Kishida prays for disaster victims in Tohoku

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida offers flowers to victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake at the Takatamatsubara Memorial Park in Rikuzen-Takata, Iwate Prefecture, on Saturday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday visited areas in the Tohoku region that were devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake to pray for victims.

Kishida offered flowers and silent prayers at memorial parks built in Rikuzen-Takata, Iwate Prefecture, and Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, for those who lost their lives in the disaster on March 11, 2011.

“It is our duty to pass on valuable lessons to future generations and use them to prevent and reduce disasters,” Kishida told reporters in Ishinomaki after paying tribute to the victims. “We must continue to convey the memories and lessons of the disaster.”

He also stressed the need for steady efforts to provide mental care for disaster survivors as well as to rebuild local industries, among other matters.

On Friday, Kishida had attended a memorial ceremony in Fukushima Prefecture, which was hit hard by the disaster. Some areas in the prefecture have remained under evacuation orders since the tsunami-triggered accident at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

“The central government will take the lead in improving the living environment for the return of the residents and supporting the rebuilding of industries,” Kishida said during the ceremony held by the Fukushima prefectural government.