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Responding to the Great East Japan Earthquake

The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 caused extensive and severe structural damage in North-Eastern Japan, including 15,854 deaths, 3,155 missing persons and 340,000 still living in evacuation shelters one year later.

PlaNet Finance Japan (PFJ) has been involved in the Tsunami recovery effort in Tohoku area since March 2011 after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Led by Jacques Attali, the president and founder of PlaNet Finance, PlaNet Finance Japan (PFJ) has been seeking effective ways to assist the tsunami-affected micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to promote employment and recover from the damage. With a worldwide network of 38 offices in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America and activities in more than 80 countries since 1998, and with microfinance expertise that enables beneficiaries to become self- reliant and engage in sustainable development, PFJ will continue to support the post-tsunami recovery.

Many affected people are still facing not only economic and mental problems but also various difficulties in their daily lives. PFJ will continue assisting them, especially by facilitating financial access for MSMEs.

PFJ has been involved in the various phase of the recovery, including emergency response, rehabilitation and reconstuction through three projects below;

  • Kamaishi Initiative: PFJ first supportet Kamaishi city of Iwate in providing the warm clothes and blankets donated by the French rugby community during the snow winter on April. Those contributions were handed over to local citizens through Kamaishi Seawaves, a professional rubly team based in Kamaishi.
  • France O-Kaeshi Project: Supported by La Foundation de France and Rochefort Saintonge Chamber of Commerce and Industry, PFJ supported the recovery of oyster farmers affected by the Tsunami.
  • Sanriku Tomodachi Fund: Under partnership with Shinkin Central Bank and Kesennuma Shinkin Bank, “Sanriku Tomodachi Fund for Economic Recovery” is established in November 2011 to reinforce the financial access of MSMEs affected by the Tsunami. It is funded by a generous grant of over USD 5 million from Mercy Corps, Nvidia, Boeing and Fast Retailing.
  • Follow-up projects started in 2016 to support MSMEs in the Tsunami affected regions
  • Small Business Empowerment through Inclusive Finance in Fukushima; Supported by MetLife Foundation, PFJ, under partnership with Abukuma Shinkin Bank, established the project to fund MSMEs growing their business in the Fukushima region.
  • J.P. Morgan, through a grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, established a partnership with PFJ to fund the Tohoku Small Business Promotion Program to support community based enterprises to promote job creation and economic sustainability in the earthquake-affected area. In collaboration with Kesennuma Shinkin bank the program will run in the Miyagi and Iwate region.

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