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  • Sake Nation: 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake

Sake Nation: 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake

By Kosuke Kuji

March 11, 2021 marked a milestone as the 10th year since the Great East Japan earthquake. However, afflicted regions frown upon the term ‘milestone,’ as the disaster and grieving still continues for the many afflicted to date.
Since this March, Japan suffered another major earthquake in the Tohoku region as the epicenter.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said this earthquake was an aftershock from the Great East Japan Earthquake, which left me wondering how aftershocks are still generated ten years after the earthquake? However, ten years is a blink of an eye considering the long time period earth existed, with aftershocks possibly still continuing 20 and 30 years ahead.
Ten years seems like a long time period, yet short depending on the person’s perspective.
In spring 2011, Governor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishihara (at the time) issued a request to “voluntarily refrain” from venturing outdoors, taken so seriously that economic activities outside the afflicted areas also stopped.
We were thankful to residents who voluntarily stayed home but refraining from daily activities can stop our economy as well. Although the current coronavirus pandemic is also stopping the economy, it seems the past stay-at-home request had set a precedence that helps us survive the current shutdown as well. Ten years ago however, the group Hanasake Nippon requested their audience to “Please don’t stay home, but enjoy sake produced in regions afflicted by the Great East Japan Earthquake.”
The group’s request became widely known, which shifted the consumers’ attitude overnight from voluntarily staying home to purchasing and consuming products from regions afflicted by the Great East Japan earthquake. In the current coronavirus pandemic, some anticipate similar efforts and provide various support. However, the coronavirus pandemic is different from the earthquake in the sense that ultimately, life will not go back to normal without the vaccine. As the U.S. leads the vaccination effort, life may soon get back to normal. We hope and pray Japan will soon resume normalcy as well.



#coronavirus #earthquake #emergency #sake #vaccination #vaccine

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