INTERVIEW: Actor Ken Watanabe to Continue Support for Disaster Areas

Society

Tokyo, Feb. 11 (Jiji Press)--Japanese actor Ken Watanabe has expressed his determination to continue standing with the people of areas devastated by the powerful earthquake and tsunami that struck eastern Japan almost 10 years ago.

Watanabe, 61, opened a cafe that serves as a meeting place for people in Kesennuma, a tsunami-hit Pacific coastal city in the northeastern prefecture of Miyagi, seven years ago.

"For the people who suffered through the disaster, 10 years is just an accumulation of everyday life and nothing changes in a big way," Watanabe said in a recent interview. "I will continue my support despite having only little power, with the feeling of wanting to help and console people."

The actor was undergoing treatment for acute myeloid leukemia during the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake in western Japan, and was out of the country for filming a movie during the 2004 strong earthquake in Niigata Prefecture, central Japan.

"I felt ashamed of myself for not being able to do anything," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press