Japan remembers 2011 earthquake


The Embassy of Japan in Malawi on Friday held a reception in memory of thousands of people who lost their lives during the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami that swept through the Tohoku region of the country.

The disaster resulted in over 15,000 people losing their lives while about 6,000 were injured and 2,500 were reported missing.

In addition, many homes, industrial and transport infrastructure were destroyed while over 470,000 people were displaced. Over 121,000 buildings were completely destroyed leaving other one million buildings in different state of destruction.


The disaster is said to have caused direct financial damage to Japan of about US$199 billion.

Japanese Ambassador to Malawi Shuichiro Nishioka said March 10 is also significant in the history of Malawi as on the same day in 1991, flash floods and rock avalanche, locally known as Napolo, occurred in Phalombe.

He said Japan is greatly indebted to many countries including Malawi for supporting it.


Nishioka said the reception was organised to allow Japan to share its experience on recovery and reconstruction for the past five years to its partners in the government, international organisations, NGOs and private sector involved in disaster management.

“Five years after the earthquake and Tsunami, Japan’s reconstruction process is steadily progressing. In order to rebuild the region, the government of Japan established the Reconstruction Agency to accelerate the rebuilding of the affected areas,” said Nishioka.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation George Chaponda said given the current adverse effects of climate change in the world, Malawi has a lot to learn from the experiences of Japan.

“We note with great appreciation the good progress the Government of Japan made during the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase. Indeed, it is a hugely daunting task to rebuild the communities and infrastructure after one of the major devastating natural disasters in living memory,” said Chaponda.

He further praised the Japanese Government for remaining resolute and determined despite the devastating effects of the earthquake, the Tsunami and enormous challenges associated with reconstruction.

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