At around 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sanriku.
Yahoo JAPAN employees took refuge in a park in the Tokyo Midtown compound, where the company’s office was located at the time. As aftershocks continued, we continued to distribute news from the evacuation site.
At the night of the 11th, Yahoo Japan Foundation lauched Emergency Disaster Donation.
A total of 1,371,453,800 yen was collected and donated to the Central Community Chest of Japan and Japanese Red Cross Society.
Yahoo! JAPAN Maps created and released an evacuation zone map for people living near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
To enable emergency disaster response on a continuous basis, a post-quake task force was created within the Company.
Following TEPCO’s announcement of planned power outage, Yahoo! JAPAN released a special page that carries information on power saving, power consumption status, how to prepare for the planned power outage, etc.
Sarted simulcasting NHK news, delivering NHK news videos in real time on the Yahoo! JAPAN site.
A color-coded map showing the schedule of the planned power outage for different areas was released on Yahoo! JAPAN Maps.
Yahoo! JAPAN Healthcare released a webpage carrying news and healthcare information related to the 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku.
To ease the burden on the websites, cached sites were created for seven genres, including government agencies, transportation, disaster information, and electric utilities.
Published helpful information for each area, including safety confirmation, shelters, map of hot meal kitchens, road traffic information, and hospital/healthcare information.
Opened Charity Showcase, a system whereby sellers can donate 100 yen for each day their items are listed for bidding.
Based on the electricity consumption graph published by TEPCO, began publishing “power consumption meter” for the TEPCO electricity supply on Yahoo! JAPAN Top Page and power-saving information webpage.
Began providing cached websites to alleviate the burden on the websites of public institutions and highly public businesses that had accessibility problems due to heavy access.
Yahoo! JAPAN Shopping started “Support Gift,” a program inviting everyone to join the support for people in the affected areas through purchase of relief supplies. To start with, 2,000 tons of rice (10kg x 2,000 packets) was put up for sale.
For children in the affected areas, started free distribution of Weekly Shonen Jump over the Internet.
Responding to the call from celebrities and businesses/organizations from various fields, including publishers, talent agencies, music labels, partner companies, sports associations, and combat sports associations, Yahoo! JAPAN Auctions held “2011 Earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Charity Auction.” The revenue from the auction was all donated to welfare organizations, etc.
Launched a project named "Great East Japan Earthquake Photo Album" to document the disaster with photos of streetscapes and scenery before the earthquake, changed landscape immediately after the quake/tsunami, and reconstructions.
The project currently keeps 65,005 photographs.
Responding to the requests from a large number of individual users wishing to offer items for a charity auction, Yahoo! JAPAN Auctions (currently "YAHUOKU!") started “Yahoo! JAPAN Auctions – United Charity Donation." Sellers were able to choose to donate either 10% or the whole of the bid price to support activities for the disaster victims.
Similarly, Yahoo! JAPAN Shopping launched “Yahoo! JAPAN Shopping – United Charity Donation," through which 10 yen was donated from the price of each item when users purchased certain items at Yahoo! JAPAN Shopping.
Launched the Disaster Alert service that sends out information on disaster prevention by email and through Yahoo! JAPAN Messenger.
Started "agreement on disaster-related information transmission," a framework for enabling fast delivery of needed information to better prepare local residents for earthquakes, tsunami, typhoons, and other disasters, as well as reducing the burden on the local government’s administrative functions. Conclusion of agreements began with Kochi City and Himeji City.
As of end of February 2021, the agreement has been concluded with over 1,240 local governments, covering more than 92% of the population in Japan.
Nine months since the earthquake, the form and aim of support, as well as the needs of the victims, gradually shifted from “sending/receiving relief money and supplies” immediately after the disaster to “propelling industrial recovery and promoting employement.” In this light, and also with a view to creating a new model of local community revitalization, Yahoo! JAPAN lauched the "Recovery Department Store" project, which offers a framework for people in the affected areas to directly sell their products over the Internet.
Yahoo Japan renewed the management team in March 2012. Under the new mission of becoming a "Problem-solving engine” established the Reconstruction Support Office, an organization dedicated to driving the Company’s initiatives to solve, with the power of IT, various personal and social issues that had come up as Japan tackled its most critical challenge at that time of making recovery from the 3.11.
“Ishinomaki recovery with explosive speed - lunch box” were sold with the concept of “Eat well, support well.” The naming was partly taken from Yahoo! JAPAN’s then slogan “Explosive speed” and represented the hope that the reconstruction would be achieved as soon as possible. For each lunch box sold, 50 yen was donated to support the reconstruction of the Tohoku region.
Yahoo! JAPAN opened a co-working space for people to gather to create new businesses. (Fully equipped with Internet connection, Ustream equipment, and an open space laid out like a cafe and a kitchen, etc.)
