Reconstruction Monuments Unveiled ahead of Tokyo Games

Sports Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, July 13 (Jiji Press)--Three monuments aimed at connecting northeastern Japan areas stricken by the March 2011 disaster and the world, and supporting the postdisaster recovery were unveiled in Tokyo on Tuesday, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

During the Tokyo Games, the monuments, which are over 2 meters tall, will be placed in front of the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery near the National Stadium, the main venue for the sporting events, to show messages of gratitude from people affected by the earthquake and tsunami for the support they received from the world and words of encouragement to Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

The monuments were produced by junior high and high school students from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, which were particularly hit hard by the disaster, students from the Tokyo University of the Arts and the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee. Aluminum from makeshift housing in areas affected by the disaster was used for the monuments.

"I hope they will give courage and hopes to people in the disaster-hit areas," Ayaka Takahashi, who won the gold medal in women's badminton doubles in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, said at the monuments' unveiling event. Takahashi is a graduate of St. Ursula Gakuin Eichi Junior and Senior High Schools in Miyagi.

After the end of the Tokyo Games, the monuments will be installed in the three prefectures, with autographs of Olympians and Paralympians written on them.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press Tokyo 2020