Comma

From devastation to discovery of hope for tomorrow: efforts towards recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake

Comma (2012), 2012, (2), 161–168.

Abstract

The Great East Japan Earthquake of 11March 2011 resulted in an unprecedented level of damage to the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. Numerous vital records were submerged; many were only just salvageable or were left untouched. The prospect of restoration was far in the distance. The National Archives of Japan (NAJ) focused its support on the immediate recovery of the damaged public records in the disaster-stricken areas. In January 2012 after coordination and negotiation with the government and related organizations, NAJ launched a restoration project. This project has been implemented with financial support from the government and technical assistance of private conservators in collaboration with the disaster-stricken municipalities. NAJ sent its staff to the affected areas, provided necessary equipment and supplies free of charge, hired local people as part-time staff for the project, and provided them with technical training. In addition to outlining this project and other measures adopted by NAJ, this paper discusses other initiatives of the Japanese government and archival institutions and examines archival problems arising from the post-earthquake measures from a broader perspective.

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Author details

Takayama, Masaya