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Prime Minister Koizumi Visits the Disaster Site of the Earthquake off the Western Coast of Fukuoka
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited Genkai Island in Nishi Ward of Fukuoka City, which incurred damage from the earthquake off the coast of Fukuoka Prefecture on March 20, and then visited the Kyuden Memorial Gymnasium in the same city to encourage those islanders and others taking refuge there.
After arriving at Fukuoka Airport, Prime Minister Koizumi transferred to a helicopter of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and set foot in Genkai Island. He took a look around the island with the guidance of Mr. Wataru Aso, the Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture, and the local disaster rescue team. The islanders appealed to Prime Minister Koizumi that returning to their normal lives is extremely difficult under the current situation, thus asked for the help of the government. Prime Minister Koizumi responded by saying that he understood their request and gave his words of encouragement.
Prime Minister Koizumi then visited the Kyuden Memorial Gymnasium in Fukuoka City, where the islanders are taking refuge and said, "The central and local governments will work together as one in providing reconstruction assistance."
After his visits, Prime Minister Koizumi said to the reporters, "I intend to give my best efforts for the restoration of the region. The government must provide assistance that is equivalent to that for an extremely serious disaster."