Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Support
As part of our hopes for a rapid recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake,
the SoftBank Group continues to support victims of the disaster.
As the SoftBank Group works to ensure disaster preparedness, we also work to support the people affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
People have told us they want to support victims and those involved in restoration efforts, and they have asked what they can do to help the children supporting the region's recovery, both now and for the future. We at the SoftBank Group have listened to these voices, and we are working with our customers to provide continuous support.
For the futures of the high school students undertaking the role of reconstruction
Since 2012, The SoftBank Group has supported the TOMODACHI Initiative, a U.S.-Japan exchange partnership led by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the U.S.-Japan Council, a non-profit educational organization. As part of the initiative, high school students from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures, the regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, are invited to learn about leadership and community contribution during a 3-week all-expenses-paid program at the University of California, Berkeley. Many of the program's alumni are putting what they have learned to use for the benefit of local community organizations, and have demonstrated leadership on a range of occasions.
On-going support activities for affected areas
The SoftBank Group has been engaged in activities to support Great East Japan Earthquake recovery efforts, such as lending out mobile devices and collecting relief money immediately after the disaster, and continues to work to provide support that leverages our expertise and resources as an Internet company.
Working with customers to support children in affected areas
In August 2011 and December 2012 respectively, with the goal of providing on-going support to areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, SoftBank started Charity White, a program that allows customers to make donations along with their monthly payments.
Under the Charity White program, customers donate 10 yen per month on top of their monthly usage charge. SoftBank matches this donation (10 yen per customer) so that a total of 20 yen per customer per month goes to the Central Community Chest of Japan and Ashinaga charities to support children in affected areas.
Preserving memories of the disaster area
Yahoo Japan Corporation
Yahoo Japan co-sponsors the TOUR de TOHOKU, a cycling route along the coastline affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, with the Kahoku Shimpo Publishing Co. The purpose of this sponsorship is to support reconstruction and preserve the memory of the disaster.
The 2013 TOUR de TOHOKU attracted 1,316 participants, who rode along the tsunami-damaged Sanriku coast of Miyagi Prefecture.
In September 2014, the event's second year, a new approx. 200-km course to Kesennuma was established and the number of participants more than doubled to 2,957. The event has continued to grow, with 3,478 people participating in 2015, and 3,764 in 2016.
Yahoo Japan will continue to support the TOUR de TOHOKU over the next ten years, as it hopes to grow the event into something that people around the world who are interested in Tohoku's recovery can come together and enjoy. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go towards reviving cycling tourism and maintaining cycling roads in the Tohoku region.
Utilizing tablets to restore community bonds
In Namie, as part of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's “Kizuna (Bond) Reconstruction & Reinforcement Project,” we distributed 6,000 tablets* to residents who were dispersed throughout Japan after the earthquake to help them recover their connections with others. The tablets feature video phone functions and an original Namie Town app that has served to promote communication between townspeople as an information dissemination point for both the local government and residents.
In distributing the tablets to the residents, SoftBank built and operated a dedicated call center, and held seminars throughout Japan for the people of Namie to teach them how to use the tablets. SoftBank will continue to make every effort to support this activity, in the hope of relieving the families and friends who have been forced to live apart. We also hope to support those suffering from the effects of the earthquake as well as the Namie local government, which is still struggling to restore the town to its former state.
- *As of July 21, 2015
Broadening the circle of support
SoftBank supports the Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Initiatives Foundation's declaration, “Never forget that day.” The company runs a program called “Charity Mobile Phones for Tohoku—Broadening the Circle of Reconstruction Support,” through which it lends mobile phones free of charge at events nationwide in support of reconstruction efforts.
Many reconstruction-support organizations are experiencing a decline in donations over time. Therefore, SoftBank has created a system where it will cover communications costs for managing an event, on the condition that the event organizer donates the proceeds to reconstruction-support organizations. Increasing charity events in this way helps revive donations to reconstruction-support organizations.
