TOKYO, Jun 17 – Odaka Worker’s Base, an enterprise that creates small business opportunities to support recovery in the town of Odaka in Fukushima Prefecture, today held a ceremony to mark the start of production at its “HARIO Lampwork Factory,” located in the town.
HARIO Lampwork Factory produces high-quality glass accessories. The launch of this operation was made possible through financial support in the form of 3.5 million yen in loans from the Abukuma Shinkin Bank, a local credit union, and an additional 3 million yen from the Mitsubishi Corporation Disaster Relief Foundation (MCDRF).
Glass accessories created by HARIO Lampwork Factory will be sold at the company’s main store located in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district and online. Going forward, Odaka Worker’s Base will be taking steps to improve the skills and capacity of HARIO Lampwork Factory’s glassblowers as it seeks to develop an even more unique and highly valued brand of accessories.
This, it hopes, will not only be a major market success, but also make the enterprise a key source for the creation of employment in Odaka. The town of Odaka is located in the zone evacuated in the wake of the nuclear plant accident that resulted from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011.
Odaka Worker’s Base was established in November of 2014 with the aim of supporting post-disaster recovery in the town, particularly in anticipation of the need to revive business and community infrastructure and other urgent daily life and work essentials following the eventual lifting of evacuation orders.
The enterprise initially opened and managed a local restaurant and super market and offered coworking space for rental. MCDRF and Abukuma Shinkin Bank sees its support to Odaka Worker’s Base as part of larger social contribution initiatives aimed at stimulating the recovery of economic activity and employment generation in areas affected by the disaster such as Odaka.
Many Odaka residents are looking forward to returning home following the lifting of the evacuation, however, many hurdles, including an unstable employment situation in the town, await them. It is in this context that MCDRF and Abukuma Shinkin Bank have affirmed their commitment to supporting Odaka Worker’s Base in its endeavors to contribute to revitalization in the region.