Fukushima reconstruction ambassadors visit Taiwan By team of reporters covering Fukushima reconstruction ambassadors in Taiwan

A delegation of "Fukushima reconstruction ambassadors," commissioned by Fukushima-Minpo Co., visited the municipal office of Hualien, Taiwan, on July 27, where a major earthquake hit in February. The visitors conveyed to Hualien Mayor Wei Chia-hsien shared thoughts of moving toward reconstruction as victims of the same kind of disaster. Jun Sakuma, managing director of Fukushima-Minpo's Regional Exchange Bureau, accompanying the delegation, read out a message from the company's President Masayuki Takahashi. Sakuma quoted Takahashi as saying in the message, "The power of young people and strong bonds will help us open the way for a bright future whatever hardship we may face." Reconstruction ambassador Yumeka Ichijo , a 17-year-old third grader at Asaka Kaisei High School in Koriyama city, said, "I was surprised to find post-quake recovery well under way in Hualien, and would like to report on the present situation back at school." She presented the mayor with commemorative goods, including an "okiagari koboshi" self-righting daruma doll. Two other reconstruction ambassadors, Airi Takahashi, 13, and Yasuhiro Saito, 14, both junior high school second graders, also spoke about the resurgence of their hometowns, which were devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Takahashi is from Motomiya First Junior High School in Motomiya city and Saito from Koyo Junior High School in Soma city. The delegation also visited Taipei and engaged in exchanges with students at Taipei Municipal Minquan Junior High School. The visit to Taiwan by reconstruction ambassadors was implemented in cooperation with travel agency H.I.S. Co. The delegation visited the National Palace Museum, Martyrs' Shrine and other places on July 28 before returning home on July 29. (Translated by Kyodo News)