Revitalize the Fishing Industry in Northeast Japan

by Peace Winds America
Jun 20, 2013

Another story from PWA - Restoring Tohoku fishing industry little by little

What a great smile!  Thank you for your support!
What a great smile! Thank you for your support!

“I can’t thank you enough.  Whenever I see my truck, I say, ‘Thank You, Peace Winds America,’ in my head.  I didn’t think I’d be able to receive support for the truck.” said Katsuo Saito.  His eyes are filled with tears.  He is a recipient of PWA’s Small Business Support program, which aims to encourage faster recovery of small business owners’ livelihoods by providing small subsidies to purchase equipment that was lost to the 2011 tsunami. 

Saito-san repairs motors for winches installed on deep-sea fishing vessels.

The tsunami destroyed his workshop, but luckily, only the first floor of the house was damaged.  It is one of the few surviving houses in his neighborhood in Kesennuma.  Saito-san’s family lived upstairs while mudding out and repairing the workshop and the first floor of the house.  His son, Shuichi, works with him. It’s a real small family business.

Until the subsidy from PWA enabled him to purchase a used truck with a crane to lift heavy winch motors, Mr. Saito had to arrange a rental truck whenever he received a repair order.  “It was just time consuming and costly to do so, and sometimes we had to turn down orders because we couldn’t arrange a rental truck in time. Now I have been working much more efficiently and being more productive.”

Deep-sea fishing is a major industry in Kesennuma. Many vessels chase wild Tuna as far as South America for as long as 18 months at a time.  They carry around 20 fishermen and crew onboard.

Saito-san plays an important role in this critical maritime industry.  “There are only three engineers who can repair these motors in Kesennuma.  We have been extremely busy but, we were not able to repair as many vessels because we lost our truck.  The average motor weighs about 600kg, so it was impossible to carry on our own.”

Saito-san still has a long way to go to rebuild his business.  His house and workshop are located in an area scheduled to be raised by 3 meters.  He will need to move.  “I need to find land where I can rebuild my workshop, but land prices have gone up and it is hard to find available and reasonably priced land in the area.” 

In order for Saito-san to be able to think about his future, he needed a truck.  A truck with a crane so he could support the many deep-sea vessels in the area and a truck which helps his livelihood.  PWA knows how to maximize your donations to provide a long lasting impact in the area’s industry. 

Tohoku is slowly recovering and we are very happy to support a small business owner like Saito-san who has been working for over 40 years helping deep-sea fishermen in the Tohoku region.  In our view, Saito-san is a very important person to help recover livelihood of so many deep sea fishermen and PWA couldn't be happier to be able to help him.

Thank you very much for your generous support!

 Mari Poorman

Father and Son.  It
Father and Son. It's a family business!
This crane can lift a motor weighs over 2t!
This crane can lift a motor weighs over 2t!



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Peace Winds America

Location: Seattle, WA - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Jon Ehrenfeld
Seattle, WA United States

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