実績報告

東日本大震災に対する米国からの調査団受け入れ検討作業

掲載日2011 年 9 月 15 日

本レポートは、英文和文で構成されており、英文レポートの末尾に和文レポートが掲載されている。

東日本津波大震災に対する
米国によるファクトファインデング・ミション調査報告書;
今後の協力、支援取り組みについて

The Report on Fact-finding Mission by USA Consosium on Tohoku Region Devastated by the Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11, 2011; Outlook for Global Cooperation and Collaboration

大震災協力、日米協力、支援 運営委員会

米国国際経済政策財団
2011年9月

Steering Committee for Japan& USA
Cooperation & Collaboration for the
Tohoku Regions devastated

US Foundation for International
Economic Policy

September,2011

Prologue

This paper is not designed to discuss exclusively the pros and cons of the fact-finding mission to Japan which was led by a consortium of American companies to ascertain the conditions devastated by the disaster erupted on March 11、2011 but rather focusing on the several factors which may contribute to potentiality of global cooperation and assistance for the task of coping with the restoration and re-rebuilding of the Tohoku regions affected by the disaster, by delineating some of unfortunate incidents occurred on one hand and instead try to be positive for the furtherance of the enhanced cooperation and collaboration on other, in particular, between Japan and the United States of America.

It is not preachment but action which matters for the needs of the regions affected. This paper may, therefore, shed some lights on workable solutions to the issues at hands.

「Comprehensive Report on the Outcome of a US Fact-Finding Mission on Japan’s Eastern Regions devastated by the Disaster in March11,2011」

1.    The background factors surrounding on a development of the fundamental plans for a US Fact-Finding Mission on the restoration and re-building of the devastated regions.

(1)     Flaw and in-capability of bureaucratic and political system in coping with the measures to meet the urgent needs of the regions devastated

The scale and magnitude of the disaster that struck the regions were reported to be the un-precedent with magnitude of 9. The geographical conditions which are uniquely shaped and formed there accelerated the waving power of Tsunami, hitting as high as 31 meters. This powerful wave of Tsunami devastated many of the regions catastrophically. The fact is that no comprehensive report has yet produced the outcome of substantiated investigations for this catastrophic disaster that had occurred. In spite of this lack of governance, Japanese government has implemented its policy of providing “ad-hoc shelters” with those who lost their houses. This ad-hoc policy of supplying of the emergency shelters was executed in concert with housing industry. It is pointed out that the policy implemented by the government is regarded as premature and unsystematic.

Because of the concerns on the part of Japanese government about the failure of taking prompt actions to cope with the supply of emergency shelters may discredit them negatively, Japanese government initiated not only officially but also un-officially the invitations to come to aid of the regions through the participation of the supply of temporary shelters and other building components of housing. This situation resulted in a large expectation of the need of the supply of temporary housing and its related business requirements among industry concerned domestically and internationally.

This situation led to the shortage of some of housing components and materials such as “plywood” and other materials in the market, creating a drastic change in demand and supply picture in the market. Apart from the development of this unhealthy demand and supply situation, the plans and implementations set by Japanese government seems to have failed to deliver the pledge the government made in terms of meeting the needs of the affected regions. The lack of strategic planning and policy based on comprehensive findings and studies of the true picture of what are really needed in the regions, is said to be one of the gravest flaws and in-capacities of Japanese government in executing its mission manifested. Construction, housing and other related industries are forced to fallen into the “Uncharted Water” in the task of coping with the restoration and re-building of the regions affected by the disaster.

With some sense of speculative motivations for the increasing demands for housing, housing components and materials, construction and housing industries contacted supply sources around the world to ensure the stable procurement of building and housing components and materials to meet the requirement as speculated not only by the industries but also the government agencies concerned. It has led to large expectations on the part of the industries concerned; creating wishful thinking on the part of the industries concerned for business opportunities in the regions affected.  

However, reality is that there is still debris left yet sorted out for a final disposition or recycling. Because of diversity of the regions affected, there are still acknowledged or positive steps yet taken to come up with even agenda among the residents and local government officials to discuss plans for the restoration and rebuilding of the regions affected where some of geographical conditions are critically distorted and malfunctioned. This could be one of the crucial key factors for not deciding the selection of sites for the restoration and re-building of the regions affected.

In view of this prevailing abnormal situation exists, the government is to be held responsible for the development of comprehensive plans, implementation and execution. But, it is regret to say that the two branch of the governments (administration; bureaucracy) and the legislatures (law makers; political parties) are not functioning effectively to cope with the required needs of the regions affected.   

