As companies and small businesses in Japan’s Tohoku region still try to recover from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters, Sony Corp. has begun lending its unused buildings in Miyagi Prefecture to give them a place to rebuild. Located in Tagajo, Miyagi Prefecture, Sony’s Sendai Technology Center has been re-dubbed the Miyagi Reconstruction Park.
The seven buildings making up the technology center used to serve as production factories, but now go unused due to Sony’s desperate financial troubles and rapid restructuring. Making up a total floor space of 40,000 square meters, the building are now on loan, free of charge, to disaster-hit companies for the next 10 years. Among those that have begun using the space include a printing firm that saw its local factory swept away by tsunami waves, a parts manufacturer, and a developer that focuses on hydroponic equipment.
Even larger companies and institutions are using the space with the intent of benefiting the recovering region. Tohoku University and a local unit of Toyota Motor Corp. are working on small electric vehicles that could drive themselves in an emergency, as well as corresponding technology that would reduce the chance of traffic jams. Ryoji Chubachi, a Sony Vice Chairman and native of Miyagi Prefecture who worked for more than 10 years at the Sendai Technology Center, says that he hopes the unused buildings can become a space used for reconstruction and innovation.
[via Jiji Press]
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