“In the aftermath of the Nuclear accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant caused by the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, which necessitated the evacuation of Hirono, the town received a lot of support from around the world. Contributing to the Champion Mayors initiative enables us to pay it back (“On-Gaeshi” in Japanese). We also believe this is an opportunity for us to pay it forward (“On-Okuri” in Japanese) and support others in the future. We believe that sharing initiatives from across the world presents invaluable opportunities for all involved.” – Mayor Satoshi Endo
Mr Endo was elected Mayor of Hirono in 2013, having spent six years as a member of the town council (2007-2013). While many townspeople continued the lives they had established elsewhere after evacuation, he became the mayor of Hirono town and vowed his duty to facilitate a safe return for residents to Hirono Town. Before commencing his political career, Mr Endo worked at Toden Kogyo (renamed Tokyo Power Technology in 2013). He graduated from Tokyo Keizai University, Faculty of Economics in 1987. Mr Endo has recently published a ten-year progress report on Hirono’s reconstruction following the Fukushima nuclear accident.
Since 2014, Hirono held five International forums to improve international understanding of the city’s recovery from the Fukushima nuclear accident that followed the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. At the first two events, researchers from outside Japan were invited to visit the temporary housing complex and have meals with evacuees living there. The third and fourth meetings focused on gathering international knowledge and insights into how to better manage the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The fifth meeting ‘Living in Disaster-Affected Areas Gives Living Sapience’ centred around the theme of living in disaster-affected areas. In the almost 10 years since the lifting of the evacuation, Hirono Town has made progress with reconstruction and 90% of pre-disaster residents have returned