Since June 2011, The Marubeni Group has been making a concerted effort to support the recovery of Shichigahama-machi, Miyagi Prefecture. In four years the Marubeni Group has dispatched a total 734 volunteers to remove debris from houses, beaches, and farmland, as well as cut grass and carry out other activities (As of March 2016).
Stage One: Clean houses, farmland, and coastline affected by the tsunami (until 2013)
Stage Two: Support industry recovery, cooperate with traditional events, and hold support events (since 2013)
In 2015, Marubeni conducted farmland clean-ups and carried portable shrines. As there are not enough local people to carry the portable shrines since the disaster, the Marubeni Group has been participating every year since 2013 after receiving a request to help.
With farmland clean-ups, local NPOs improve deserted arable land through repeated crop planting undertaken by volunteers. Marubeni Group employees have been participating in the clean-ups since 2013. In 2015, the volunteers removed sunflowers which had finished blooming, planted vegetable seeds and harvested the crops, and also removed stones and weeds from the soil. The volunteers plan to request local participation as a place for exchange once the community has completed the move from temporary housing to public housing.
In Shichigahama-machi many rice paddies were devastated by the tsunami resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake. The earthquake caused subsidence damage to cultivated land and the ensuing inundation of seawater caused serious salt damage. Due to the enormous costs of recovery and maintenance, abandoned farmland increased and local municipalities faced great difficulties in responding. Initiatives by volunteer centers and local NPOs to rejuvenate the disaster-affected farmland began, and the Marubeni Group provided support. From June to November in 2014, the Marubeni Group provided support such as cutting grass, pruning cherry tomato bushes, and harvesting kidney beans.
Through the end of August to December, a total of seven volunteer projects were conducted. These included supporting farmers by cutting grass and removing stones from fields in the Shobuta area, and making weights used in cultivating locally produced wakame seaweed.
In June, the Marubeni Group cooperated with the Shichigahama-machi Volunteer Center to clean and set up the coastline and event ground of the Shichigahama-machi Shobutahama Sea Festival (held in late July). In November, the Marubeni Group also conducted support activities aimed at rebuilding the town's local farming industry in response to town requests.
A total of 311 volunteers comprising new Marubeni managerial staff and Marubeni Group employees, together with volunteers from the Fuyo Group Volunteer Project, were dispatched to Shichigahama-machi in Miyagi Prefecture where they carried out activities such as removing flooring from houses, conducting maintenance on household foundations, and cleaning up pinewood forest along the coast.
Marubeni has been conducting earthquake recovery volunteer activities as part of its orientation program for new managerial staff. The 118 new employees for FY2011 and 126 new employees for FY2012 participated in volunteer activities in Shichigahama-machi, Miyagi Prefecture. In addition to helping clean and clear the coast of Shichigahama, they also received an informative lecture from the Tohoku branch manager and took part in group discussions. The activities served to remind the new employees about the preciousness of life and to provide them with opportunities to think of ways they can help support the people in the regions affected by the disaster.