“Today we honour those who were lost when the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck last year,” said Prime Minister Harper. "Canada stood with Japan in those dark hours. I stand here today, one year later, with profound admiration for those who have fought through adversity and pain to rebuild their lives and this region. It epitomizes the resolve, resilience and spirit of the Japanese people.”
Prime Minister Harper visited a local hilltop shrine to express Canada’s sympathies to the victims, and to all those affected by the disaster. He was joined at this popular commemorative site by the local mayor and a young Canadian teacher to lay flowers and to survey the clean-up and recovery efforts along the battered coastline.
He also visited a junior high school in the coastal town of Yuriage which was devastated by the tsunami. Accompanied by the school’s principal, he paid respects to the 14 students and more than 20 parents who lost their lives but was heartened to learn of the surviving students’ success at recent graduation ceremonies in a neighboring school.