At a late-night meeting following the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, Nissan decided to donate ¥30 million to the NGO Japan Platform, or JPF. The decision was announced to the media at around two in the morning, Japan time, on March 12. JPF is an international humanitarian aid group that provides emergency relief in refugee situations and in the aftermath of natural disasters. NGOs, corporations, governments and the media work together as equal partners, coordinating their efforts and contributing their unique attributes to provide more efficient and rapid aid. Nissan supported the activities of the JPF following the Philippines typhoon and Sumatra earthquake in 2009 and the Chile earthquake and Pakistan floods in 2010.
As of March 11, there were only five groups ready to carry out relief operations in the affected areas under the coordination of the JPF. Financial support from the business sector, including Nissan, prompted more groups to participate. As many as 40 NGOs took part in JPF's relief activities, working on initial assessment of damage and needs, education support and assistance for community rebuilding.
Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development (NICCO) was one group whose relief aid was funded by JPF. The group began initial assessments of damage in disaster areas as early as March 12 and carried out relief work in Rikuzentakata, Kesennuma and other locations. One way the group helped was through pest control efforts. With work to remove debris taking longer than expected, swarms of disease-carrying insects like flies and mosquitoes were a major problem. NICCO responded to a request from the local authorities and started exterminations in partnership with the Japan Pest Control Association in June. By July the group had carried out more than 300 inspections and completed 100 fumigations.
Noriyuki Shiina, secretary general of JPF, says support from the corporate sector provided a huge boost to relief efforts in the initial stages. "We made the decision to mobilize within three hours of the disaster," Shiina says. "The extent of the damage was becoming clearer by the hour, and JPF member groups hurried to the affected areas one after another. The urgent task for us at JPF was to secure the funding we needed to support our members' activities. Nissan's prompt decision to help, taken late at night on the day of the disaster itself, allowed us to avoid any delay in our initial response."
In addition to this, Nissan later donated four-wheel-drive vehicles to three other NPOs working in the disaster areas with JPF funding (ADRA Japan, Peace Winds Japan and JEN). Nissan's contributions played a vital role in helping these groups to provide efficient assistance to people in the disaster areas.
Nissan provided assistance (directly and indirectly) to the following NGOs and NPOs: