Joint Statement on the First Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake

John V. Roos, U.S. Ambassador to Japan
Lieutenant General Burton M. Field, Commander of United States Forces, Japan

March 9, 2012

On March 11 one year ago, Japan suffered an unprecedented triple disaster. The combination of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the massive tsunami, and subsequent nuclear crisis will forever stand as a tragic episode in Japan’s history. We grieve with all of the families and friends who lost loved ones on that terrible day.

The entire world witnessed the bravery and resilience of the Japanese people as they worked to recover and rebuild from the unimaginable devastation of March 11. It is this spirit that we wish to recognize: the selfless acts of the first responders, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, and the everyday Japanese who volunteered to help their fellow citizens in a time of great need. The true lesson of March 11 is not the story of the destructive power of nature’s forces, but rather it is the inspiring narrative of the enduring ability of the human spirit to overcome adversity.

On this day, we honor the memory of all the victims of the tragedy. And as Japan moves forward with its revitalization, we pledge the continuing friendship and support of the United States.