Entrepreneurs could not wait local government’s decision

By Kikki - Last updated: 月曜日, 8月 15, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

[From Ohfunato City-my stricken home town]

– East Japan Great Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster-


Reopening of shops at the tsunami stricken sites 

‘MAIYA’ reopened in a prefabricated temporary shop at the stricken area.


A movement of reopening of shops at the tsunami stricken sites is obvious in the seaside areas of Iwate Prefecture. Local governments could not carry their own city planning forward because the government’s basic policy for reconstruction from the disaster never clearly described amount of fund. Entrepreneurs could not wait local government’s decision and started reconstruction of their business at stricken sites.

‘MAIYA’, a local supermarket chain based on Ohfunato City leased a private land at the stricken site in Rikuzen-takata City and reopened its temporary shop on August 4.

The first large scale supermarket reopened in the stricken site of Rikuzen-takata City after the disaster. Over 750 shoppers had lined up in front of the shop before 9:00 in the morning and rushed into the shop for shopping. It is a prefabricated temporary shop under a local supermarket chain ‘MAIYA’ based in Ohfunato City. ‘I had to go shopping for away from our temporary house by car together with my relatives. Now I come arrive here alone.’ Ms. Jinko Kanno (79) smiled. ‘We usually took more than one hour for shopping to the next town. This temporary shop is conveniently located for shopping.’ A couple of local farmer looked happy.

A new temporary supermarket was built at the private land in the stricken area, located in Takekoma Town, Rikuzen-takata City. ‘We tried to find any suitable place for reopening our shop outside of the stricken area, but could not find.’ The spokesman from ‘MAIYA’ said. The chain had temporarily run at a small scale shop in the city.

Mr. Maiya lost 5 among 6 supermarkets in Kesen District

Most supermarkets in the city were completely damaged by the tsunami. Mr. Haruo Maiya (63), the president of a local supermarket chains, said in the press conference. The chain had 19 supermarkets mainly along seaside areas, including 3 at Morioka City and Takizawa Village. In both Ohfunato and Rikuzen-takata cities, the chain lost 5 among 6 supermarkets at the disaster.

A large number of employees’ homes are washed away and some of his staff lost lives. Mr. Maiya lost his mother too. It caused serious damage to the corporation, but he takes forward-looking approach. Only remained ‘MAIYA Ohfunato Inter’ has continued its business as the shop for providing daily necessities for citizens.

The big convenience store ‘Lawson’ also reopened its shop at the stricken site

 ‘Lawson’, one of the large convenience store chains in Japan, has reopened its shop in neighboring of the temporary shop ‘MAIYA’. ‘There are needs from supporters and volunteers for reconstruction as infrastructure for living. We basically not reopen any shops along seaside areas, but decide it based on each condition with setting of manuals for evacuation.’ A spokesman of the chain explained.

Building restrictions in the stricken areas

In Miyagi Prefecture, a building of new houses and renovations in the stricken areas have been restricted for prevent chaotic development during the reconstruction period under the article 84 in the Building Standards Act. The term of restriction is usually tow months, but the extension was allowed by eight months by the special exemption law.

On the other hand, in Iwate Prefecture, ‘Disaster Danger Zone’ under the article 39 of the same act has been applied and the prefectural government asked each municipal government setting of restrictions in the designated zones. No municipal government has set it yet, however.

65 applications for the construction permit at the stricken sites have been permitted after the disaster, including shops for food and beverage. According to an officer from the prefectural government, ‘we basically give permission to applications because we have no restrictions on that.’





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