Dr.Teruo Higa’s
Living A Dream

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#82: The Annual 18th EM Technology Exchange Meeting and Tohoku Conference in Shichigahama

Last month, March 15th, 2014, the annual 18th EM Technology exchange meeting and Tohoku Conference was held at the International Village of Shichigahama town in Miyagi Prefecture. There were over 600 participants, in the venue of 500 seats, and it was a great success. Shichigahama town has been actively using EM in agriculture and fisheries, and people in the town have implemented EM application in environmental cleanup and Nature Farming as part of town policy.
 
If things had continued as they were, it was expected that the town would be the leading EM model town in Miyagi prefecture. However, the coastal area experienced devastating damage from the tsunami of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11th, 2011. To hold the National EM Technology exchange meeting in this place required great determination, and I would like to again thank every one of the participants, especially Mr. Takahiro Aizawa, the head of the Tohoku EM outreach association, who worked so hard to prepare for the meeting.
 
The theme of this convention is “Rebuilding a new, rewarding Tohoku for the children of the future”.  There are many great cases of EM application in each of the other Tohoku prefectures as well--Aomori, Akita and Yamagata. This time we compiled a case study collection on the use of EM Technology that shows how useful and effective EM is in reconstruction and dealing with natural disaster in the affected areas.
 
The case study collection of the previous, 17th conference, showed the expansion of EM applications throughout Hokkaido, and what could be called the culmination of its technological evolution. I introduced it to you as a “ Ready-to-use handbook.” The 18th conference case study collection includes historically prime data for measures to deal with natural disaster. I highly recommend you to get more than one copy if there are extra copies available, and I hope that later generations will utilize the valuable information contained therein.
 
1. Using the Full Power of EM in the Affected Area of Ishinomaki
 
The presenter was Mr. Ryoichi Oikawa of EM Eco Club. This activity is a good example of the miraculous power exerted when there are people in the affected area who are well acquainted with EM and who are using EM on a daily basis to create connections with outside EM users in order to work together with them. The effects of EM are already evident, but in a situation like this, with damage on an unimaginable scale, even though we know we will be able to deal with the situation if we have a large amount of EM, it is impossible to obtain EM itself in a situation where everything was swept away.
 
Fortunately, in the adjacent city of Osaki, there is the Tohoku district promotion office of the International Nature Farming Research Center NPO, as well as the Tohoku EM outreach association; in addition, the Osaki EM support center was launched right after the earthquake. EM volunteer organizations, like U-net (United Networks for Earth Environment) and the EM support center, first confirmed that all EM stakeholders were safe, then began consultations on what preparations were needed to provide EM locally, and provided specific assistance.
 
This group basically pays its own lunch allowances and transportation expenses, and distributes locally EM in as large amounts as possible, producing a large amount of Activated EM in the field. In Ishinomaki, which is the area most affected by the tsunami, Mr. Oikawa, a local EM leader, and many other people who have been using EM on a daily basis, survived the disaster. They worked selflessly on a variety of health measures, including removing foul odors, and solved many problems that seemed intractable.
 
This series of activities is summarized in the case studies collection, and this information will serve as a handbook for dealing with health and environmental issues in future disasters. The power of EM does not end with spraying it like a chemical. Its activity is rooted in community, depending on exchanges with people in other regions and environmental education in schools, and strengthens the cooperative attitude of people in the region.
 
The power of EM shown in Ishinomaki this time has not only become a model for the future, but also functions as a social asset essential to the region, including crisis management in the region. This activity of Mr. Oikawa’s has spread to neighboring municipalities near Ishinomaki, and gives great hope to the children of the future.
 

Caption: Mr. Oikawa (center) and volunteers
 
2. Understanding the Merit of EM through the Earthquake Damage and Using
Nature Farming to Overcome Salt Damage in Rice Paddies
 
The presenters are Ms. Mariko Chiba and Mr. Yoshiki Saito from Ishinomaki Environment Network, NPO. Ishinomaki Environment Network was established in 2005 and they have a definite track record of engaging in various environmental activities using EM. Although Ms. Chiba was a complete amateur in the field of agriculture, with the cooperation of Mr. Saito and Mr. Miura and his wife, who are pioneers in utilizing EM, she took on the challenge of doing EM Nature Farming by herself at a rice paddy field that had suffered salt damage in the tsunami, a paddy that was lent out to others until now.
 
As the saying goes that there is nothing as frightening as an amateur, she harvested high-quality rice from the first year, and on top of that had a great harvest of 9 bales per 10a . It is said that it takes professional Nature Farming farmers about 10 years to reach 7 bales, and the only thing that accounts for this is that the sludge and salt that inundated the field during the tsunami became quality fertilizer.
 
If you put in a lot of organic matter (2-4t per 10a) and keep using Activated EM thoroughly, then it will be possible to harvest even 15 bales or more in the future. The most important thing in the successful outcome this time is the good news that by using EM, rice water weevil bugs and stink bugs have decreased significantly.
 
For stink bug measures, you will get significant results when you spray, from the ripening stage, undiluted Activated EM solution once every 7 to 10 days, as much as a 50L per 10a ratio. This method also has the effect of lodging prevention, promoting ripening, improving quality, and also promoting the decomposition of rice straw after harvest. I hope they will use EM even more thoroughly. In addition, on page 33 in this collection of case studies, there are details about Suzuki Organic Farm in Sendai city, Miyagi prefecture, a farm I have introduced a number of times already. In the near future, it is assumed that there will be salt damage by tsunami in various places, and we should not forget how important it is to use the EM farming method now as a measure to deal with this damage.
 

