Memorial Services Held 23 Years after 1995 Kobe Quake (News)
Kobe, Jan. 17 (Jiji Press)—Memorial services for more than 6,000 victims of the January 1995 powerful earthquake in Kobe, the capital of Hyōgo Prefecture, and nearby areas were held in the western Japan prefecture on Wednesday, which marked the twenty-third anniversary of the disaster.
With those born after the earthquake now accounting for more than 40% of Kobe's population, the mourners reiterated their resolve to pass on lessons from the disaster to future generations.
At an event held by entities, including a nonprofit organization, at Higashi Yūenchi, a park in Kobe's Chūō Ward, some 7,000 bamboo lanterns were lit to show a kanji character that has the meaning of "passing down."
About 3,700 participants, including bereaved relatives, offered silent prayers for the victims at 5:46 AM, the exact time when the 7.3-magnitude quake struck 23 years ago. The temblor on January 17, 1995, killed 6,434 people, left three missing and injured more than 43,000 others.
Representing the relatives, Sai Toshio, a 76-year-old Kobe citizen, who lost his second son in the earthquake, said: "Telling my experience of the disaster is my driving force. It's my mission to work hard for my son."[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]