Sendai, Japan

15 March 2015

Secretary-General's remarks to the press following field visits in Sendai

Konnichiwa. [Hello.]

It is a great pleasure and honor for me to visit the Minami-Gamo community and meet community leaders and students and citizens here.

I’d like to thank them for their warm welcome and hospitality to receive us and show how they have been overcoming this tragedy.

Four years ago, I visited Minami High School [in Fukushima] and met many students at that time. I was very much inspired by their strong will to overcome and spirit and courage.

After four years here, I am deeply impressed by the way the Japanese people have turned a tragedy into building back better their community.

The Japanese people have shown great courage and resilient spirit by turning the tragedy into a better and brighter future. This is the very good spirit of Japan. I am deeply touched by this.

The United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction which is now being held in Sendai is exactly a demonstration of such spirit and visionary leadership of the Japanese Government and people to turn the tragedy into a better future, a sustainable future.

I was deeply impressed by what I saw at the waste purification facility and the way they are now rebuilding back the facilities – it’s very impressive. I hope this will send a strong message to the international community, and any other countries which may have this kind of natural disaster should learn the lessons and emulate what the Japanese people have been doing.

I would like to particularly thank for this beautiful fan dance which we all enjoyed. Not only have we enjoyed this beautiful dance, but I’m very much touched by their strong spirit and cultivating their own future through solidarity and preserving their culture and traditions. And I’d like to really thank the community leaders and members of this dancing team.

I wish you continued good success and happiness for the people of the Minami-Gamo community and all the Japanese people.

Thank you very much. Domo arigatou gozaimashita.

Kokushakai mo kokuren mo ouenshiteimasu. Gambatte kudasai. [The world and the United Nations support you. Keep doing your best.]

Watashi mo kokuren mo nihon no kokusai kouken ni itsumo kansha shiteimasu. Domo arigatou gozaimashita. [The United Nations and I are very appreciative of Japan’s global efforts. Thank you very much.]