Since the disaster, North Rhine-Westphalia and Fukushima Prefecture have established a close partnership.
A German-Japanese partnership is entering its tenth year: Since the devastating disaster in northeast Japan in March 2011, NRW and Fukushima have been in a close contact – from civil society initiatives to political and economic cooperation.
The first contacts to Fukushima were made at that time by NRW Japan K.K. (now NRW.Global Business Japan), and a little later the Öko-Zentrum NRW from Hamm offered its help in developing a community center for refugees in the city of Koriyama, which was built using sustainable passive house construction methods.
The switch to renewable energies was a particular focus in the years following the crisis. In 2014, North Rhine-Westphalia assured the Fukushima Prefecture of its support for the energy transition. The NRW Environment Ministry, the EnergyAgency.NRW and NRW.Global Business are involved in this collaborative effort.
NRW and Fukushima are also in close exchange in the field of medical technology. For example, the University of Duisburg-Essen and Essen University Hospital are working together with the Southern Tohoku Hospital in Koriyama to improve the treatment of patients with cancer.
In addition, NRW.Global Business has been supporting North Rhine-Westphalian companies in economic and scientific exchange with Japan for years. This includes trade fair appearances in the fields of medical technology and renewable energies, entrepreneur trips and numerous cooperation events, which are held digitally in times of Corona.