The Bonds of Friendship
April 11, 2011
One month has passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake, which caused over 13,000 people to lose their lives in the enormous earthquake and tsunamis that struck. Even now, over 14,000 people remain unaccounted for, and about 150,000 people remain forced to take shelter as evacuees.
I extend my heartfelt sympathy to all the people who have suffered as a result of this disaster, both Japanese nationals and non-Japanese, and to their families.
We are currently mobilizing all resources to bring the situation at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station under stable control and working to stabilize the situation there at the earliest possible time.
This one month since the great earthquake has been an extremely arduous time for Japan. Yet at the same time, it has been a period during which Japan has once again realized, and once again given thanks, that we stand together with the world.
Thus far, over 130 nations and regions, nearly 40 international organizations, a number of nongovernmental organizations and people from all around the globe have extended their best wishes to us, and moreover they have expressed their support and solidarity through donations and other means.
Various countries and regions rushed in rescue workers to swiftly conduct rescue operations in the affected areas swiftly and delivered supplies such as food, medical supplies, and blankets. This assistance also brought wholehearted encouragement to the disaster victims. In addition, we have received thousands of origami paper cranes intently folded by children in distant nations wishing for the reconstruction of the disaster-stricken areas.
On behalf of the people of Japan, I extend my heartfelt thanks for such assistance from all around the world.
There is no doubt that Japan will recover, become vibrant again, and become an even more marvelous country. In living up to the cordial encouragement and solidarity extended to us by the international community, I consider walking down the road to such a rebirth to be incumbent upon us, and the best way for Japan to reciprocate your kind concern. It is my firm conviction that through the fundamental strengths inherent to the Japanese people and the cordial cooperation of the international community, we can achieve this without fail.
I am also determined that Japan will certainly repay, through our contributions to the international community, the cordial assistance we have received from around the world.
To that end, I will work to the best of my ability to realize reconstruction of Japan.
- Naoto Kan
Prime Minister of Japan
"A friend in need is a friend indeed"