Traveling to Tohoku, raising national awareness
Yahoo Japan Corporation
Yahoo Japan employees have traveled to Tohoku, working with local residents to create something together and take up the challenge of conveying that effort from Tohoku to the rest of the country. In July 2012, the Yahoo Ishinomaki Fukko Base was established with five fulltime employees to serve as a hub for reconstruction support activities in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture.
As we continued to engage in activities locally, we came to realize that many of the issues facing Tohoku are also faced by many of Japan's regional towns and cities. Upon tackling these issues and producing results together with local community members in Ishinomaki, we now wish to apply these efforts as a model for grassroots development in regional localities throughout Japan.
Providing on-going support for reviving Tohoku's economy
In an effort to create jobs in the Sousou region* of Fukushima Prefecture, SoftBank has been entrusted with the Mobile Application Creator Training Course, organized by the Sousoukoyo job-creation council, and is providing support in overall course and progress management and in attendees' independent study. The program has trained 37 students in the approximately two years since it started on August 22, 2012. SoftBank aims to provide on-going support for creating local jobs in the IT industry.
- *Comprising 12 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture: Soma, Minamisoma, Hirono, Naraha, Tomioka, Kawauchi, Okuma, Futaba, Namie, Katsurao, Shinchi and Iitate.
Yahoo Japan Corporation
Yahoo Japan runs Tohoku Yell Market, an online department store selling delicious foods and specialty products from the Tohoku region, which opened on 14 December, 2011. From March 2013, the earthquake's second anniversary, the site began the Manufacturing Support Project, which creates new brands and develops new products through collaboration between various people and businesses. By highlighting Tohoku's traditional goods and specialties, as well as new and unique products, Yahoo Japan is working together with the people of Tohoku to create a new consumer mindset; one in which consumers purchase Tohoku products not from a sense of charity, but because of their intrinsic quality and appeal.
Providing support through online services
After the earthquake, Vector Inc. expanded its Alpaca Leaf Project, renaming and restarting it as the “Game no Kizuna PROJECT.” Vector has also implemented a feature in its “Magic Game of Calva” browser game in which users can invite friends to play through the portal site VectorGame. For each new user sign-up through VectorGame of this kind, Vector will make a contribution to foundations dedicated to the reconstruction of regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. This feature will be added to other titles in the future as well.
Yahoo Japan Corporation
Reconstruction support portal
After the Great East Japan Earthquake Yahoo Japan promptly provided earthquake-related information via a special webpage and launched a variety of support initiatives. Three years have passed since the disaster, and Yahoo Japan has opened a Reconstruction Support Portal to shift the focus from remembering and thinking to concrete actions such as knowing, buying, meeting, and visiting. The Reconstruction Support Portal supports reconstruction support initiatives by featuring a variety of information on Tohoku, fund-raising and volunteering, as well as its Photo Preservation Project, which records and preserves for future generations Tohoku's appearance before the Great East Japan Earthquake and as reconstruction continues. Yahoo Japan will continue to work with its users and with the people of Tohoku to support the region's recovery.
Great East Japan Earthquake charity auctions
Yahoo Japan has been running Great East Japan Earthquake charity auctions since March 24, 2011, which, by auctioning objects donated by celebrities, have raised over 600 million yen (as of September 2016), all of which has been given to organizations supporting reconstruction in Tohoku.
Search for 3.11—Online searches to support reconstruction
Search for 3.11 is a program that donates 10 yen for each person that searches with the keyword “3.11” on Yahoo! Search on March 11 to organizations involved in reconstruction support.
As time has passed since the earthquake, Yahoo! Search data also clearly shows that less attention is being given to the situation, and this program was started in response. We want people to turn their attention to Tohoku as if it were their own immediate concern through the proactive act of searching. In March 2016, 24,662,060 yen was donated to 10 organizations involved in the Tohoku reconstruction.
