Victims Remembered A Year after Torrential Rains in Western Japan

Society Lifestyle

Kurashiki, Okayama Pref./Kure, Hiroshima Pref., July 6 (Jiji Press)--Memorial services were held across western Japan on Saturday to remember people killed in torrential rains that triggered landslides and floods a year ago.

Saturday marked the first anniversary since the first of a series of special heavy rain warnings was issued in the disaster that claimed 138 lives in Hiroshima Prefecture, 79 lives in Okayama Prefecture and 33 lives in Ehime Prefecture.

About 300 people attended a memorial service in the Mabi district in Kurashiki, Okayama, where some 30 pct of its areas were flooded at the time. A minute of silence was observed after the names of some 60 victims were read out.

"I learned firsthand the importance of life, and that teaching will be passed on for generations to come," Kensuke Saito, 51, who lost his 76-year-old mother, Kanae, in the disaster, said in a speech representing the bereaved families.

"We will all work hard while making the first year of the Reiwa era the first year of our reconstruction," Kurashiki Mayor Kaori Ito said in a speech, referring to the Japanese Imperial era that began in May.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press