Tokyo (AFP) April 11, 2011
Prime minister Naoto Kan on Monday placed signed adverts in some of the world's leading papers thanking people around the globe for their support in the month since a huge tsunami barrelled into Japan.
The three-quarter page advert, entitled "Thank you for the Kizuna (bonds of friendship)" ran in international papers including the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and the International Herald Tribune.
"One month has passed since an earthquake of unprecedented scale struck Japan, taking thousands of precious lives," the advert said.
"In the tsunami-devastated regions there was no food, no water, no electricity and the survivors had no communications.
"At that desperate time people from around the world rallied to our side bringing hope and inspiring courage.
"We deeply appreciate the Kizuna our friends around the world have shown and I want to thank every nation, entity and you personally from the bottom of my heart."
Countries including the US, Australia, Mexico, China and many European nations sent teams to help in the aftermath of the 9.0 magnitude quake and the huge tsunami it generated.
Many other nations sent donations or promised financial support to help the world's third largest economy recover from a disaster that has left around 28,000 people dead or missing, with more than 150,000 people still homeless.
Support came from unusual places, with even poverty-stricken Afghanistan pledging $1 million to help in the rebuilding of one of its major donors.
In addition to national donations many charities have been involved in the relief effort and individuals have pledged cash to help people on Japan's northeast coast, where the towering tsunami crushed whole towns.
Action hero Jackie Chan and other Asian stars staged a charity concert in Hong Kong, raising more than $3 million.
A government spokesman said Kan's message went to seven selected newspapers, including in China, South Korea, Russia and France.
"To mark the first month after the earthquake, Prime Minister Kan wished to express his gratitude directly to the public of foreign countries for their sympathy and assistance," said an official of the Cabinet Office, who organised the campaign.
"The prime minister will post a fresh message on his Internet page to again reiterate his gratitude to the foreign public," she said.
earlier related report
Here is the text of the advertisement, entitled Kizuna (the bonds of friendship):
Thank you for the Kizuna.
One month has passed since an earthquake of unprecedented scale struck Japan, taking thousands of precious lives. Even today, evacuation shelters are still the only refuge for more than 150,000 people.
In the tsunami-devastated regions there was no food, no water, no electricity and the survivors had no communications. At that desperate time people from around the world rallied to our side bringing hope and inspiring courage.
Every blanket and every cup of hot soup brought warmth and strength to the cold and exhausted who had lost everything. Rescue teams heroically searched for survivors in the heaps of broken rubble, while medical teams worked tirelessly caring for the injured.
We are still receiving a tremendous outpouring of encouragement, prayers and support from people worldwide. We deeply appreciate the Kizuna our friends around the world have shown and I want to thank every nation, entity, and you personally, from the bottom of my heart.
Reconstruction has already begun and we are putting every effort into stabilising the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
Through our own efforts and with the help of the global community, Japan will recover and come back even stronger. We will then repay you for your generous aid.
With this in our hearts, we now stand together dedicated to rebuilding the nation.
As our feelings of deep gratitude to you grow into feelings of hope, we, the people of Japan, express our sincere thanks to you all.
Prime Minister of Japan.
A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed.
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