Royal visit puts spotlight on Tohoku recovery; the UK today remembers those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Eleven days after His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge’s symbolic visit to northeast Japan, the British Ambassador to Japan, Mr Tim Hitchens, is today attending a national memorial service in Tokyo. The British Embassy Tokyo and Consulate-General in Osaka will observe a one minute silence at 14:46 and flags are being flown at half-mast in remembrance of those who lost their lives, their loved ones and their homes.
Ambassador Hitchens said:
“Four years have passed but 11 March’s impact is still being felt in Japan by those I meet. It was fitting that last week, during his first visit to Japan, His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge was able to pay his personal respects, meet affected families and bring renewed attention to the ongoing need for support for recovery. Today we honour not only the memory of the many victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, but also those who worked – and continue to work - so selflessly to support the recovery efforts in Tohoku and beyond.”
HRH They Duke travelled to Onagawa and Ishinomaki, which alone lost 3,275 of its people with 430 people still unaccounted for. There he met with local people to understand how communities are rebuilding their lives and businesses with support from groups such as The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan. These initiatives are playing an important role in helping small businesses get back on their feet, with small grants for the simple essentials such as a bread slicer for a bakery or a fridge for local fishermen. These, and many other small acts, were vital in the immediate aftermath and have helped the community rebuild.