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The Japanese Foreign Ministry on the 10-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake

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The Japanese ambassador to Greece, Nakayama Yasunori, has shared a statement by Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu on the ten-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. On March 11, 2011, the world witnessed one of the most powerful earthquakes in recent history. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused the deaths of over twenty thousand people and the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

“After a decade from the unprecedented disaster, thanks to the warm support for the reconstruction of Japan extended from all over the world, the affected areas have been recovering steadily” wrote the ambassador. The importance of the international factor in the immediate aftermath of the disaster was also stressed by the foreign minister who wrote “Since the immediate aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan received countless support and messages of encouragement from countries all over the world. In addition to donations from many countries and regions, people from across the globe came to the affected areas to help search for missing people and support those who were in need.” Motegi emphasised his gratitude and said that “I would like to reiterate my heartfelt appreciation to everyone in all the countries and regions.”

However, the statements also looked beyond the past and into the future and stressed the importance of action. The ambassador stressed that Japan is ready to apply the experience and insight it gained from the disaster to help promote disaster risk reduction internationally.

“In recent years, natural disasters have become more intense, with extreme weather events becoming more frequent due to climate change” warned the foreign minister. He stressed that “international cooperation through disaster risk reduction is becoming ever more critical in this context. Japan remains committed to working strenuously for the peace and security of people all over the world.”

Finally, they both pointed to the symbolic importance of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Apart from a sign of global unity in overcoming the pandemic, they also represent Japan’s reconstruction following the Great East Japan Earthquake.