In cooperation with Eat and Energize the East, Yahoo Japan launched the Sanriku Fishermen’s Project.
Working with the local people in the fishery industry who wish to deliver something of true value, the project aspires to rebrand Tohoku fishery products, create new industries that they can take pride in, and nurture the next-generation workers.
Two years from the earthquake, on March 11, 2013, in order to keep the memory of the disaster and determination for reconstruction afresh, Yahoo! JAPAN covered the background of the Top Page with a blue sky. Delivered a wide array of content, including interviews with people in the affected areas and those involved in reconstruction supports.
Kahoku Shimpo Publishing Co. and Yahoo Japan Corporation co-hosted "Tour de Tohoku 2013 in Miyagi & Sanriku," a cycling event held in Miyagi and the Sanriku areas (Ishinomaki City, Onagawa Town, and Minamisanriku Town) with the hope of passing the memory of disaster on to the future generations. Rather than a competition over title and time, hosted a fun ride event with more emphasis to enjoy cycling. A total of 1,316 riders participated.
With the reconstruction entering its fourth year, the project was designed to convey the "now" of Tohoku, which was still striving for reconstruction, and to link "thinking and considering" to "knowing, buying, meeting, and going" actions.
From 2014, Yahoo! JAPAN started a project called “Search for 3.11: Searching is Supporting,” through which Yahoo! JAPAN donates 10 yen per user who searched with the keyword of "3.11". Participated by approximately 2.5 million people.
Fisherman Japan was formed with a band of young fisherpersons who aspire to change the image of fishery to a “cool, gainful, and innovative” business and bring up ideas for the future fishery business for the next generation. They have a vision of growing 1,000 more “new fisherpersons” with diverse abilities in the Sanriku area by 2024, and seek to transform the fishery industry through proposals for new work styles and cross-business collaborations.
Launched by Fisherman Japan, TRITON PROJECT is a cross-sectoral project to involve people from various fields to nurture new fisherpersons.
Its activities include the operation of a contact point for people who are thinking of becoming fisherpersons, a job site specialized in fishery, short-term training programs to learn fishery, and shared houses for novice fisherpersons, utilizing renovated unoccupied houses.
In cooperation with Synergy Marketing, which supports CRM (Customer Relationship Management) activities for the Yahooo Japan Group, Fisherman Japan and Yahoo! JAPAN started a new CRM initiative to promote the revitalization of fishery, combining Yahoo! JAPAN’s Internet shopping with Fisherman Japan’s newly launched restaurant (opened on June 24).
Recovery Department Store was redesigned to house about twice the number of tenants and products, as well as to offer expanded content including recipes that made use of seasonal food. The focus also shifted from “buy to support reconstruction” to “buy things that you really want from Tohoku.”
In light of the fact that Japan is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, Social Emergency Management Alliance (SEMA), a private-sector-driven alliance composed of a wide range of enterprises and NPOs, was established with the aim of minimizing the impact of natural disasters on people and society and promoting early recovery.
Through its activities conducted in Ishinomaki City, where fishery is one of the major industries, Yahoo! JAPAN keenly felt the need to communicate the attraction and problems of the sea to consumers across the country and to call for action. "Gyoppy!" introduces stories on ocean issues, such as marine pollution, endangered biodiversity, and declining fish catches, along with action links from which readers can immediately participate in actions that lead to solutions.
A new initiative connecting Yahoo! JAPAN’s know-how on talent development and organization building to the issues faced by the fishing industry, such as shortage of hands and untapped productivity. In collaboration with Fisherman Japan, five young managers of fish processing companies in Ishinomaki City participated in the one-year program.
Under the concept of "sending cheers across Japan through products," Tohoku Yell Market was renamed to Yell Market, expanding the coverage of its prodcuts from Tohoku to all of Japan.
Along the theme of “ethical consumption,” a practice of purchasing and consuming products that are people-, environment-, and society-friendly, Yell Market sells only the products strictly selected by Yahoo! JAPAN staff based on criteria such as “Eco Mark” labeled products, organic products, products that create job opportunities for people with difficulty finding jobs, fair trade products, environment-friendly products, and disaster relief products.
Disaster Support Platform was launched to enable one-stop, one-package support upon disaster, from information delivery and aid to the affected area to reconstruction support in close cooperation with local governments and support groups. It brings comprehensive support immediately following the onset of the disaster through to recovery and reconstruction, harnessing the various disaster support networks available in Yahoo! JAPAN, including SEMA, disaster response alliances, Yahoo Japan Foundation, Yahoo! JAPAN Internet Fund Raising, Yahoo! JAPAN Volunteer, and Yell Market.