Diplomatic Bluebook 2022
10 Years Since the Great East Japan Earthquake
2 Initiatives Implemented Through Diplomatic Missions Overseas
(Promoting the Attractions of Japan's Regions, Including the Disaster Areas, Promoting the Export of Products, Tourism Promotion, etc.)
MOFA has been implementing support initiatives through its diplomatic missions overseas, such as appealing countries and regions to lift import restrictions on Japanese food products, sharing the attractiveness of Japan's regions including the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and promoting exports of prefectural products and tourism. In 2021, the appeal and characteristics of Japan's regions, including Fukushima Prefecture, were introduced overseas through initiatives such as the “Project to Support Overseas Presentations to Promote the Attractiveness of Regions” that was held mainly online in China (from December 2021 to February 2022), and an in-person reception that was held at the Consulate-General of Japan in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, in cooperation with Fukushima and other Prefectures (January 2021). The event booth at the Consulate-General of Japan in Ho Chi Minh City offered Japanese sake and whiskey produced in Fukushima Prefecture, which were well-received by the guests.
At Japan House London, which serves as a hub for strategic communications, an extra-large “Akabeko” (folk toy from Aizu region) was displayed within the premises through cooperation with Fukushima Prefecture and the Fukushima Prefectural Association in London. “Akabeko” toys were also sold in the shop and featured on the website, and were well received (March 2021).
Commemorative Events to Convey Gratitude and Messages of Friendship to Countries/Regions Around the World
– A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
(3) Report from the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association
In the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan received donations exceeding 20 billion yen and warm encouragement from our neighbor, Taiwan.
To convey Japan's gratitude once again at the milestone mark of 10 years after the earthquake, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association held the Tohoku Friendship Special Exhibition in Taipei City in March for a 12-day period. About 20,000 people visited the exhibition, including President Tsai Ing-wen. The opening ceremony was attended by firefighters who engaged in rescue activities at the disaster areas soon after the earthquake struck, and they sent their cheers and encouragement to the areas affected by the disaster.
The exhibition included panels showing Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun in the form of handwritten wall newspapers, produced on the day after the earthquake disaster, as well as displays of photographs showing scenes of reconstruction in Tohoku and colored paper with messages of thanks from many manga artists in Japan. Visitors looked intently video messages from people in the disaster areas speaking tearfully about how they would never forget the warm hands of Taiwanese volunteers who came to debris-filled towns even as everyone was trying to escape, and distributed relief supplies one by one to the people in need.
Over the past decade, Japan and Taiwan have helped each other whenever natural disasters have occurred. It was a heartwarming 12-day event that allowed both sides to reaffirm the deepening of the friendship between Japan and Taiwan through the circulation of goodwill.