8 August 2011
Secretary-General
SG/SM/13736

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General Says Japan among Best-Prepared to Deal with Natural Disasters,


But Fukushima Accident Highlights Need to Boost Capacity for Emergency Response


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moons remarks at a breakfast hosted by Chiaki Takahashi, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and Yuhei Sato, Governor of Fukushima Prefecture, in Fukushima, Japan, today, 8 August:


I came here to express my solidarity, the United Nations solidarity, to the Government and people, particularly the affected people, in Fukushima. This is an unprecedented natural disaster, but Im very much encouraged by the way the Japanese Government and people have been trying to overcome with composure with discipline [] and determination to overcome this crisis.


The whole world is supporting you and trying to help, together with the United Nations. I am looking forward to seeing for myself the devastated area in Soma City and to try to meet people who are now accommodated in an evacuation centre. Id like to learn from them what they need, what your Government and the United Nations can do.


I believe Japan is one of the best-prepared countries in the world in terms of natural disaster, disaster risk reduction and preparedness. However, the scope of the tsunami and nuclear power accident was so great that we have to learn what needs to be done more in the future.


The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power accident has given us a great lesson; that was that we need to have a review and full safety and improve our capacity [for] such emergency response. Id like to learn and discuss this matter with local government leaders and governors and mayors, and also Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Foreign Minister [Takeaki Matsumoto].


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For information media • not an official record