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Speeches and Statements by the Prime Minister

Message from Prime Minister Suga on the Fifth Anniversary of the Kumamoto Earthquake

April 14, 2021

[Provisional Translation]

Today we mark the passing of five years since the Kumamoto Earthquake. I extend my profound condolences to all who lost their lives and to their bereaved family members, and I offer my heartfelt sympathies to all those affected by the disaster.

Earthquakes with seismic intensity of 7 struck in succession, causing serious damage centered on Kumamoto Prefecture, including the destruction of a great number of houses, the collapse of the Great Aso Bridge, and tremendous damage to even Kumamoto Castle.

In the immediate wake of the earthquake, the Government worked to provide relief for the disaster-stricken area and its residents, including by providing relief supplies through push-mode support for the very first time, restoring basic infrastructure, and supporting tourism.

I myself visited the area in the winter of the year before last, and I distinctly remember renewing my determination towards reconstruction upon seeing the enormity of the damage alongside rapidly progressing disaster recovery work and listening directly to the local residents telling me their thoughts and their struggles.

Thanks to the great efforts of the local residents and others involved, disaster recovery work, including not only the Great Aso Bridge and other public civil engineering works but also farmland, has on the whole been completed. In addition, with the number of people living in emergency temporary housing declining dramatically since the peak, and the tower of Kumamoto Castle also now restored, reconstruction of the disaster-stricken area is progressing steadily.

The Government will continue to work in close cooperation with local residents in making all-out efforts towards reconstruction while staying faithful to the feelings of the disaster victims.


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