Caption: Ms. Chiba (right) and Mr. Saito, in front of the activation tank
 
 
3. EM Mud Balls ①② that Played a Role in Reviving Seaweed in Jusanhama
 
 
Caption: Volunteers and fisheries cooperatives member Mr. Sato (fifth from right foreground) and Ms. Nakamura (third from the right in the foreground), who made the EM mud balls together.
 
Presenter of ① is Mr. Seigo Sato, Miyagi Fisheries Cooperative north Jusanhama Branch. The presenter for ② is a dentist, Ms. Yumiko Nakamura of the Nakamura Dental Clinic. Mr. Sato was introduced to Ms. Nakamura when she was engaged in volunteer activities in Ishinomaki city and Kitakami town. Then she started to be involved in reconstruction assistance of seaweed farming in the Jusanhama district. After reading this case study, we get a strong sense of the mysterious power EM has to bring about connections between people. Because Mr. Sato, who at first did not know about EM, understood and accepted the EM support activities Ms. Nakamura was confidently involved in, miraculous achievements were achieved.
 
These results give hope for the future, but equally significantly have brought about meaningful encounters with many people outside the region. As far as the restoration of the ocean is concerned, EM has been used to revive Mikawa Bay in Aichi prefecture, and has miraculously rejuvenated Tokyo Bay. Furthermore, fisheries and aquaculture in the coastal areas, including Kesennuma, where a large amount of EM was used in environmental cleanup, have seen unprecedented results.
 
Hoshi seaweed shop in Shichigahama town had confirmed the results of using EM before the disaster (see page 38 of the case studies collection). Piecing together many such success stories, we can see a vision of the future of coastal fisheries and aquaculture in the Tohoku area.
 
 
 
4. A Russian View of EM Volunteer Activities After the Earthquake Disaster and EM Activities in Russia
 
The presenter was Mr. Ivan Yugov, Russian Maritime Province EM center. More than ten years ago, I was asked for guidance by Mr. Wadamori in Fukui prefecture because he wanted to spread Nature Farming in Vladivostok and I was introduced then to Mr. Yugov as an interpreter. Since then, Mr. Yugov interpreted for all EM activities in the Russian Maritime Province. As a result, he has become full of the EM spirit, and has become an expert in EM Technology. In order to spread EM Technology throughout Russia, he gathered various EM experts in Russia, and translated my book An Earth-Saving Revolution into Russian. This was the start of the widespread use of EM in Russia.
 
He also did interpretation during joint research with Belarus, and actively helped in the spread of EM in Russia and Belarus. He helped resolve a variety of environmental pollution problems in the Maritime Province using EM, and has held an international conference on EM several times.
 
Through the sponsorship of the Osaki EM Support Center, in September 2011, Mr. Yugov was able to be an EM volunteer for four days, and reconfirm the integrated corporate strength and power of EM. Since then he has introduced innovative and diverse EM activities in the Maritime Province, as well as ground-breaking case studies.
The results from these can be a great model for Japan, too. Last year the Amur district suffered extensive flooding, and he was able to put his volunteer experience in the earthquake-affected region to good use.
 

Caption: Osaki EM Support Center
 
 
5. Overall Reconstruction Assistance Activities in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures
 
The presenter was Mr. Yasushi Nishibuchi from the EM Research Organization. His presentation was about how all EM groups teamed up and assisted the reconstruction of the affected areas utilizing EM. He gave further detailed reports about Suzuki Organic Farm and Hoshi seaweed shop that I mentioned before. The major point was the radioactivity contamination measures in Fukushima as EM continues to be used in relief activities.
 
The results have already been presented at the Environmental Forum in Fukushima twice in the past, and various information has been sent out to the public about how to protect your health and about the radioactive contamination measures using EM. However, by law the only public radioactivity contamination measures that can be officially budgeted are those recognized by the national government, and these are the only ones the media will cover.
 
The appropriate departments of the government are well aware of information about EM, but once opposing views get out, these departments immediately pull back.
Therefore, until the government recognizes EM, decontamination using EM must patiently proceed through the efforts of volunteers. The system is falling into place.
 
 
Caption: Paddy field test in Minamisoma city
 
Concluding Remarks
 
There were many other things to note about this conference. Ms. Hinako Takahashi, Secretary-General of the bipartisan group of lawmakers, the Effective Microorganisms Utilization Alliance, which started on December 3rd last year, and Mr. Kunihiko Muroi, who took over after Mr. Tsurunen as Secretary-General of the Diet Members Organic Farming Alliance, both participated in the conference. Ms. Takahashi gave a welcoming speech at the conference, and Mr. Muroi gave a speech at the fellowship party, and the next day, at the General Assembly of the National Association of EM Promotion, he reviewed the Organic Farming Promotion Law and explained its future prospects, five years after it was put into effect.
 
These parliamentary alliances are like two wheels, with the Diet as the axle, that will help EM become a more accepted part of society. We plan to work closely in the future with both alliances and expand EM activities even more, so EM will become a great national asset.
 
Finally, I visited the affected areas of Shichigahama town in the morning before the conference started and I heard a detailed description of EM efforts in Shichigahama town. There is considerable potential there, and with strong administrative backup I have great expectations that the Tohoku region will achieve a future in which agriculture, fisheries, and people’s health are all interconnected.
 
I would like to take the opportunity of this conference to support these efforts even more proactively, so that Shichigahama town will serve as a model of post-earthquake reconstruction in Tohoku.
 
Courtesy of Ecopure

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