Newsletter Asia-Pacific 1/2020: Forum Report Japan

ACT Japan Forum Update
Emergency Response to Typhoon Hagibis in Japan

After Typhoon Faxai that majorly struck the Kanto Region on September 9th 2019, Boso Peninsula have got devastating damage due to Typhoon Hagibis that made a landfall to Japan on October 12th. Typhoon Hagibis has torn off plastic sheets with which the Self-Defense Forces officers and firefighters attempted to repair roofs of the affected people’s houses as emergency response to Typhoon Faxai. Torrential rainfall that subsequently hit the area on October 25th 2019 caused rain leaking through the roofs.  Tateyama City in Chiba Prefecture, where ACT Japan Forum’s assistance was focused, had to face these series of disasters in such a short period.

However, Social Welfare Council in Tateyama City decided to close their volunteer center while many of the affected houses had been left unrestored. The temporary disaster waste dumping site was closed by the city government subsequently.  As a consequent, a number of the affected people, particularly the vulnerable people including the elderly, had been left behind before they rebuild their lives. The Japan Forum started to lead the response through the Social Welfare Council in Tateyama City in which the majority was heavily affected in order to provide the vulnerable people with supports since the end of October in cooperation with a faith-based international NGO, Operation Blessing Japan. Those targeted people whom Japan Forum has worked for are mostly the elderly who are not be able to remove fallen trees and clean mold spreading in their houses due to constant exposure to rain.

During the response, in total 107 affected households were supported by 179 volunteers who came to Tateyama City through the Japan Forum. One of the achievements in the response is that local CSOs and church took over the supports for the affected people after Japan Forum withdrew.

In order to prepare for another disaster in the future, ACT Japan Forum is building a network in Japan and a new program in collaboration with partners for the vulnerable people who are hard to be reached in disasters based on their lessons learnt from the response to the disaster in this time.