08 August 2011

Remarks at Fukushima Minami High School

Ban Ki-moon

Fukushima Minami Koukou, Futaba Koukou no minasan, konnichiwa. Kokokuren jimusouchou no pan gi-mun desu.

[To everyone at Fukushima Minami and Futaba High School, hello! I am United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.]

Mazuwa, Fukushima daihyou no koushien, ikkaisen toppa, omedetougozaimasu. Nadeshiko Japan no wahrudo kappu yuushou mo omedetou gozaimasu. Onaji ajia-jin to shite totemo ureshii desu.

[First, congratulations to the victory of the Fukushima team at the Koshien high school baseball tournament. Congratulations also on the World Cup win by Nadeshiko Japan. As an Asian person, I am so happy for you.]

Konkai no higashi nihon daishinnsai dewa minasama ookina eikyou wo ukemashita. Shikashi, nihon wa kanarazu tachiagaru to shinjite imasu. Minna de chikara wo awasete gambatte kudasai. Kokuren mo sekai mo ouen shite imasu.

[You were severely affected by the huge disaster in Eastern Japan. But I firmly believe that Japan will recover from it. Please combine your strengths to allow Japan to recover. The United Nations and the world are behind you.]

I am very pleased to meet you in this Fukushima High School. I am here to show my strong solidarity to the people of Fukushima when you have gone through such intolerable tragedies, with the triple crises of the tsunami, earthquake and nuclear accident.

This morning, I visited the Azuma Sports Park Evacuation Center. I spoke to the families. I know you have many concerns. I want you to know you are not alone. I am here to show my support and solidarity on behalf of the United Nations.

I want to hear from you, I want to know what I as Secretary-General of the United Nations can do for you, what the United Nations can do for you. I may not have all the answers. But I can bring these concerns back to the United Nations and discuss with world leaders.

I take the issue of nuclear safety and security very seriously. That is why I have asked all the heads of the United Nations system agencies to assess the impact of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power accident. I have invited world leaders to come to the United Nations in September to discuss about this matter: how we can strengthen nuclear security regulations and help cross-regional and international-level coordination.

I am here to offer “kizuna.” You this means our strong bond or solidarity. Kizuna is composed of two words [characters]: one is string, one is partnership. So with the string we can [tie] all these partnerships together.

This morning I met many, many people in the Sogo Sports Center Evacuation Center. And I met one of the old ladies who asked me that the United Nations should do all its possible efforts not to see what Fukushima people have suffered in the future.

This is a moment for common humanity, beyond all politics or nationalities.

You are the future of your country. And you can start to lead right now, not only in Japan but in the region and the world.

Youth have ideals and energy. The United Nations is founded on ideals. And we need your energy.

I wish I could have spared you from all that you have seen and experienced since March 11th. But since you had such difficulties, you are more compassionate when you hear about other people who are suffering. You understand devastation and loss all too well. You appreciate life, your parents, your teachers and your friends. You can do so much to help your community and our world.

Kokusai shakai mo kokuren mo ouen shiteimasu. Ganbatte kudasai. Arigato gozaimashita.

[The international community and the United Nations are behind you/supporting you. I wish you all the best. Thank you very much.]