Post-earthquake Relief Issues Focus of Executive Council Meeting

The 3rd Executive Council meeting of the 2010-11 General Assembly was held July 4-5, with all council members in attendance. Following the suggestion proposed at the previous meeting by council member Kita Kiyoshi, the meeting began with a brief worship service led by Kita, in which he gave a short sermon. There is no record of any previous Executive Council meeting beginning with such a worship service, so this was probably the first time.

Moderator Ishibashi Hideo began the proceedings with greetings to “set the stage,” reporting on the visitations to each district assembly by one of the four Executive Council officers. He also reported on the efforts of each district to help with the relief operations surrounding the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and announced that the moderators of each of the 17 districts would gather sometime in November for a special meeting.

After each committee gave its respective report, Vice-moderator Okamoto Tomoyuki gave a short presentation entitled, “Evaluation of the Present Situation Surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.” He gave examples of the radiation pollution and its effects, sounding the alarm, as it were, and providing a basis for deliberation on the issues the Kyodan needs to address concerning this.

The evening session of the first day and the morning session of the second were spent discussing the reports of the Disaster Relief Planning Committee and the Disaster Relief Planning Headquarters. As an initial response to the disaster, the Disaster Relief Planning Committee was established the following day, March 12, and the operational headquarters of the effort was established following the decision of the special Executive Council meeting held on April 18. The report covered the specific activities of the operational headquarters and the decisions made.

Moderator Ishibashi Hideo has served as the head of the Disaster Relief Planning Headquarters, and along with the other members and the related executive secretary, he reported on the policies being followed concerning the relief operations and what the future plans are. First, budgets for the reconstruction and repairs needed for the affected churches are to be calculated, and then an equitable system of fundraising is to be implemented.

The moderators from the three districts that were severely affected each gave a report on the issues being faced and the needs that exist. Ou District indicated that it decided not to establish a support center per se in the district but instead to deal with support issues via the district management committee and the district emergency support committee. Tohoku District made the following request: “We would like to work with the Kyodan to have a coordinated response from both the national and district levels. When it came to the issue of relief support for Haramachi Church and Haramachi Seiai Nursery School, there was disagreement within the district because there was no time for the development of a coordinated understanding. While gratitude for the relief support was, of course, expressed, the lack of coordination was a problem.” Similarly, Kanto District requested that basic policies be put into place as to how to deal with the radiation problems and, likewise, that guidelines be established for support to be given to Asian Rural Institute and also the rebuilding of facilities related to local churches.

Based on these requests, a section concerning “response to radiation pollution” was added to the basic policies, and specific goals for relief contributions based on the realities of each district were instituted.

With respect to fundraising, a nationwide goal of 1 billion yen ($13 million) was established. There was no opposition to this plan and, in fact quite the opposite, as numerous participants expressed their strong intent to see the goal accomplished. In response to the question as to whether the direct support already being made by individual districts should be included in this amount, Moderator Ishibashi stated that he “strongly desired” that such relief support be included in those figures.

As to the relationship between the Executive Council and the Disaster Relief Planning Headquarters, the explanation given was that the Executive Council would deliberate on and then make decisions concerning the broad outlines of relief support and other important items, including any adjustments to the basic policies. As to what specific measures would be taken to implement basic policies, those would be determined and carried out by the Disaster Relief Planning Headquarters. These actions would all be reported on to the Executive Committee or the Executive Council as a whole for acknowledgement.

All of these agenda items were dealt with and passed.
(Tr. TB)
—Kato Makoto, executive secretary

 

第37総会期  第3回常議員会報告

第37総会期第3回常議員会が、7月4~5日、全常議員の出席を得て開催された。前回常議員会での北紀吉常議員の提案が容れられ、会議冒頭、同常議 員の司式・説教で短い礼拝が持たれた。礼拝によって常議員会が始められた記録は過去になく、恐らく初めてのことである。
石橋秀雄議長は、「議事に先立っての挨 拶」として、各教区総会に4役による問案が行なわれた事を報告した。続いて、各教区で東日本大震災への懸命な支援が行なわれている今、 11月頃に17教区議長会議を開催したい、と述べた。
各部報告の後、「福島第一原発の現状と評価」と題して、岡本知之副議長による小講演があった。放射能汚 染の状況と被害の現実とを、詳細な資料を上げて例証し、警鐘を鳴らすと共に、教団として取り組むべき課題について議論する上での土台を提 供した。
「救援対策委員会報告の件」と「救援対策本部報告の件」とは併せて上程され、第一日目夜から二日目午前 まで審議された。初動対応のため地震発生翌日3月12日に設置された救援対策委員会の活動、また4月18日の臨時常議員会で設置を承認し た救援対策本部の活動および決定事項が報告された。
救援対策本部長である石橋秀雄議長はじめ本部委員、担当幹事から、救援の基本方針・支援活動および企画 についての説明と報告がなされた。基本方針については、各教会の建物被害状況について数値化作業に取り組み、それに基づいて募金からの配 分額が決定されると説明された。
被害甚大な3教区の議長より現状報告および要望が述べられた。奥羽教区からはサポートセンター等を教区 内に設置せず、常置委員会と教区緊急支援委員会で受け止めるとの表明があった。東北教区からは「原町教会・原町聖愛保育園支援を巡り、被 災支援の感謝と共に、教区で充分な説明と理解を求めるいとまのなかった緊急支援で、教区内に意見の相違が生じた。教区と教団の一体となっ た支援のあり方の工夫を」との要望がなされた。関東教区からは放射能事故への対応について基本方針へ盛り込むこと、アジア学院への支援、 教会付属施設の建物再建支援の指針明確化の要望がなされた。
これらの要望をふまえて、基本方針に「放射能汚染に対する対応」を加えること、また具体的支援の形態は 各教区の実情に応じてなされることが確認された。
募金については、国内目標額10億円が提示された。実施に対する反対意見はなく、むしろ達成への強い決 意が複数表明された。「各教区間で行なわれている支援も当募金に入るのか」との質問に対し、石橋議長は「各教区等でなされている支援も本 募金に含まれることを強く希望する」と答弁した。
常議員会と救援対策本部との関係理解については、三役より「常議員会においては支援の大綱、基本方針お よびその変更、その他重要な事項については審議し決定する。基本方針の具体化のための施策については救援対策本部で決定し、実行する。た だし行なった事柄の全ては常任常議員会および常議員会で報告し承認を受ける」との説明がなされ、了承された。
議案となっていた各事項はいずれも可決された。加藤誠幹事