WASEDA ONLINE

RSS

The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

Home > News

News

President Kaoru Kamata visits alumni in disaster areas in Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures
Participates in volunteer activities and pledges to contribute to reconstruction from the earthquake

On July 2nd and 3rd, President Kaoru Kamata visited disaster areas in Iwate Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture in order to encourage people striving to recover from the Great East Japan Earthquake. President Kamata gave inspiring messages to students of the Hirayama Ikuo Volunteer Center (WAVOC) and alumni who engaged in volunteer activities on site.

On July 2nd, President Kamata visited the headquarters of Iwate Nippo (Iwate Daily News) in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture. At the headquarters, he spoke with three alumni including President Hiroshi Miura, who serves as Director of the Iwate Branch of the Alumni Association. President Kamata received explanation regarding the status of damage and reconstruction within Iwate Prefecture, and he vowed on behalf of Waseda University to contribute to the reconstruction of Tohoku.

President Kamata then went to Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture, an area which suffered heavy damage from the earthquake and tsunami. After speaking with Mayor Masanori Yamamoto, he joined WAVOC students who are working as volunteers. In front of Miyako Station, President Kamata encouraged members of the Waseda University New Orleans Jazz Club who are planning to participate in the city's Tanabata Festival and perform within the Sanriku Railway. He also helped with reconstruction work for buildings at Taro Daiichi Junior High School, which was greatly damaged by the tsunami.

Almost all houses were washed away by the tsunami and utter devastation was suffered by the shoreline of Miyako City, and particularly the Taro district. President Kamata offered the following message to the junior high school students: "Contributing to society has been a mission of Waseda University since our founding. The power of the young generation is essential to reconstruction. I realize that there is much work which still needs to be done, but please work your hardest and learn as much as you can from volunteer activities." He then broke a sweat by mopping and wiping the floor of the classrooms.

"We will contribute to further development of Fukushima in the future."

On July 3rd, President Kamata travelled to Aizu-Wakamatsu City in Fukushima Prefecture in order to speak at the regional exchange forum "Get to know Waseda" in Fukushima, an event which was held by the Fukushima Branch of the Alumni Association. "I realize you have been forced into a tough situation due to harmful rumors regarding the nuclear accident," he said with compassion. "I would like to express my heartfelt condolences and sympathies for all victims of the recent disaster." Within his lecture, President Kamata introduced activities by Waseda University such as newly established volunteer programs and scholarship funds, as well as research projects. "As a university, we will contribute to the further development of Fukushima Prefecture in the future," he pledged.

President Kamata visits Hiroshi Miura (2nd from left), Alumnus of Waseda University and President of Iwate Nippo (Iwate Daily News)

President Kamata speaks with Masanori Yamamoto (right), Mayor of Miyako City

President Kamata cleans school buildings

Broke a sweat by cleaning the floor

President Kamata encourages members of the Waseda University New Orleans Jazz Club

WAVOC students working as volunteers

Inspecting the damage to Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture through guidance by local alumni

In Fukushima, vowing to contribute to reconstruction and growth