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The opening of the “Ship of Hope” website

Masamichi Kitani 

Chairman of the Executive Committee of Go-supporting Ofunato City

Go-supporting Ofunato City and the Ship of Hope website

To assist in the recovery of Ofunato City in Iwate Prefecture, a region of Japan that was devastated by the great earthquake disaster of 2011, we have been involved in promoting the town as “Go-supporting Ofunato City.”
In February 2014, people involved in various fields such as disaster prevention, Go, music, support for people with disabilities, and international exchange all came together and formed the Go Festival Executive Committee on the Goishi Coast. To date, we have successfully held six Go Festivals and two Go title tournaments (a Kisei Go competition and a Honinbo contest).
In September of this year, we plan to hold the 7th Go Festival: The World Go Arts Culture Festival and the 45th Masters Battle. As part of our efforts, we set up the Ship of Hope website.

Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and the Corona Liaison Group

In December 2019 there was an outbreak of novel coronavirus disease in the City of Wuhan in China, which rapidly spread around the world. We were overtaken by a global pandemic, the kind that only comes about once in a hundred years.
Japan responded to this threat with measures to suppress the rapid spread of the virus and a possible collapse of the medical system. Public behavior to avoid the “3 Cs” (Confined environments, Crowds, and Contact between people) began in earnest.
On March 2, a group of 62 people, including myself, Shiro Asano (Distinguished Visiting Professor, Kanagawa University), Itsuki Nakabayashi (Professor Emeritus, Tokyo Metropolitan University) and Shunji Mikami (Professor Emeritus, Toyo University) issued a joint statement calling for the establishment of the Corona Liaison Group (a group of people from various fields united to bring an end to the novel coronavirus).

The Zoom-based Miracle TV channel and the Ship of Hope website

In preparation for a long, drawn-out battle with the novel coronavirus, we decided to set up an interactive online TV utilizing the ZOOM video-conferencing system. I think that this is the first time for Zoom to be trialed in the role of a TV station. The Miracle TV channel will be run if it turns out that we can’t hold the World Go Arts Culture Festival locally in Ofunato City. We are working together with Miracle TV, the Ship of Hope website, YouTube and YouStream to bring together people in Ofunato City, all over Japan and all around the world. Together, let’s transform the sense of crisis into one of hope!

March 30, 2020