The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

Home > News


Waseda University reconstruction support activities
2 years on from the Great East Japan Earthquake

Today marks the second anniversary of the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. We would like to extend our prayers to those who lost their lives and deepest sympathy to the victims of this disaster.

At Waseda University, we set up the "Office for Aiding Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake" immediately after the disaster, based on the three pillars of affected student support centered on a scholarship system, support to the affected areas centered on volunteer activities and donations, and reconstruction support through research, with the whole university being involved as much as possible. Following on from 2011, this year we continued our activities and took various approaches to support as explained below.

Dispatching 3500 student volunteers

Hospital director Ishiki

At the Hirayama Ikuo Volunteer Center, Waseda University (WAVOC), as part of the "WAVOC Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Support Project", centered around volunteers, about 3500 students have been involved in reconstruction support. They have continued to be extremely active with exchange students providing reconstruction support in English in Kamaishi and Shiogama in February 2012, volunteers cleaning the Oya coast in June, and a Great East Japan Earthquake Volunteer Support A Cappella Concert in September, other learning support and agricultural support activities, and participation in high school cultural festivals, projects with circles using their unique characteristics, and exchanges through various sports provided by each sport team etc. In August 2011 we visited Iwate Prefectural Takata Hospital (Rikuzentakata) and met hospital director and alumni Mikihito Ishiki (1971 School of Science and Engineering graduate), and Mr. Ishiki will attend the 2013 entrance ceremony and give an address to freshmen.

Baseball team activities in Miyako and Rikuzentakata

Soccer clinic given by the Association Football Club

Cleaning up mud in Kesennuma

Event management support in Natori

Continuation of financial support

In 2012, as well as waiving entrance examination fees and admission fees for affected applicants, we continued the reduction or waiving of tuition fees system for current students from affected areas, with over 400 students taking advantage of the scholarship and tuition fee reduction or waiver system.

Education and research for reconstruction support

Regarding student education, "From Waseda University・Thinking About Japan in the Future~Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Support Subjects・2012 Current Topics Subjects~", where you study from a wide array of aspects such as politics, economics, law, science, and health, was held in the first term of 2012 at the Open Education Center. Lessons were held about "Japan in the future", thinking from a "from Waseda University" viewpoint on how Japan has changed due to the disaster and what changes are being called for etc.

Also in research activity fields, in a joint project between Waseda and China's Tsinghua University, in addition to holding a workshop aimed at restoring an oral tradition-type community centered on the preservation of cultural assets in Otsuchi Town, Iwate Prefecture, as of March this year, 28 volumes of "Waseda University Booklet (Thinking "Post Quake")", which calls together Waseda University "wisdom" crossing the field of specialization, in order to, for reconstruction and rebuilding, carry out part of its mission of creating, spreading and preserving knowledge in universities were issued. In December last year, 26 completed volumes were donated to all 584 high schools in the five affected prefectures (Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki).

Furthermore, research and support activities involving three topics and seven projects were continued at the "Center for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake", which was established in May 2011, holding various open workshops and symposiums. More recently at the end of February, the "Waseda University Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Support Legal Work Project" (Representative: Faculty of Law Professor Takao Suami), at the request of Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture, conducted a fact-finding survey of Namie Town employees, and recorded the evacuation of citizens and reconstruction process from the Great East Japan Earthquake that generated tsunami and nuclear accident.

Waseda University Booklet (Thinking "Post Quake")

Namie Town fact-finding survey

Message from the President

On the second anniversary of the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, I would like to offer my deepest prayers to the dead and heartfelt condolences to those affected by the disaster. I know that those who lost family members, close relatives and friends, and those affected by the tsunami and nuclear power plant accident still feel pain in their hearts. While keeping this terrible tragedy in mind, Waseda University will continue its support activities aimed at rebuilding from this disaster centered on the three pillars of school attendance support for affected students, support for affected areas, and reconstruction support through research, and we will do everything in our power to realize a safe and comfortable society.

March 11, 2013
Waseda University President Kaoru Kamata


Waseda University's response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

Office for Aiding Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake

Center for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake

WAVOC Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Support Project