japan. The Great East Japan Earthquake showed us that municipalities themselves can be greatly damaged in a disaster, making the assessment of local conditions and support to those in need all the more difficult. The SEMA organization crosses the divide between companies and NPOs and aims to minimize the impact of natural disasters of the nation’s citizens and speed recovery efforts.
The SEMA organization makes in advance a list of goods and services offered by participating companies and organizations, and during a natural disaster can rapidly send packaged support based on that list to afflicted areas. The organization also aims to cooperate with public institutions in offering support and exchanging information, with the general aim of reducing the burden on municipalities and cutting down on waste and unnecessary support.

SEMA organization partners (53 companies and six civil groups, as of January 24, 2020)

*1Private companies :
Askul, FSX, Asahi Kasei, Oisix.daiichi, Kirin, Gunze, Saraya, JG Marketing, Johnson & Johnson Japan, Star Festival, Snow Peak, Seino Transportation, Seibu Properties, SoftBank, Japan Airlines, Heart Moving Service, FamilyMart, V-cube, Yahoo! Japan, ROHTO Pharmaceutical and others.

*2Non-profit organizations :
Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (Japan), specified non-profit corporation ADRA Japan, specified non-profit corporation HuMA, Civic Force (a public interest incorporated association), specified non-profit corporation Peace Winds (Japan), and The NGO Collaboration Center for Hanshin Earthquake Rehabilitation.

Great East Japan Earthquake: Working to Support New Disaster Recovery Activities

In 2016, five years after Great East Japan Earthquake, the Mitsui Chemicals Group, alongside four companies already supporting the town of Minamisanriku and one new company, launched Discover the Future Minamisanriku, centered on co-creative activities, with the goal of meeting the town’s request to “create industries that bring together the community and companies while fostering local pride.”
The initiative involves engaging in discussions about creating a vision of community pride, what is required to realize this, and what companies can do to help, including how to utilize businesses and products, and cooperation between companies and NGOs to “build back better* ” based on the community’s history, culture, and disaster status. In keeping with the town’s characteristics under the key words—forest, home, ocean, and people— the project presented a future-oriented joint business creation action to the community that leverages the strengths of each company.
In fiscal 2019, 13 employees from four group companies visited Minamisanriku to have study tours for local sustainability and discuss what each company could do under the theme of “Refine the Future Minamisanriku.” We then started our projects, working together with local organizations to realize our plans. We are engaged in discussions regarding specific actions aimed at creating a new Minamisanriku by 2030. As a new way to support reconstruction efforts moving forward, we will continue to promote cooperative action with the people of the town and the partner organizations.

*Build back better:
Build back better refers to reconstruction after a disaster with an eye toward creating a more resilient community able to better withstand any future disasters.

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