Initiatives toward the Creation of the "New Tohoku"
Participation in the Public– and Private–Sector Cooperation Committee of the Reconstruction Agency
Mizuho is working in close collaboration with the Reconstruction Agency to support reconstruction and recovery in the Tohoku region. In December 2013, MHBK participated as a founding member in the establishment of the Public– and Private–Sector Cooperation Committee "New Tohoku" (hereinafter, the committee), which was instigated by the Reconstruction Agency. MHRI was selected to act as the secretariat for the committee. In addition, the preparation and operation of the website of the committee are being conducted by MHIR.
The missions of the committee are to deal with issues facing the region along with reconstruction and recovery efforts, which include the decline in population, the demographic aging of the population, and the hollowing out of industries, and the realization of a "New Tohoku" which will be a model for a "land of creation and possibilities." To fulfill these missions, the committee was formed as a venue for exchanging information among government organizations, corporations, universities, NPOs, and a wide range of other interests. A total of more than 700 organizations are participating in the committee. Mizuho has provided assistance in creating a website for sharing information related to reconstruction and recovery. Also, through support for interchange meetings among groups that are members of the committee, Mizuho is working to provide opportunities for collaboration among a wide range of interests.
Personnel Support for the Disaster–Stricken Areas: Collaboration with Local Government Entities and Others
To provide assistance for the overborrowing problems of corporations and individuals, immediately following the earthquake disaster, Mizuho has seconded more than nine of its employees on a continuing basis to the industrial recovery consultation centers of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures and to the Great East Japan Earthquake Business Revitalization Support Organization. In addition, Mizuho has also seconded employees to local governments and their organizations.
I was seconded from Mizuho to the Great East Japan Earthquake Business Revitalization Support Organization, which was established for the purpose of supporting the revitalization of the businesses of owners who have taken on excessive amounts of debt as a result of the earthquake disaster. This organization provides support for preparation of revitalization plans by business owners affected by the disaster. We also work to support the revitalization of businesses and their owners by helping to make adjustments with their financial institutions, buy up the existing debts of these business owners, and provide other assistance. There are many difficulties to be overcome, such as the fact that, in many cases, data and materials necessary for preparing business plans were washed away by the tsunami. However, most business people who come to confer with us are working feverishly to revitalize their businesses. We are also working together to achieve the goals of "reconstruction and recovery," and are making use of the knowledge we have accumulated to date to do our jobs on a daily basis.