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Report of Day 1 of the Relief 2.0 Third Mission to Miyagi

Shotengai Meeting

Arrived in Ishinomaki around noon and had lunch at a Chinese Restaurant. We were supposed to have a meeting with Abe-san, the female leader, but she got an unexpected meeting with city councilors and was occupied the whole day. We took the members around the neighborhood and the city instead.

Some shops have jointly organized temporary shops and several at their own stores. We interviewed shop owners who have already resumed operations. Although it appears that progress is being made, all the shops that reopened didn't require investment to equipment. Yet, most of the shops are still at a loss of what to do now.

We then had a meeting with a director of Sendai YMCA, whom we were connected through Andy, who lost his daughter by Tsunami.

The director wanted to open YMCA and provide courses and activities to kids in Ishinomaki and to open a cafe which will be runned by the alumni or the student of YMCA restaurant/hotel school. We plan to connect him with Abe-san. The reason being 1. bringing young people to Ishinomaki is good. 2. Some shops have closed and the owners are gone. They would love to have someone who wants to use the space. When we meet with Abe-san to bring Andy's fund to the Shotengai, we will propose it together with it.

We were also hoping that he can connect British Chamber of Commerce in Japan(BCCJ) with Sendai Chamber of Commerce. Although no fruitful result came out, our brainstorming discussion was truly insightful on how BCCJ and Unilever can help Tohoku, leveraging the business community network.  There are many businesses or individuals who want to go global. We can arrange opportunities for them to pitch the members of BCCJ. This would work best for young architect and designers at Trunk, co-working space in Sendai. Unilever is a good example of the members we can bring to Sendai.

Nakayama-san's family was so nice to serve sweets and kamaboko to our meeting. The Kamaboko from Shiroken?(?? ) will be one good candidate for the Releif2.0 online store. Sayaka and Yoshi from our Impact community are now setting up an antenna shop in Tokyo for local products from Ishinomaki. collaboration with the antenna shop is absolutely a great option for Relief2.0.

Today's successful meetings

8:30 Takigawa Japanese Restaurant.
10:00 Ito-san, Chairman of Junior Chamber of Commerce in Ishinomaki.
11:15 Abe-san, the female leader.
13:00 Kobayashi-san from Peaceboat.
17:00 Kakizaki-san from Trunk.

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