Op-Ed

Thanks for supporting Japan

At issue | Coverage of Japan's earthquake, nuclear crisis

On March 11, Japan was hit by one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history. We are now making all-out efforts to restore livelihoods and recover from the tragedies that followed the Great East Japan Earthquake. Japan has been strongly supported by the international community and on behalf of the Japanese people, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude.

We deeply appreciate the Kizuna, "bonds of friendship," that has been shown to us by our friends around the world.

Immediately after the earthquake struck, the United States, our most important friend and ally, provided swift cooperation. President Barack Obama called me to confirm that the United States stands ready to provide support during this time of great difficulty. From an early stage in the response efforts, U.S. forces have performed relief activities on multiple fronts as part of Operation Tomodachi ("friendship").

This deeply touched the hearts and minds of the Japanese. We have also received full U.S. support in responding to the accidents at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

The nuclear accidents at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant are extremely regrettable. Bringing the situation under control at the earliest possible date is my top priority, and I have mobilized all available resources to combat the risks posed by giving the highest priority to health and safety.

We have taken every possible measure to ensure the safety of all food and other products, and my administration will redouble its efforts to maintain transparency. I pledge that the Japanese government will promptly and thoroughly verify the cause of this incident and share information and the lessons learned with the rest of the world in order to prevent such accidents in the future.

Reconstruction will not be easy. However, I believe this difficult period provides us with a window of opportunity to secure the "Rebirth of Japan." We are dedicated to establishing sophisticated reconstruction plans for East Japan by creating a regional society that is highly resistant to natural disasters, establishing a social system that allows people to live in harmony with the global environment and building a compassionate society.

I have no doubt Japan will overcome this crisis, emerging stronger than ever, to establish a vibrant and better Japan for future generations. I believe the best way for Japan to reciprocate the strong Kizuna extended to us is to continue our contribution to the development of the international community. I would wholeheartedly appreciate your continued support and cooperation.

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