Memorial Service for the Earthquake and Tsunami Victims in Japan

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On Sunday 11 March, a memorial service was held to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake by the JET Alumni Association Canberra, Australia-Japan Society (ACT) Inc. and the Canberra Japan Club at the Canberra Nara Peace Park. This memorial service is held annually to remember the victims and to show the on-going support for those who are still recovering from the disaster. Approximately 100 people gathered to pay their respects on the day, including Ambassador Kusaka, representatives of Japan friendship groups, and members of the Japanese and Canberra communities.

The recently constructed Canberra Rotary Peace Bell was rung at 4:46 PM (2:46PM Japan Time) and those attending observed a minute’s silence. Following this, Ms Misako Piper performed the song, Hana ga saku.

In his address, Ambassador Kusaka offered his sincerest condolences to the victims of the disaster and expressed his deep appreciation for Australia and their kind and generous support soon after the earthquake hit the Tohoku region. The Ambassador then offered his prayers to the evacuees for their return to their normal, everyday lives as soon as possible and stated his readiness to cooperate in any way to achieve this. In concluding his address, the Ambassador expressed the importance of the Tohoku Youth Program and thanked the related organisations for their continued support.

The memorial service concluded with speeches from representatives of the Canberra Japan Club, Australia-Japan Society (ACT) Inc., University of Canberra Japan Club and the Australian National University Japan Club.

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