Supporting Reconstruction from the Earthquake through Social Contribution Activities
Fuji Xerox has undertaken various initiatives in support of the areas devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, taking part in each step-emergency aid, recovery, and reconstruction-while valuing the dialogue and bonds we have established with local community members. For the new hires and employees who have participated through training programs or volunteering, the work has prompted them to re-examine their own priorities from an alternative perspective, as reflected in such comments as "I realized that I didn't know a thing before I went to the disaster area," "Witnessing the scene changed my outlook on life," and "It made me think about what I should do."
With a renewed awareness that the disaster is far from over, we will continue to think about what Fuji Xerox can do. Moreover, by engaging with issues that are not always addressed in the media, we will continue to provide the support that the affected areas really need.
Fiscal 2012 Performance
As part of their training program, 260 newly hired employees were faced with the task of helping to wash, dry, and restore 4,500 mud- covered important official documents from schools and other institutions in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. In this work, which draws on the core expertise of Fuji Xerox in document preservation, they were joined by volunteer groups. Volunteers among our employees are continuing these efforts, utilizing a manual on washing methods compiled by the newly hired employees.
On Oshima Island in Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture, employee volunteers were involved in ongoing support efforts, including beach cleanups, after the disaster, and the island's beach that opened for swimming in the 2012 summer season was the only one in the Tohoku disaster area to do so. We supported this event, which is so symbolic of recovery, by offering visitors a photo calendar service.
In addition, employee volunteers generated content about Oshima Island's tourist attractions in order to make the location-based audio tour service provided by Fuji Xerox available on the island. The audio guide, Kiki Tabi, is contributing to the recovery of tourism in Oshima Island.
Fiscal 2013 Performance
Visits by our new employees to disaster-struck areas continued in fiscal 2013. As part of their training program, a total of 263 new hires visited Kamaishi City, Tono City, Otsuchi Town, and Sumita Town. In Tono City, which served as a logistics support center for post-disaster reconstruction activities, these employees talked with local residents and high school students, exchanging ideas on how to help the community recover from the disaster and move forward for the future. The visit provided the participants with an opportunity to take a firsthand look at the status of reconstruction progress two years after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. The discussions with local people also helped the participants understand the issues facing the disaster-hit areas and think about the contribution they could make.
As a continued initiative, we also sent a group of employees to Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture in fiscal 2013 to join, as volunteers, a local NGO's safety patrol activities for elementary school students. We also continued a document recovery project wherein our employees and their family members volunteered to wash and restore important official documents belonging to local elementary schools that had been damaged by mud and tsunami water. While handling these documents, which contained information about local events and history, the volunteers inevitably became intimately aware of the extent of loss inflicted upon local people due to the disaster. Some of the documents saved were digitized using our scanning technology. With the participation of 485 volunteers, we completed the cleaning and restoration of all the documents and returned them to the people of Ishinomaki City in March 2014.
In our offices, we also held the Market for Reconstruction Support together with the Ishinomaki Sales Channel Development Support Center to support businesses in disaster-hit areas that lost distribution channels due to the 2011 disaster. After this sales event, a formal discussion was held with participating businesses from Ishinomaki City, which affirmed the importance of remembering the Great East Japan Earthquake.
2014 Activities and Future Plan
In fiscal 2014, we continued to send employees to Ishinomaki and Tono to join volunteer activities, as we had in 2012 and 2013. Thirteen employees helped with a local NGO's safety patrol activities for elementary school students in Ishinomaki and with the operation of the Tohoku Future-Creating Summer School in Tono (to share lessons and study results related to disaster control and reconstruction with people around the world). (The number of requests for employee volunteers decreased due to needs in the stricken areas having changed three years after the earthquake.) Following a favorable response from employees in fiscal 2013, the Market for Reconstruction Support was held again in fiscal 2014 at four offices of the Company.
With the collaboration of organizations from three quake-stricken prefectures (Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima), the scale of the project was expanded to become the Market for Tohoku Reconstruction. At the same time, a panel discussion featuring exhibitors who operate businesses in the Tohoku region and Fuji Xerox employees was held. Participating Fuji Xerox employees reported being particularly touched by the comment of one exhibitor, who said that the exhibitors would make a tremendous effort to become able to operate their businesses independently, rather than having to rely on the support of others.
Going forward, Fuji Xerox will continue its program to support disaster-affected areas, such as sending employees as volunteers and holding a market event, designed to meet local changing local needs. Through these activities, we will also continue encouraging our employees to think about society and to take action to make a positive social contribution.