After The Quake: Grassroots Movements In The Japanese Internet Community

A massive earthquake attacked the north-eastern part of Japan on Friday afternoon.   Many JSDF troops, fire fighters and foreign rescue workers have been deployed in devastated areas, their physical rescue operations are underway.   Internet users across the country are thinking about what to do to help disaster victims and survive this difficult time.

Here are some of grassroots movements.  (More updates will be coming up)


Yashima Sakusen (Operation Yashima) [J]:

An anonymous fan of Japanese popular animation titles Evangelion launched it named after an elaborate plan in the film, which intends to appeal to save power consumption.  Electricity supplies will be insufficient in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area and the Tohoku Region (north-eastern part of Honshu Island, Japan) because of heavy damage to power plants and grids.


Setsuden Poster (Posters calling for power saving) [J]:

Someone set up a Tumbler page, and it shows us a number of posters which have been submitted by pro- and amateur designers who have agreed to the act.   Any of these posters can be printed at multi-functional photocopiers at Seven Eleven convenience stores nationwide, and the organizer of the campaign is asking people to put them on walls in town.


Enterprises’ Efforts and Contribution on Helping Disaster Victims [J]:

This channel of Togetter, the Japanese original version of Chirpstory (see my story for more about both services), shows you a list of tweets and links related to physical and financial aids contributed by many companies.


English Translation of Heartwarming Tweets


For disaster survivors in the region and supporters around the globe:

For safety information and latest developments on the disaster results in English, please check out #jishin_e hashtagged tweets.   If you wish to watch live coverage in English by Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, visit their website or use this iPhone app.

For receiving EEW (Earthquake Early Warning; see this Akky’s story for more about the system) on the iPhone, this free app called Yurekuru Call helps you survive. (Due to possible network congestion, warning signals cannot always reach you in time. You are required to set your current location on the app.)

Foreigners Guide For Earthquake Offered In Over 28 Languages

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies students began a new web translation site, a basic guide of what you should and should not do if you see another afterquakes for non-Japanese people in (at this point) 28 languages.

The original guide was not from official, but gathered from tweets of Japanese people, many of who advised from their experiences on past big earthquakes like in Kobe, Niigata, etc.

This project started from just one TUFS university student from statement on Twitter. Since the magic of twitter, a large number of people turned into strong supporters who built up number of teams to make all the translation, more than 24 languages. Thanks to everyone who support this project.

from About

Livedoor, Softbank, Fon to Offer Free Wi-Fi after the Quake

On March 12th, some Wi-Fi providers in Japan started offering free connection after the devastating earthquake that hit northeast Japan on Friday afternoon.

Sofbank Mobile

Sofbank Mobile announced that they are completely opening up their public wireless LAN service “Softbank Wi-Fi Spot” for free. The connection is available for anyone who is in the service area, not limited to current Softbank customers. Softbank Wi-Fi Spot provides 54Mbps connectivity in select public locations such as restaurants, cafes, hotels and shops. Look for the WiFi Available sticker or BB Mobile Point sticker on storefronts.

To use, select “FON” network on any wireless LAN supported devices in one of their service locations.

Livedoor Wireless

Livedoor Wireless is also offering free Wi-Fi on March 12th and 13th. You can check the coverage area with their map.

The SSID for the open network is “free-online-ld” (no password required).
They also provide optional login IDs (01@free@lw / 03@free@lw / 03@free@lw) and password (livedoor) in case authentication is required by the device.

FON Japan

FON Japan also announced their effort to offer their network for free to support those who affected by the earthquake and their friends and families.

FON_FREE_INTERNET and other FON spots are entirely free until March 13th. For updates and possible extension of the dates, follow @fonjapan Twitter account.

See Also: