"Open Reconstruction" in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake: Working with Heart-Warming Support Towards a Safe and Secure Japan that Coexists in Harmony with the World

June 2011

"Thank You Again"

The Government of Japan would like to express its sincere gratitude for generous support from around the world after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and reconfirm its commitment to continue to work with the residents of the affected region and the people of Japan, expending all efforts to overcome the present difficulties and secure safety for the disaster victims, including foreigners, and an early recovery for the region.

Re-establishing a Safe and Secure Japan

Japan is already on a steady, step-by-step path towards recovering safety in relation to the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station. Except in areas surrounding the power station, radiation levels are now at normal levels in Tokyo and elsewhere, posing no health hazards. This concurs with the Preliminary Summary of the report issued on June 1 by the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) fact-finding mission that was sent to Japan from May 24 to June 2. The preliminary summary states: "To date, no health effects have been reported in any person as a result of radiation exposure from the nuclear accident." Mobilizing knowledge and technology from around the world, work is underway to bring the situation under control. We are gradually regaining a safe and secure Japan.

At the G8 Summit in Deauville in May, Prime Minister Naoto Kan stated that it is Japan's responsibility to share the experiences and lessons learned from the accident in order to realize the highest levels of nuclear safety worldwide. On June 7, Japan issued the Report of the Japanese Government to the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety. A thorough investigation of the accident is now underway with the launch of the Investigation Committee on the accidents. Japan will continue to share the lessons learned from the accident with the international community with maximum transparency and make a leading contribution to international discussions on nuclear safety.

Pursuing "Open Reconstruction" through Three Aspects of Symbiosis

We will pursue a future-oriented and "open reconstruction" program, hand in hand with the international community, so that we will be able to reciprocate the goodwill that has been extended to us. Pictures of Japanese people helping each other and trying hard to recover their lives have drawn the attention of the world. This can be interpreted as an expression of the underlying spirit of symbiosis, or interaction based on mutual dependence and mutual benefit, which the Japanese have long embraced. People evolve through competition but they are able to sustain themselves through symbiosis. Symbiosis may be the most crucial principle for the coming generation. One aspect of symbiosis is "coexistence among people." The philosophy of human security, of which Japan is a leading advocate in the international community, is a reflection of the spirit of symbiosis among people which Japanese people have fostered. The second aspect of symbiosis is "coexistence among nations." Japan will help foster harmonious coexistence among nations by promoting cooperation with the international community in the areas of diplomacy, security, and the economy. This is part of the mission of Japan's diplomacy, which has contributed to the achievement of Japan's peace and prosperity today through international cooperation. Finally, in overcoming natural disasters, such as has occurred on March 11, "symbiosis between people and nature" is vital. Absorbing the lessons of the earthquake and the nuclear accident, Japan intends to lead international discussions on improving nuclear safety and environmental policy as well as on responding to large-scale natural disasters.

To conclude, we would like to emphasize that Japan remains "open for business and travel." We have already received tremendous assistance from around the world. Were the international community to support us even more, however, we would be grateful if it would understand that the most helpful support for us would be to promote business with Japan and encourage visiting Japan for pleasure or study just as before, or more so.

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