Kizuna (Solidarity) in Reconstruction: One Year After the Great East Japan Earthquake

Photo Exhibition at the European Parliament

April 2012

The Mission of Japan to the EU in cooperation with Vice Chairs of the Japan Delegation Mr. Artur Zasada MEP and Mrs. Sandra Kalniete MEP opened a new photo exhibition in the European Parliament which ran from the 23rd-27th of April.

The exhibition showed images of the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and highlighted reunited families and repairs to major infrastructure following the devasation.

In opening the exhibition Ambassador Shiojiri was joined by Mr. Zasada, Mrs. Kalniete and the President of the EPP Group, Mr. Joseph Daul.


Opening remarks by Ambassador Shiojiri

Thank you for your presence today.

I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to the European Parliament for organizing this special exhibition, “KIZUNA-Solidarity in Reconstruction.”

I would especially like to thank the Vice Chairs of the Japan Delegation Mr. Zasada and Mrs. Kalniete, who initiated and prepared the event with us, and all those who have contributed to this event.  My special thanks also go to Mr. Daul, President of the EPP Group, for his valuable support.

More than one year ago the disaster ravaged the northern part of Japan. Many lost loved ones, households and livelihoods.

Through the disaster, we have learned a lot of things. Among others, as you can see in the photographs:   We have learned that the daily lives and routines which we can all take for granted, can be changed in a moment. That our ordinary daily lives are so special and important. We have learned, however merciless and cruel live can sometimes be, we will always get back up and move forward.

One does not stand back up alone, throughout all this, KIZUNA-solidarity with each other shines through.
Support and solidarity are what drive us forward on the road to reconstruction.

We will move forward, with our never give up spirit even though the road is long and bumpy.
And I would like to reiterate, we will never forget your friendship.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  
Thank you.


Remarks by Mr. Artur Zasada MEP.

I would like to begin this evening by thanking Mr. Ambassador Kojiro Shiojiri, Mr. Shuji Kogi, and my colleagues Ms. Kalniete and Mr. Daul for their participation in this exhibition.

I would also like to welcome all of you this evening. Ladies and Gentlemen,

One year ago the entire world held its breath while watching what was happening in Japan. Some of us in silence, some deep in prayer, each of us in our own way tried to understand the scale of this tragedy.

Observing what happened in Natori, Ishinomaki, Kamaishi, Ōfunato, Miyako, Fukushima and several other Japanese cities we knew that we had witnessed an extraordinary amount of solidarity

As a Pole solidarity is of great value. In solidarity we have built our State and thanks to solidarity today Poland is an independent country.

The scale of solidarity and mutual selfless help of Japanese society was extraordinary and aroused recognition not only in the eyes of Poles but also of the whole world. One can recognize the spirit of a nation in times of extreme situations – when facing a tragedy you became strongly united and survived this horrific event and set an example for all of us.

In an effort to pay tribute to the more than 20 thousand victims of the earthquake and as Vice Chair of the Delegation for relations with Japan I am very proud to participate along with Ms. Kalniete the opening of this exhibition.


Remarks by Mr. Joseph Daul MEP Can be viewed here.