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 addition to the support sent to the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, emergency relief supplies were also forwarded to areas stricken by flooding and landslides after the torrential rains in eastern Japan caused the Kinu River to burst its banks in September 2015, areas affected by the Kumamoto earthquake in April 2016, Northern Osaka Earthquake in June 2018 and heavy rains in July 2018.
We donated 10,000,000 yen to the Japan Red Cross Hiroshima Chapter to help people who suffered from heavy rains in the area in July 2018, and the restoration of the infrastructure.
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.
Distribution of Disaster Relief Supplies in Fiscal 2018
In June 2018, the 2018 Northern Osaka Earthquake occurred. Also, in July 2018, Hiroshima Prefecture suffered from excessively heavy rains. The Mitsui Chemicals Group provided company products in a bid to help victims and rebuild the afflicted area.
Northern Osaka Earthquake
|Location||Contact||Details of Relief
|June 22||Ibaraki City Hall, Osaka Prefecture||Osaka Emergency Control Office||- Tarpaulin sheets (L) 200
- Tarpaulin sheets (S) 200
|June 23||Minoh City (Baika Women’s University)
Ibaraki City (Ritsumeikan University)
|Team Rescue||- Urethane mattresses 120
- Inflatable cushions 300
- Emergency water bags 500
- Tarpaulin sheets (L) 100
Heavy rain in July 2018
|Location||Contact||Details of Relief
|July 12||Mihara City Funaki Fureai Center, Hiroshima Prefecture
Mihara City Hongo Lifelong Learning Center, Hiroshima Prefecture
|Social Emergency Management Alliance (SEMA)
(Peace Winds Japan)
|- Urethane mattresses 150|
|July 15||Mihara City Yamato Branch, Hiroshima Prefecture||Social Emergency Management Alliance (SEMA)
(Peace Winds Japan)
|- Emergency water bags 100|
|July 25||Mihara City Disaster Prevention Center, Hiroshima Prefecture||Hiroshima Prefecture||- Tarpaulin sheets (L) 200|
|July 25||Evacuation center (Sunstar Hall) in Saka-cho, Aki-gun, Hiroshima Prefecture||Social Emergency Management Alliance (SEMA)
(Peace Winds Japan)
|- Urethane mattresses 35|
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 (51 companies and six civil groups, as of March 1, 2019)
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 and others
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 2018, 23 employees from eight group companies visited Minamisanriku to discuss what each company could do under the theme of “Design the Future Minamisanriku,” which focuses on forestry-related activities. We then started our projects, working together with organizations related to forestry 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.