SCM and Production Systems
Mr. Jitsuro Terashima speaks [For a revival plan in which the people participate]
~Rebuild Nippon · Symposium Report~
On the 7th of June, a symposium entitled “Rebuild Japan” [The entire industrial world thinks about the restoration from the earthquake disaster to make a new Japan]. Mr. Jitsuro Terashima, President of Japan Research Institute, who took the stage as speaker, proposed the creation of a revival plan in which both young and old alike could participate.
[Had it been just a natural disaster which had struck Japan, then in the space of 3 years, we could have puffed our chests and boasted that the rebuilding was complete. However, the problem of the accident in the nuclear power plant has made the situation complicated. This problem has stopped not just Japan, but the entire world in its tracks.]
Thus spoke Mr. Jitsuro Terashima, President of Japan Research Institute at the symposium on [The entire industrial world thinks about the restoration from the earthquake disaster to make a new Japan] held by Rebuild Nippon.
The damage caused by the earthquake and the tsunami was extensive, and if it had been just that, then we could have dismissed it as being a tragic situation, and we can provide actual proof that Japan is fighting against these natural disasters. It is the technological and engineering capability of Japan which has supported this endeavor.
For example, at the time when the earthquake happened, there were a total of 88 bullet trains which were operating in the Tohoku and Hokuriku as well as the Tokaido lines of the Kanto region, but they came to a normal emergency stop without a single casualty being reported. Even at the Tokyo Sky Tree where cranes were lifted up to the top as part of ongoing construction work, although there was partial damage, this did not lead to any major accident. This is something which we should appreciate as being proof of Japan's superior technical capabilities.
However, Japan is now being asked how it is tackling the issue of nuclear power generation. Mr. Terashima has so far been taking the position of aggressively pushing the use of renewable energy. However, he feels that Japan should continue to meet a part of its power needs through nuclear power generation. This is because it will help Japan to nurture qualified human resources and maintain state of the art technological capabilities in a milieu where several Asian countries have begun giving serious consideration to nuclear power generation.
Building industrial infrastructure and preventing factories from becoming defunct
The first matter which must be considered while formulating a revival plan from here on is the building of industrial infrastructure at the disaster site. Even before the earthquake, the Tohoku region was experiencing a progressive decline in population and ageing. In this situation, there is a concern that these trends will be accelerated by the current earthquake disaster. Unless a firm industrial base is established, the victims of the disaster will be unable to return home even if they wish to, since they will not have the means of livelihood.
In addition, measures are also required to put a halt to the phenomenon of the manufacturing industry becoming defunct. At this time, factors which adversely affect the manufacturing industry such as the high value of the yen, a drop in exports caused by rumors and misinformation, rise in power rates etc. are gaining strength. A bold revival plan is needed to prevent factory setups from moving out of the country to overseas locations.
With regard to formulating such a revival plan, Mr. Terashima suggests “The people should participate in working on ideas and implementing them. Young people who are suffering from employment scarcity should be asked to give ideas as well as implement them. Senior citizens should also participate in this effort, and give advice based on their experience.”. What is required here is a conceptual ability encompassing the country as a whole in order to build a nation with even greater competitive power than before the earthquake disaster.