Donations and assistance to support reconstruction
Channeling the generosity of the public to the affected areas
SoftBank Corp. set up a system that allows customers to make disaster relief donations from SoftBank mobile phones and smartphones, and conducted a fundraising drive at SoftBank shops. Smartphone users were able to use the SoftBank Simple Donation application to make a donation along with their mobile phone charges*1. SoftBank implemented schemes to allow users to donate using a credit card, SoftBank Money, or SoftBank Mileage Points.
Yahoo! JAPAN, a leading portal site in Japan, began accepting online donations through its Emergency Disaster Fund from the evening of March 11, 2011. As of January 2012, it had raised about 1.37 billion yen through the generosity of the public. Yahoo Japan Corporation services such as Yahoo! Auctions and Yahoo! Shopping are also running donation programs.
|Name||Period||Amount donated||Principal recipient|
|SoftBank Corp.*2, SoftBank BB Corp.*2||Charity White||August 1, 2011 -||1,082,054,144 yen*3||
|SoftBank Corp. (currently SoftBank Group Corp.)||Study Fund donation for scholarships for high school students||March 8-23 2012||11,053,770 yen||
|Great East Japan Earthquake Donation Project||March - July 2011||218,158,515 yen*4||
|Yahoo Japan Corporation||March 2011 - July31, 2015||1,392,684,490 yen*5||
|Carview Corporation||March 13 - April 30, 2011||4,208,000 yen||Japanese Red Cross Society|
|SB Players Corp.||Through March 31, 2011||78,000,000 yen||Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures|
- *1Available for iPhone from March 17, 2011 and for SoftBank smartphones from March 22, 2011.
- *2SoftBank BB Corp., SoftBank Telecom Corp. and Ymobile Corporation merged into SoftBank Mobile Corp. on April 1, 2015. SoftBank Mobile Corp. changed its company name to SoftBank Corp. on July 1, 2015.
- *3As of July 31, 2016.
- *4As of August 31, 2011.
- *5As of July 31, 2015.
Relief money and aid donations by SoftBank Group
Donations of relief money and aid by SoftBank Group Corp. (“SBG”) and its Group companies and individually by SBG's Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son are used to provide funding to organizations such as local governments, NGOs, public service corporations and NPOs to help restore the disaster-affected area and daily life back to normal as quickly as possible.
Principal SoftBank Group donations (As of September, 2016)
|Name||Amount donated||Recipient / Amount|
(currently SoftBank Group Corp.)
|1 billion yen||Japanese Red Cross Society||400 million yen|
|Central Community Chest of Japan||400 million yen|
|Ashinaga||200 million yen|
|Yahoo Japan Corporation||354,866,030 yen||Japanese Red Cross Society
(Yahoo! Net Bokin)
|100 million yen|
(Yahoo! Net Bokin)
|140 million yen|
|Central Community Chest of Japan
(Yahoo! Net Bokin)
|4 million yen|
|PO Support Center for Program Development (Yahoo! Net Bokin)||2 million yen|
|Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Initiatives Foundation
(Search for 3.11, 2014)
|Fukuoka SoftBank HAWKS Corp.||51 million yen||Do for Japan from Fukuoka|
|GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc.||10 million yen||Japanese Red Cross Society|
|IDC Frontier Inc.||5.25 million yen||UNICEF||5,000,000 yen|
|Japanese Red Cross Society||253,700 yen|
|NC Japan K.K.||630 million yen||Japanese Red Cross Society|
|Carview Corporation||20 million yen||Japanese Red Cross Society|
|Vector Inc.||17.87 million yen||Japanese Red Cross Society||17,710,000 yen|
|Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Initiatives Foundation||160,000 yen|
|Masayoshi Son (individually)||10 billion yen||Japanese Red Cross Society||1 billion yen|
|Central Community Chest of Japan||1 billion yen|
|UNICEF Japan, others||600 million yen|
|Direct donations to affected municipalities||3.4 billion yen|
|Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Initiatives Foundation||4 billion yen|
|All remuneration received as SoftBank Group's representative until retirement|