Abe Promises To Pass On Lessons From 2011 Disaster

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TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Marking the ninth anniversary of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami on Wednesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to pass on lessons from the unprecedented natural disasters to future generations.

“We should never allow precious lessons learned from massive sacrifices to fade away,” Abe said at a small flower-laying ceremony held at the Prime Minister’s Office.

“We will boost efforts to make the country more resilient and create disaster-resistant hometowns,” he said in a speech.

Progress has been made steadily on reconstruction efforts in areas devastated by the disaster, Abe said, adding that reconstruction programs have entered a final phase.

The ceremony was attended by some 20 people, including Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, disaster management minister Ryota Takeda and postdisaster reconstruction minister Kazunori Tanaka.

The participants observed a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m., the time when the powerful earthquake struck mainly northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011.

This year, the Abe administration canceled a government-sponsored disaster memorial ceremony in Tokyo amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

Although the government was considering the possibility of holding the annual event until the last minute, it ended up canceling it under the current situation over the coronavirus, Abe has said, apologizing to the families of the victims killed in the disaster.


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