March 2011 Tohoku Disaster Anniversary

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 11, 2016

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Great East Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunami, which caused immense human suffering and devastation in Japan. We remember the courage of the Japanese people as they confronted this tragedy and again offer our condolences to all those harmed in the disaster, especially those who lost loved ones.

We also recall the heroism of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, the U.S. military, and other international partners, who, along with government officials on both sides, including our diplomatic mission in Japan, provided relief to tens of thousands of people in Operation TOMODACHI, meaning “friendship.” Their efforts demonstrated the enduring strength of the U.S.-Japan Alliance.

Since 2011, that same spirit of friendship has marked the charitable work of private U.S. organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to Japan’s recovery.

In the years ahead, the United States will remain fully supportive of Japan as it continues to address the remaining challenges of reconstruction in areas affected by the disaster.