Japanese bread company goes above and beyond during the disaster, feeding people and keeping their spirits up at the same time.

On 1 January, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture, destroying roads and houses and cutting off supplies of water and electricity, leaving more than 30,000 people in evacuation centres.

As emergency response teams gathered to provide assistance in the area, one company joined the relief efforts in a hands-on way, earning the respect of people not only in the affected region but right across the nation.

The company that pitched in was Yamazaki Baking (or “Yamazaki Pan”), Japan’s premier bread manufacturer and the world’s largest bread-baking corporation. Aside from being beloved for its baked goods, Yamazaki has been winning hearts for going above and beyond in disaster relief situations, distributing food to afflicted regions after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake, as well as during blizzards in 2014 and flooding in 2021.

 ▼ Yamazaki products range from savoury lunch packs through to sweet pies.

So when the company heard about the earthquake on New Year’s Day, they immediately arranged for a delivery of Yamazaki products to be sent to Ishikawa. While the first three days of the year are meant to be the one official annual holiday period for the company and its employees, it sprang to work, delivering trays upon trays of products to a designated drop-off point in the prefecture.

▼ The moment of delivery was captured in this video, posted on Ishikawa Prefecture’s official Twitter account.

The tweet was retweeted by Japanese politician and Ground Self-Defense Forces officer Masahisa Sato, who also goes by the nickname “Captain Beard”, with the following message:

“Thank you, Yamazaki Pan, for your continued support during times of disaster. The products can be delivered to evacuation centres and the like.”

The original video has been viewed over 18 million times in just a couple of days, with people leaving comments like:

“I’ve become a fan of Yamazaki due to their immediate relief efforts.”
“Yamazaki is more useful than politicians in these situations.”
“I’m so impressed by the company’s attitude and efforts during disasters.
“At the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, I was indebted to Yamazaki Pan for their much-needed assistance. During times of disaster, familiar items like this can make a world of difference.”
“Private companies always have to balance the pursuit of profit with the public interest, so I don’t care if this type of thing helps to promote them — it’s truly exemplary behaviour.”
“This makes me want to buy Yamazaki bread so I can help them cover the costs of delivering products to disaster-stricken areas.”
“It takes time for individual donations to reach the people in disaster areas, but large companies can be relied upon to directly deliver the food they need right away, so I always support them.”

With Yamazaki owning their own fleet of trucks and operating out of factories around the country, they’re well placed to act quickly in times of disaster. Here’s hoping their emergency efforts continue long into the future, because when disaster strikes, something as ordinary as a pack of bread or a lunch pack can do more to lift the spirits than emergency rations.

Source: Twitter/@motto_ishikawa via Hachima Kikou
Featured image: Twitter/@motto_ishikawa

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