12 Years On: Iwate Governor Remains Resolved on Postdisaster Reconstruction


Morioka, Iwate Pref., Feb. 22 (Jiji Press)--Iwate Governor Takuya Tasso has reiterated his determination to continue promoting the reconstruction of the northeastern Japan prefecture facing the Pacific Ocean 12 years after a powerful earthquake and tsunami.

"It's been 12 years, but I can't forget the huge number of victims and the extensive damage, however many years pass," Tasso said in a recent interview. "With this thought as the starting point, I'm reminded afresh that I need to keep working on the reconstruction of afflicted areas."

"We've almost restored damaged infrastructure and are now continuing to provide mental care (to residents in need) and supporting affected communities," Tasso said, adding that the prefecture should "do everything it can" in tackling current issues that are overshadowing postdisaster reconstruction efforts, such as poor catches of salmon and saury, fallout from the COVID-19 crisis and soaring prices.

"It's critical to push ahead with programs that can help each and every local resident," he said.

On how to pass down the lessons of the March 11, 2011, quake and tsunami, Tasso noted that the number of visitors to the Iwate Tsunami Memorial Museum, located in the coastal city of Rikuzentakata in the prefecture, topped 660,000 at the end of January. The museum, which opened in September 2019, "has been firmly established as a base for passing down (the lessons) and sending out (related information)," he said.

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