The Prime Minister Visits Miyagi Prefecture
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Miyagi Prefecture to gauge the progress of the reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake.
First, the Prime Minister met with elementary school student Nozomi Ono, who lost her mother in the Great East Japan Earthquake, and her family, in Watari Town. Afterwards the Prime Minister visited Nagatoro Elementary School, which Nozomi attends, and received an explanation of the progress of the reconstruction from the school’s rooftop.
Later, the Prime Minister visited an agricultural production corporation in Yamamoto Town and tasted strawberries and tomatoes harvested there.
Following that, the Prime Minister visited a sports facility in Sendai City and received an explanation of the status of the response at the time of the disaster, and then planted a tree.
Lastly, the Prime Minister visited the Minamigamou Purification Center and received an explanation of the status of the construction of the sewerage treatment facility.
After the visit, the Prime Minister said,
“Today I visited Watari Town, Yamamoto Town and Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture. I met Nozomi Ono again, for the first time since January last year. Nozomi, her older sister and her father all appeared very cheerful. Above all, the construction of the school that Nozomi had been hoping would be finished soon was completed in August. Thanks to the playground equipment outside, Nozomi explained that everyone plays outside and the mood of the school has grown very positive.
Additionally, a facility that was being used as an evacuation center has now been transformed into a sports facility, and is being dynamically utilized to keep everyone healthy. And at the sewerage treatment plant I just visited, work has begun at a rapid pace with the goal of transforming it into a state-of-the-art sewerage treatment facility.
Infrastructure for day-to-day life is steadily being restored, and furthermore, existing facilities are being upgraded and modernized. I am sure that this will give courage to everyone in the region, and I am also genuinely heartened by it.
Additionally, I learned that at the elementary school the lessons of the disaster are being utilized and they are pressing steadily ahead with disaster management education and evacuation drills. I would like to make use of such model cases and consider forward-thinking initiatives like this for the entire country.”
Additionally, Prime Minister Abe also said the following about the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea.
“In principle, I would like the North Korean side to report the circumstances quickly and honestly. Above all, as we are calling for the comprehensive resolution of the abduction issue, we intend to seek a sincere response toward such a resolution. To that end, in principle we are continuing to address this issue with the same stance we have taken thus far, which is one of dialogue and pressure. Nevertheless, in order to resolve the issue we must engage in dialogue. In any case, I intend to make an all-out effort to encourage and elicit a sincere response from the North Korean side.”