(2)    Big Mouth but No Actions

Without the substantiated findings in the hands, the government has asked private sector companies to come up with proposals pertaining to the restoration and re-building of the regions affected. So-called “consulting firms” are assigned to undertake to compile reports on the scale and magnitude to which the regions are devastated and expected requirements for the restoration and re-building of the regions devastated. It is often said that the reports consulting firms produced and compiled for the government are not substantiated with facts. Thus, it is the case that non-substantiated demand and supply pictures are floating around as if there were a great deal of demands and supplies situations surrounding on construction and housing requirements in the regions affected.

Not only domestic but also foreign firms have been approaching the government agencies to promote their skills to file in the gaps that the government is badly needed to perform for it. In nutshell, the bureaucrats who are held responsible to a great degree for the development of planning policies, implementation and execution of the required programs to meet the needs of the regions affected, are no longer fulfilling its responsibilities and left it to outside consulting firms. They (bureaucrats) have given up their vested responsibilities and are now merely acting as the one who is asking for outside consulting firms to do the job for the bureaucrats. Needless to say, the bureaucrats themselves are not equipped with skill and quality of conducting comprehensive findings about the regions affected.

One of the cases eye witnessed was that a delegation composing of companies specializing in lumber dealers, building materials, components and other related materials came to Japan with great expectation that they could engage in business transactions due to the report floating around on the fact that the huge demand of these hey had developed based on their “wishful-thinking”. The foremost reason for this fiasco may have been derived out of the fact that the building and housing related materials and components were reported to be in acute shortage in Japanese market place. It proves, however, to be the case which was rooted in the large expectation with which they came to Japan was so pre-occupied with an idea and style of conducting business of “making bucks fast” without paying for any psychological sensitivity to the situation prevailing in the regions affected. This contributed to the confusions created. On the other hands, there are speculation that the demand and supply situation in meeting the requirements for the restoration and re-building of the regions affected, would be in order to take care of the necessity without relying heavily on foreign companies and suppliers. It was not the case as reported. There were so many conflicting reports that were emerging.

At any event, the status of the situation is that Japanese government has no comprehensive nor specific and elaborated plans yet developed to meet the requirements for the restoration and re-building of the regions affected. The leadership the Prime Minister Kan initiated to build the temporary shelters at the higher site from the level of the regions devastated is now proven to be not only practical but also unpopular among the victims of the regions suffered from the disasters. These temporary shelters built are standing at the site with a lot of empty rooms left yet to be occupied.

(3)    The general position that Japanese companies maintain

For Japanese construction, housing companies and related industries, they saw this situation as “Ad-hoc and big business opportunities” to revitalize their businesses. Thus, all industries and parties concerned have shown their interests in involving one way or another with the restoration and re-building plans for the regions devastated with their respective motivations. They are, of course, relying on un-substantiated findings of what could be the scale of business in which they may be involved. It is to be pointed out that those companies which are participating in the building of temporary shelters and other type of housing are not the reflection of the wishes of the victims of the disaster. They have become a part of the government-led initiative of providing the victims with temporary and a permanent city and community planning as it should be. It is pointed out that the bureaucrats are merely saving their faces by providing fiscal as other type of housing, which is really based on no detailed policy planning by the government in terms of developing forsistances for the supply of temporary shelters in the case that if they should be blamed for not taking any actions in this matter. On the other hand, housing companies and home builders thought that this emergency supply of shelters is one of the sizeable opportunities to revitalize their businesses. They are on the same page in terms of their motivations.

This programs of providing temporary shelters with the victims of the disaster has been carried out without due consideration to the true needs of the victims. Those regional and local home builders and other related business entities with their vested interests in the regions are becoming very exclusive in terms of who should get the business, trying to exclude the outsiders. In this way, the local home builders would have their business agenda in full for some time to come. The suppliers of housing components and materials are taking this opportunity of the situation in their favor.

(4)     Not on the same page ; Japanese Central Ministries vis-à-vis a US Fact-finding Mission

One of the major reasons which contributed to the demise of realizing about amalgamation of Japanese central ministries and a fact-finding mission in terms of sharing the same line of thinking toward the restoration and re-building plans in the regions affected is due to, among others, the fact that (1) firstly, the presentation and explanation given to at the orientation meetings to the members of the fact-ding mission members was not adequate if not mistaken. The orientation was directed toward the comments as to how the mechanism and system works in terms of how a final decision is made ,whic






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