“Sea Samurai” Project (alias) Started!

posted 29/09/2011 category Blog, Midium Report
posted2011/09/29 category Blog, Midium Report Posted by Shizuka Ishiyama from the Recovery Assistant Media Team (RAMT) I visited Karakuwa Town in Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture and met Mr. Sasaki-san, the fisherman, and Mr. Sai-kun & Yoriki-kun from the Karakuwa Boys on Tuesday September 27th. The members from my team were: Mr. Ryuji Enokida – our president – from the RAMT; Mr. Chiba of the Mighty Chibajuu Co.,Ltd., and Mr. Shinya Wanatabe of Aoi Financial Institute Co.,Ltd. At this meeting at Kesennuma City we invited Mr. Saito of Saikichi Shoten Co.,Ltd. originally from the city itself, with other guests: Mr. Mitani of Feel Technology Co.,Ltd. from Shimane Prefecture, and Mr. Sawada who is the distributing agent of Feel Technology and provides the practical application of the company’s technology logistically via truck, in Fukushima Prefecture. Mr. Sasaki has been worried about how to cope with his difficult situation, whereby he cannot trade a catch of fish at the fish-market, as it was destroyed by the Tsunami in Kesennuma.  He was told that he needs to wait for at least 5 years until the market is ready to let fishermen restart the business, according to the administrative reconstruction schedule. If he & other fishermen cannot go fishing & distribute the fish to the market in their port, almost all the business and actual reconstruction of the entire Karakuwa Town, and Kesennuma City will be seriously delayed, if not brought to a complete standstill. For these reasons, the members above have gathered to consider ways to solve this serious problem. Mr. Sawada & Mr. Mitani proposed solving the problem by using a refrigerated truck as cold-storage with “Hyoukan” Technology to compensate for lack of a currently operating fish-market. *See the detail of the “Hyoukan” Technology here (Japanese only). The main feature of this technology is to lengthen possible food storage time by slowing food deterioration through the use of amino acids. Fishermen usually cannot deliver fish to consumers long-distance whilst preserving the freshness of the food. However this difficulty would be solved by using this technology. Also in today’s conventional distribution systems (from fish-market to mass-retailers through brokers) it has become very difficult for fishermen to obtain an acceptable return. And because of this system there is a perception that “fisherman = tough way to make a living.” Mr. Chiba then proposed his solution for opening a brand new market for this problem. He is an expert consultant of internet brand marketing with clients from all over the country, specializing in retail sales based in Miyagi Prefecture. Karakuwa Boys will support Mr. Sasaki in his business recovery. However the truck cannot carry many large-sized fish, such as swordfish, and not many consumers can buy an entire fresh fish. Then Mr. Saito from Saikichi Shoten Co.,Ltd. offered to help Mr. Sasaki to produce processed foods from his fish, so Mr. Sasaki will be able to deliver the processed fish-based foods by truck to sell to consumers directly. Mr. Shinya Wanatabe, a business finance consultant, will help him on the funding side. This new project, that these people proposed above, will create new businesses and jobs at Kesennuma. People from the area have a real need of jobs in order to make a living. Our role as the RAMT is to convey clearly these people’s message to the world.  We will also help them to connect with others who can help them to solve the issues they face with their current business model, making every effort to communicate their issues and situation as clearly and as directly as possible. The people in this meeting really wanted to help and connect with each other to contribute to this society through their specialist working knowledge. Tohoku Region has faced the serious problem of young people leaving the region and moving to large cities for employment. However I am convinced that I will be able to see some bright day in the future, when these members’ children will say: “We want to become fishermen here!”
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