“The magnitude of the damage caused by the disaster runs so deep that the unforgettable memory of the tragedy lingers in my mind.” This is what the Japanese emperor Naruhito said, Thursday March 11, during a ceremony in Tokyo commemorating the tenth anniversary of the triple disaster of March 11, 2011: earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant.
At 2:46 p.m. (local time, 6:46 a.m. in Paris), a minute of silence was observed across the country. It was at this precise hour, ten years earlier, that he was struck by one of the most violent on record in the world.
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A gigantic tsunami was generated by the quake of magnitude 9.0. Waves as high as buildings had descended on the coast of northeastern Japan. Some 18,500 people died, mainly as a result of this tidal wave.
The ensuing nuclear accident at the flooded Fukushima Daiichi power plant left entire cities uninhabitable for years due to radiation and forced tens of thousands to leave. “Our nation has lived through several disasters that can be considered as national crises” But “our predecessors overcame every crisis with courage and hope”, has recalled the Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, during the ceremony with the emperor Naruhito.
In a video posted Thursday, Emmanuel Macron paid tribute “to the victims of this terrible disaster and their families”. The head of state said he remembered “these terrible, astonishing images” of March 11, 2011, “of a wild nature inflicting unimaginable suffering on families, villages and a whole people”.
My message to the Japanese people.
In the name of the friendship that unites us.
日本人 へ の メ ッ セ ー ジ。
私 た ち を 結 び つ け る 友情 の 名 に お い て。 pic.twitter.com/5yEGoR4twF
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 11, 2021
“As we face a global pandemic, I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the spirit of resistance, of resilience of an entire people “, added the head of state.