Together with Iwate and its People Toward a new regional revitalization model

Etsuko Sugawara
Director, Organization of Revitalization for Sanriku Region and Regional Development Vice President/Executive Director for Revitalization, Regional Development and Gender Equality

Etsuko Sugawara

Iwate University launched the Organization for the Revitalization of the Sanriku Region as a campus-wide organization under the slogan, “All of Iwate’s Power United for the Reconstruction and Revival of Iwate” after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Although much of the university has since been engaged in the restoration and reconstruction work of the damaged Sanriku coastal region, complete reconstruction is a long way ahead.

In addition, although five years have passed, local governments in the Sanriku region and other parts of Iwate face a number of problems. These include a rapid population decrease and the decline of industry as a result of globalization. In response to these challenges, Iwate University combined the “Organization for Regional Cooperation,” whose aim was the dissemination of education and research achievements and intellectual assets to local communities to create a hub of knowledge, and the “Organization for the Revitalization of the Sanriku Region,” whose aim was the restoration and reconstruction of the Sanriku Region. In April 2016 this newly created organization became the “Organization of Revitalization for Sanriku Region and Regional Development.”

The “Organization of Revitalization for Sanriku Region and Regional Development” consists of two divisions. The Practical Division is for local regeneration, human resource development, and growth of livelihoods. The Education and Research Division aims to reinforce education and research through utilization of characteristics of the local areas. Each division responds to local needs, and the results are reflected in the education and research of the students in the Advanced Regional Revitalization program of the Iwate University Graduate School. Furthermore, in order to realize the revitalization of town, people and employment within a sustainable regional society, the university plans to promote the training of people who are leading regional developmental efforts. It will also continue to emphasize relevant education, research and social contributions.

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