Rebuilding Together!

Since the March 11th earthquake lots of encouragement banners, posters, flags and so on have been popping up all over Tohoku and Japan. When I went to the Aoba ward office on Wednesday, I noticed one I hadn’t seen before:

Building side with white letters on red banner, park in the foreground.

The big text means “Forward together, Sendai!” and the smaller “Regeneration since 3/11”. Calling for unity is a recurring part in reconstruction encouragement slogans, and it also appeared at the Sendai Tanabata festival.

Tanabata decoration: long paper strips hanging from paper balls and boxes with letters at the top

The characters on the white hexagonal boxes at the top are “心ひとつに”, meaning “all hearts together”. Great words!

My impression is that on a local and regional level people are really trying to work together as best as they can. However, I’m not the only one who’s annoyed about diet (Japanese parliament), central government and bureaucracy (in no particular order) pushing blame around and playing prime minister switching instead of taking care of the problems in Tohoku. For example, schools that were badly hit by the tsunami need to be relocated to higher ground, but under the current law government support can only be paid for rebuilding schools at the same place, not relocating them. As a result, local governments have trouble financing the necessary measures (source: Daily Yomiuri). Come on, is it so difficult to see the problem and change the law to allow paying for relocation as well?

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