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Activities of Technical Intern Trainees, etc.

January 2020

Using Participation in Community Training Drills to Further Enhance Disaster Preparedness Awareness

Ryuyo Auto-Parts Cooperative and Sankei Co., Ltd.

Sankei Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of plastic parts for automotive manufacturing, has accepted 44 technical intern trainees from the island of Cebu in the Philippines.

Involvement in the Kaketsuka Festival in Iwata City, which began in 2018, has helped the technical intern trainees to strengthen their connections with people in the local community. As a follow-on activity to this, on December 1, 2019 – which is Shizuoka Prefecture’s Community Disaster Preparedness Day – the trainees took part in community disaster preparedness drills.
While Sankei Co., Ltd. holds internal disaster preparedness drills on an annual basis, this was the first time that the technical intern trainees had taken part in drills in the area where they lived.

Sankei created a special “Evacuation Map,” which was distributed to the trainees in advance. As the map published by the local government authority covered too wide an area, Sankei’s “Evacuation Map” indicated (both in the trainees’ native language and in Japanese Hiragana script) the location of the nearest tsunami evacuation tower for the area where the trainees lived, as well as the municipal hall that serves as an assembly area in the event of a natural disaster, and the final place of refuge.
On the day of the disaster preparedness drill, Sankei staff accompanied senior trainees in their second year of training to the tsunami tower and evacuation centers, so that they could familiarize themselves with the route.
After this, the trainees assisted local people with the distribution of boiled rice at the municipal hall, and learned how to use triangular bandages.
On returning to their accommodation, the technical intern trainees who had taken part in the drills could be seen informing more recently-arrived trainees about the evacuation centers.

The background to this activity was the fact that the damage caused by natural disasters has been getting more severe in recent years.
The area where the technical intern trainees are living is frequently affected by power outages caused by typhoons. Although the negative impact is very limited, the trainees have still become aware of the threat that nature can pose.
Sankei therefore decided to take on the challenge of putting in place a framework for disaster preparedness education so as to further enhance technical intern trainees’ disaster preparedness awareness, build and maintain a relationship that encourages people living in the local community to help one another in the event of a disaster, and enable trainees who have spent longer in Japan to provide guidance for those who are more recently arrived.
Special thanks are due to the members of the local community association and local youth association for the friendly welcome and assistance that they provided to the participating trainees.

  • Verifying the location of the evacuation shelter
  • Community disaster preparedness drill in progress

[Comments from participating technical intern trainees]
“I realized that the structure I had been seeing on my way to and from work, and while going shopping, was a tsunami tower!”
“Once you know where the evacuation center actually is, you realize that there is no need to worry!”
“In the Philippines, emergency food supplies are usually just crackers and tinned food. Having warm rice to eat as emergency food was a first! I was very interested to see how it was prepared!”
“Because the people participating were people that we had already met through our involvement in the local festival, we had no hesitation about taking part in the disaster preparedness drill!”