Wednesday, April 27, 2011
In a moving ceremony, the Government of Chile paid tribute to the victims of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011.
The ceremony was attended by representatives from the Chile -Japan Business Committee, whose President, Roberto de Andraca, highlighted the historic relationship between the two countries.
This ceremony to honor the Japanese people, particularly the earthquake victims, bears a deep significance that goes far beyond the event of the ceremony itself, which is the existence of a spiritual bond that recognizes our solidarity and appreciation for a nation that with its responsibility and maturity has faced this natural disaster, setting an example to the world, said Andraca.
Japans Ambassador Wataru Hayashi, in turn, thanked the Chilean governments gesture, noting that the ceremony that is being held today in the capital of this brotherly country, represents a significant milestone that gives us great encouragement. Therefore, we once again thank the government and the people of Chile for this prominent ceremony.
The natural disaster that struck large parts of the northeast coast of Japan, has so far caused the loss of over 14, 000 lives and left over 13, 000 missing , as well as millions in material losses. The situation has also been exacerbated by the nuclear emergency that affects the Fukushima plant.
On behalf of the Chilean Government, Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno reaffirmed our countrys commitment with the Japanese people. Japan was there for us, not only on February 27 last year, but also in previous earthquakes, both with resources and technical assistance, and we believe that in this occasion we must give them a hand. We are a smaller and poorer country, but we want you to know that on the other side of the world you have friends, who are very concerned and deeply regret what is happening there and if we can be of any help, we are more than willing to do so.
The Government of Chile in conjunction with SOFOFA (Chilean Federation of Industry ) -through the Chilean Chapter of the Chile- Japan Business Committee- have carried out a fundraising campaign in aid of the Japanese people ,an initiative which, to date, has collected approximately US$1.8 million.