The Diplomatic Society

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Address by H.E. MR. Yutaka Yoshizawa, Ambassador of Japan, on the occasion of Reception to observe the passing of one year since the Great East Japan Earthquake - 13 March 2012

Pictured (l-r) Ambassador Yutaka Yoshizawa, Kentaro Yamane (Embassy of Japan),
Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim and Ambassador Anil Sooklal (DIRCO)

His Excellency Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation,
His Majesty the King Leruo Molotlegi,
Members of Rescue South Africa team,
Members of different organizations who rendered assistance to Japan after the Earthquake,
Excellencies,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is just over one year since the Great East Japan Earthquake struck the northeast coastline of Japan on 11 March 2011.

Since the disaster, there has been a tremendous outpouring of sympathy and goodwill from all over the world including South Africa. Only one week later, Rescue South Africa was on the ground conducting search activities under the bitter cold. For three months, South African drummers, the Drum Café, visited the areas giving courage to the survivors. Students of the Stellenbosch University went to Iwate Prefecture, one of the most severely affected areas, to collect debris and help the elderly in shelters. Many South African people kindly made donation. The disaster has served to reinforce the already close bond of friendship between our two countries. I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all those who have supported us.

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the Japanese people responded to the situation in a remarkably orderly manner, helping each other without losing composure despite deep sorrow. It was an opportunity for Japanese to rediscover our own resilience.

Since then, Japan made steady progress towards reconstruction. Infrastructure and the economies in the affected areas are on a firm path to reconstruction. Reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have reached a condition equivalent to cold shutdown. Outside the affected areas including the Tokyo metropolitan area, business has returned to normal. The supply chains of Japanese companies are fully recovered. In a nutshell, Japan is open for business, exchange of people and tourism.

Today, we have imported rice and sake produced in Northeastern region of Japan, most severely affected region. They are of the best quality and are not usually available in South Africa. I hope you will enjoy them and think about visiting Japan in the near future.

Despite the hardships, Japan will strive to meet its commitments to the international community especially Africa. The Government’s draft budget for FY2012 opens the way for increased ODA for the first time in 14 years. As for Africa, Japan has already met its commitment to double ODA to the region to US$ 1.8 billion between 2008-2012. Most recently, Japan is in the process of dispatching an engineering unit of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) consisting of up to 330 personnel to the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). Looking to the future, Japan will host TICAD V (The fifth Tokyo International Conference for African Development) in June 2013 in order to promote growth and stability in Africa.

On a personal note, I have arrived in Pretoria Friday last week, to assume my post. Having been posted in Pretoria between 6 March 1996 to 14 February 1998, I very much look forward to renewing my friendship with the people of South Africa and to working closely with the Government of South Africa in the coming years.
 


 
 
 
 

_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________

Translater


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Strenghtening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean 9 March 2017 President Jacob Zuma has returned to Pretoria after a successful State Visit to Indonesia, which... <|> Pygmy Intervention Project 13 March 2017 The Pygmy community of the Central African Republic became a focal point at a gala dinner recently held in Pretoria at Burgers Park hotel. The gala dinner... <|> France and South Africa cooperation Visit of French Secretary of State for Transport, Oceans and Fisheries: Minister Alain Vidalies 7 – 10 March 2017 During his visit in South Africa between 7... <|> 6th African Film Week in Athens 13 March 2017 The 6th African Film Week taking place in Greece, brings to the big screen charming images from the African Continent: Urban legends, exoticism from... <|> Easing travel regulations between South Africa and Kenya 3 May 2016 South Africa and Kenya have announced measures that will make travelling between the two countries easier. South African Home... <|> Early warning centre for South Africa and Nigeria 14 March 2017 South Africa and Nigeria have agreed to establish an early warning centre to help mitigate and monitor possible threats and violence... <|> Abron Band from Iran share peace with music at Tsarogaphoka Primary School by Kgomotso Kgoale 14 March 2017 Kgwebong Consulting, an Organisation Development company that is dedicated to the... <|> Arctic Council at 20: Making a Difference Regionally By Srimal Fernando, Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society  We all know the temperatures are rising in the Arctic twice as fast as the... <|> Marrying of two iconic World Heritage Sites: South Africa’s Robben Island and Mauritius’ Le Morne Cultural Landscape 20 March 2017 Robben Island World Heritage Site (RIWHS) and Le Morne... <|> Freedom Park pays tribute to Sweden 21 March 2017 Human Rights Day is a significant day to South Africans for remembering not only the 69 people, who were killed during the Sharpeville Massacre,... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.