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Activity Reports

Ambassadors from GRULAC visit Ishinomaki once again

March 16, 2012

On March 13 (Tuesday), the ambassadors of Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela, and Uruguay from GRULAC (the Latin American and Caribbean Group) visited Ishinomaki and Onagawa once again after their first visit in April 2011.

Upon their arrival to Ishinomaki, the ambassadors were impressed first of all by the progress of the town’s clean-up, which they could not have imagined during their previous visit. They were impressed by the efforts of the tens of thousands of volunteers who contributed to mud clearance and cleaning of the town.

The ambassadors first met Kameyama Hiroshi, the mayor of Ishinomaki. They praised the tremendous efforts for recovery made by the mayor and the city, and expressed their will to provide continuous support on behalf of GRULAC.

They also told the mayor that Ishinomaki will contribute greatly to the world by providing disaster prevention know-how, and shared their intention to disseminate the coordination model for disaster rescue and relief to the world through a global network of mayors. The ambassadors proposed that this message could be sent globally though voyages of Peace Boat.

Visiting the Kadowaki Elementary School where the scars of the immense tsunami still remain, the mayors paid floral tribute with deep condolences.

Later they visited temporary housing in Ishinomaki and Onagawa. In Onagawa, they visited the container village shopping center and shopped for fruits and other items. They seemed very happy seeing the shops reopened albeit being in temporary premises.

Almost a year has passed since their first visit. Coming to know the efforts made by many people during the year, the Nicaraguan ambassador stated, “We should learn from this experience and make the best out of it for the world.”

Following this earthquake disaster, we have received various warm support from the countries that themselves have great many challenges including poverty and natural disasters. We are deeply grateful for this support and solidarity.