Early childhood and schools

OECD-Tohoku School


The devastating March 2011 Tsunami and Great East Japan earthquake led to a massive loss of lives, destroying many homes, schools and livelihoods in the Tohoku region of Japan. OECD Secretary General, Angel Gurria, visited Japan shortly after the disaster to express the OECD’s commitment to supporting Japan’s recovery and reconstruction efforts.


The OECD Tohoku School was created in 2012 out of joint efforts by the Japanese Ministry for Education, Fukushima University and other local stakeholders, supported by the OECD.


The aim of the project was to help junior and high school students in the Tohoku area to overcome their losses through projects that both supported the region’s recovery and helped them to develop valuable competencies and skills, as well as resilience for the future.



Tohoku School Cherry Tree Planting Ceremony - 2 September 2014

OECD Château La Muette Gardens

See the photos from the event on Flickr 




Speech by Rina Matsumoto
Student Sakura team leader from Fukushima

Opening remarks by Angel Gurria
Secretary-General of the OECD

Blog: Sowing the seeds of education reform



Tohoku’s students invite the whole world to celebrate

“Tohoku - Wa, la renaissance”

on 30-31 August 2014 at the Champ-de-Mars in Paris

See the photos from the event on Flickr 






with Japanese popular singer Miwa performing the theme song of the Tohoku school  

Saturday, August 30, 2014 10:55 CET


  Tohoku Brochure  


At the Champs de Mars, 100 Japanese students who were victims of the tsunami will share the outcomes of the locally-developed projects that they designed in co-operation with their teachers, schools, industries and communities of their regions. The students wish to communicate a message to the world, i.e. they are learning to stand on their own feet, not asking the world to pity them. Thus, the students took initiatives to engage themselves in fund-raising to cover the costs of the exhibition of their projects, travel costs, etc.


The exhibitions include personal stories of 100 students, revived Tohoku culture (e.g. Tohoku Deer Dance) performed by students, dominos representing the tsunami, balloons showing the height of the tsunami, etc.


An official ceremony will take place at the OECD Headquarters on September 2, when the OECD Secretary General and Mr. Kazuo Kodama, the permanent ambassador of Japan to the OECD, will plant a cherry tree to commemorate the event.



The OECD-Tohoku School Project: Moving forward together
Interview with Kohei Oyama and Yoko Tsurimaki, students of the OECD-Tohoku School Project - 23 May 2014

  • During a break from the OECD Forum, two students (11th grade and 12th grade) from the OECD-Tohoku School Project shared their learning experiences with Cassandra Davis and Meredith Lunsford of educationtoday.

The OECD-Tohoku School Address

  • Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, Iwaki City, 7 April 2014 

Brochure - OECD Tohoku School 2012 March 2014 August - Overcoming the Earthquake Disaster, Toward Creation of New Education (Education Recovery Project commissioned by MEXT)


Video messages from the launch of the
OECD-Tohoku School on 26 March 2012




Mr. Motohide Yoshikawa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative, Permanent Delegation of Japan to the OECD


Mr. Angel Gurría, Secretary General, OECD


Dr. Barbara Ischinger, former Director for Education and Skills, OECD 


Mr. Christian Masset, Ambassador of France to Japan 


Japanese students from the Japanese School in Paris, France


A snapshot of the activities of the First Workshop of the OECD Tohoku School (in Japanese)

Footnote: Edited by Mr Taisei Nagi and filmed by Mr Yamada (TV-man Union)







OECD launches creative education project to help revitalise Japan's Tohoku region


26/03/2012 - The OECD has launched an initiative with the Japanese Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Fukushima University and local schools for students in the Tohoku region to create and organise an event that will showcase the country’s recovery from the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake

Launch event: Intensive Workshop #1, 26-30 March 2012, Iwaki, Japan


Launch event: Intensive Workshop #2, 31 July-4 August 2012, Iwaki, Japan



Upcoming events

  • Intensive Workshop #3, March 2013, Japan
  • Intensive Workshop #4, August 2013, Japan
  • Intensive Workshop #5, March 2014, Japan
  • Event to promote Tohoku/Japan, September 2014 (tentative), Paris, France

Background and context

Advisory Board members

Empowerment partners

  • List of Empowerment Partners of the OECD-Tohoku School

Collaborating organisations

Related links


  • Ms. Miho Taguma (Senior Policy Analyst)
    Early Childhood and Schools Division
    2 rue André-Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16, France
    Tel. (33 1) 45 24 92 65
    Fax (33 1) 44 30 62 20
  • Ms. Kelly Makowiecki (Assistant)
    Early Childhood and Schools Division
    2 rue André-Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16, France
    Tel. (33 1) 45 24 80 71
    Fax (33 1) 44 30 62 20




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