JF Kyosuiren (National Mutual Insurance Federation of Fishery Co-Operatives), a member of ICMIF in Japan, is a federation of about 900 Japan Fisheries Cooperative Associations (known as JF) and other members that conduct mutual insurance business together with JF for fishermen (members) in Japan. JF Kyosuiren is the sole national federation that provides Kyosai (the name for cooperative insurance in Japan) services for members of these Japan Fisheries Cooperatives (JFs) who are working in the fishing sector in Japan, a country that is surrounded by the sea and one of the major fishing countries in the world.
JF Kyosuiren commemorated the 70th anniversary of the founding of JF Kyosai in 2021 with the publication of the first issue of Voice of Life. The publication is a safety information booklet on the topic of how fishermen can help each other. It provides people living in fishing communities and fishermen all over Japan with experiences and lessons learned from fishermen who experienced various large-scale disasters that have occurred in the past.
The first issue features the Great East Japan Earthquake and marks the 10th anniversary of its occurrence. In this first edition of Voice of Life, the editorial department of JF Kyosuiren reports on how fishermen and JF staff who experienced the earthquake and tsunami took evacuation measures to protect lives. For example, when fishing boats are in an environment that allows them to go out to sea immediately, the advice in the booklet is that they should: head for deeper waters as fast as possible; consider a course for evacuation at sea on a daily basis; steering the boat straight toward the tsunami; and the most important thing is life before the boat.
The introduction of the first issue of Voice of Life was provided by Masaomi Fukuhara, former President of JF Kyosuiren. He states that we cannot stop disasters from occurring but provides the message that “by delivering these ‘voices’ based on our experience, we strongly hope that the ‘lives’ of fishermen, their families, and local residents will be protected.”
Please read Voice of Life on the JF Kyosuiren website (in Japanese) here.