In northeast Japan, the area devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, many people still live in temporary housing and continue to struggle with difficulties. Among these is lack of access to information and a shortage of copiers to prepare documents needed to qualify for aid. Among the ways Ricoh is helping the survivors is a “Community Caravan Printout Service” consisting of vehicles equipped with computers and MFPs that make regular rounds to distribute announcements from local governments and help residents make copies of essential documents such as disaster victim certificates. The Tohoku Reconstruction Support Office, which was established within Ricoh’s CSR division on June 1, began offering this service in one area of northeastern Japan. It is now operating in three parts of the region.
Another effort is the Save the Memory Project. Started in August by the New Business Development Center of Ricoh, this initiative involves retrieving and cleaning photographs damaged by the tsunami. The photos are then scanned on an MFP and stored on Ricoh’s cloud service, “quanp.” Community organizations are then able to search for images and return the originals to their owners, while the digital versions can be viewed on a website at any time via mobile phone or computer. So far, more than 30,000 photos have been washed and the process of returning originals to owners has begun. Not only are these projects consistent with Ricoh’s philosophy of contributing to society through the interface of people and information, they have also given us ideas for potential new businesses