Reconstruction Forum on the 5th Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake
Monday, June 6, 2016
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the Reconstruction Forum on the 5th Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake held in Tokyo.
The Prime Minister first interacted with students from Miyagi Prefectural Tagajo High School, before viewing the booths of exhibiting companies and attending a symposium with female entrepreneurs.
After his visit, the Prime Minister said,
“Today, I began by hearing about disaster prevention from the students of Tagajo High School. Each of the individuals I spoke with were elementary school students when the earthquake struck. They are now studying the science of disaster prevention at Tagajo High School out of the desire to contribute to disaster prevention based on the difficult and harsh experiences they had at that time. It was truly encouraging that their aspiration is to make use of their experiences and acquire knowledge from a thoroughly scientific perspective so they can be of use for disaster prevention and mitigation in the future. I am truly thrilled to see young people like this. I sincerely hope that in various places they will each make use of the experiences they’ve had and the knowledge you accumulate.
I also spoke with female entrepreneurs. I heard about how they took March 11 as an opportunity, in a sense, and created companies based on the feelings and thoughts they had at that time and their desires within that to improve their regions and make them better places based on the difficult experiences they had. I heard about how they overcame various difficulties and have now wonderfully started successful companies. I heard about companies making robotic suits, companies using drones, and companies creating new products using regional food. I also heard about how they are now employing even more people than before the earthquake, and about how their product lines are growing and their sales channels expanding.
I think that many difficulties lie ahead, but I also think that we will be able to create a new Tohoku different from the Tohoku before the disaster. That is the idea that I have been able to come to here today.
I want the national Government to continue to offer strong support for the reconstruction of Tohoku. In terms of reactor decommissioning and contaminated water issues, we will aim to put an end to stoppage measures in 2030 or 2040, and proceed forward steadily in line with the mid- to long-term roadmap. I want to create the kind of Tohoku that all are hoping for. Thank you.”