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Prime Minister Honors Contributors to Disaster Prevention
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi hosted a ceremony to commend groups and individuals who have significantly contributed to disaster prevention, at the Prime Minister's Official Residence.
This ceremony is held to acknowledge and praise the people who have performed outstanding roles for disaster prevention and other relevant activities such as lifesaving and preventing further expansion of the disaster at times of disaster, as well as heightening disaster prevention awareness and developing disaster prevention systems at times of normalcy. This year's ceremony recognized three individuals and 18 groups that have made contributions in such areas as the development of a disaster prevention system, relief activities at a train accident on the Fukuchiyama Line of the West Japan Railway Company (JR West), disaster mobilization and security activities during the volcano explosion on Miyake-jima Island, an undersea earthquake near Nii-jima and Kouzu-shima Islands, and upon the arrival of Typhoon No.14.
In his address, Prime Minister Koizumi said, "Not only in Japan, but also abroad, is it important to strive to minimize the damage caused by disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and typhoons. I would like to express my respect for the achievements made by each of you." In response, Mr. Kenzo Toki, a professor at Ritsumeikan University, expressed his gratitude as the representative of the awardees. He said, "We will continue our disaster prevention efforts with an understanding of the significance of the responsibility that we bear."