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Tohoku Region, Japan
The crucial role of mobile in the aftermath of natural disasters
Erica Lion has taken the #CaseForChange to Japan to find out how mobile technology played a crucial role in the immediate aftermath and longer-term recovery of the 2011 tsunami.
Erica Lion has taken the #CaseForChange to Japan to find out how mobile technology played a crucial role in the immediate aftermath and longer-term recovery of the 2011 tsunami.

Due to Japan’s geographical location, earthquakes regularly strike the nation. On average, Japan is hit with over 1,500 earthquakes every year, and in 2011 an earthquake measuring 9.0 triggered the worst tsunami the country has ever seen, resulting in over 20,000 deaths and 120,000 homes destroyed.

As Japan attempts to rebuild the lives of their people, their homes, and their businesses, Erica journeys to Kamaishi to meet with the people whose lives have been affected – hearing from Akiko, manager of hotel Houraikan, to find out how critical mobile connectivity was following the disaster. She also hears how KDDI have developed some innovative methods to quickly restore mobile connectivity immediately following a catastrophic event.

Erica then meets with Sasaki-San where she learns all about how NTT DOCOMO’s mobile connected smart buoys have helped to transform the fortunes of the fishing industry – one that, for years, relied on experience and intuition. After destroying over 30,000 boats and wiping out over 119 fishing ports – costing the Japanese economy over one trillion Yen – the tsunami served to highlight the ever-changing and unpredictable nature of the oceans.

With the help of new temperature-measuring water buoys, oyster farmers are now able to combine their experience and intuition with mobile technology to improve their chances of a big haul – and it’s already making a difference.

Making its way around the world, the Case For Change is packed with everything people need to tell their stories on what mobile operators globally are doing to tackle the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). NTT DOCOMO and KDDI’s work in Japan contributes to SDGs 9, 11 and 13 by helping the nation prepare for, and recover from, future natural disasters.   

CaseForChange SDG Goal 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Goal 9

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

CaseForChange SDG Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

Goal 11

Sustainable Cities and Communities

CaseForChange SDG Goal 13 Climate Action

Goal 13

Climate Action

Our journey is just beginning. Together we can make a difference. Find out more about #CaseForChange.