Canadian Initiative Rebuilds Landmarks and Hope After Japanese Tsunami
Japanese communities devastated by the 2011 tsunami to benefit from a new library and public market gifted by Canadian wood sector.
VANCOUVER, BC (May 3rd 2013) – A Japanese community, devastated by the tsunami of March 2011, is welcoming a brand new public market, thanks to donations from the Canadian lumber industry and its partners.
Officially opening on May 4th 2013, the Yuriage Public Market, is a result of the Canada-Tohoku Reconstruction Project, established after the devastating Great Eastern Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunami that ravaged huge areas in the north-east of the country.
“It wasn’t just homes destroyed in the earthquake and tsunami here in Japan,” says Shawn Lawlor, from Canada Wood Group. “Community centres, care facilities, kindergartens; they were all washed away. Those places are the lifeblood of any community and I’m delighted that Canada is playing such an important role in helping to rebuild the Tohoku region of Japan.”
The Canada Wood Group, in partnership with Natural Resources Canada and the Province of British Columbia, are spearheading projects using Canadian wood in the construction of several major community buildings; the first, the Donguri Anne Public Library in Natori was unveiled earlier this year. That building is a hybrid heavy timber post and beam structure that uses a wide variety of Canadian forest products such as Coastal Hem Fir, Western Red Cedar, and Maple flooring.
“Our government is pleased to contribute to the reconstruction of Natori City – a community that was so severely impacted by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011,” said Minister Oliver. “The reconstruction efforts in Natori will serve as an enduring symbol of friendship between Canada and Japan.”
Canada and Japan share important and strong economic, cultural, historic ties and Japan is a long time export customer for the Canadian lumber industry. In 2011 when Japan needed help, Canada was only too happy to offer a hand. The Canadian forestry sector saw they could help in the rebuilding effort – providing an essential natural resource abundant in Canada, was one key way in which to reach a branch across the Pacific to our neighbours to the west.
In the aftermath of the tsunami, international media reported: “Yuriage was wiped from the map.” Natori suffered the worst per capita loss of life. These two projects mean their inhabitants now have places to go to interact, to live their lives, to take their children and to experience normalcy again.
About the Canada Wood Group
The Canada Wood Group, a consortium of industry associations, is providing technical support and expertise in wood-frame construction to Japanese officials as part of the reconstruction project. Canada Wood Group is also active elsewhere in Asia and supported rebuilding efforts in Sichuan in the aftermath of the 2008 earthquake.
About the Canada-Tohoku Reconstruction Project
The Canada-Tohoku Reconstruction Project is a $4.8-million commitment to help rebuild public facilities using Canadian wood products and advanced wood technologies.
The Canada-Tohoku Reconstruction Project, in addition to demonstrating Canada’s goodwill as part of a larger humanitarian effort, also demonstrates Canada’s commitment to Japan as an important trading partner that has provided decades of benefits for Canadian companies, forest communities and workers.
The Canada-Tohoku Reconstruction Project is able to operate thanks to the invaluable support of stakeholders, partners and contributors who include: Canada Wood Group, Government of Canada – Natural Resources Canada, Province of British Columbia, Province of Alberta and Canadian forestry companies including: Ainsworth Engineered; Ardew Wood Products Ltd.; AP Group; Canadian Forest Products Ltd.; Hampton Affiliates; International Forest Products Ltd.; Sinclar Group Forest Products Ltd.; Taiga Building Products; Teal Jones Group; TimberWest Forest Corp.; Western Forest Products Inc.; and Interex Forest Products Ltd. representing Carrier Lumber Ltd., Dunkley Lumber Ltd., Millar Western Forest Industries Ltd. and Sundance Forest Industries Ltd.
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