Fukushima Gov. vows to open up rich future in message on 9th anniv. of quake

Governor Masao Uchibori of Fukushima Prefecture announced a message dated March 11, the ninth anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant, showing his determination to "work together to build a vibrant and appealing future for Fukushima" with "Fukushima pride" filling the hearts of prefectural people. Fukushima is entering a period in which it will open up a new reconstruction stage with the start of the 10th year since the disaster, Uchibori said in the message. He incorporated into the message his belief that Fukushima's continued attempts at the challenging task of reconstruction would eventually lead to the region's restoration and rebirth. Uchibori said that a Fukushima-produced flower species, known as "toruko-gikyo" in Japan, or Lisianthus, has been chosen to be included in the "Victory Bouquet" awarded to medal winners in commendation ceremonies at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. In the language of flowers, the species expresses "gratitude" and "hope," the governor said. "We want to thank everyone who has supported Fukushima and everyone who keeps us in their thoughts," he wrote in the message. "We wish for people all over the world to see Fukushima shining with the light of hope as we move forward toward revitalization, one step at a time." The message was prepared by a drafting committee comprising Uchibori and Honoo Kurata, managing editor of local daily Fukushima-Minpo's news department, among other people. A video showing Uchibori read out the message has been posted since March 11 on the website of the Fukushima prefectural government's Planning & Coordination Division as well as on the prefecture's official channel of the "YouTube" internet video-sharing site. The video is available in English as well as in Japanese. A full text of the message is posted on the prefectural site. It is to be translated into the languages of nine countries and regions, including English and Chinese. The committee's members other than Uchibori are as follows: Shintaro Kikuchi (head, PEP Network of Child Care in Koriyama), Honoo Kurata (managing editor, Fukushima-Minpo), Koji Sasaki (superintendent of education, Board of Education, Shinchi town), Reiko Hachisuka (head, Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Okuma town), Tamaki Honda (specially appointed professor, Fukushima Future Center for Regional Revitalization, Fukushima University), Junko Yokota (director, NPO Sozai Hiroba), and Hiroshi Ono (managing editor, Fukushima Minyu Shimbun) (Translated by Kyodo News)