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March 17, 2011

Devastating Earthquake and Tsunami in Northern Japan

[Page: H1850]  GPO's PDF 

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(Ms. HIRONO asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, I grew up in Fukushima, Japan, where earthquake preparedness is part of life, but nothing could have prepared any nation for the natural disasters that occurred on Friday.

While my mother has successfully contacted our relatives in Japan, many families haven't been able to find or contact their loved ones. Thousands of victims are in shelters. Many are still missing. The death toll continues to rise.

``Tsunami'' is a Japanese word that the world understands. We have seen the 30-foot walls of water sweeping across farmlands, wiping out everything in its path.

``Gaman'' is a Japanese word that describes strength and endurance. Gaman will help the Japanese people through this tragedy, but they do not stand alone. People from all over the world have sent messages of support, and donations continue. In the midst of tragedy, common humanity transcends geopolitical boundaries.

Hawaii's ties to Japan are deep. Hawaii's banks are donation dropoff points. The Hawaii blood bank is coordinating a national drive. Fukushima and Miyagi Kenjin Kai and the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce are among many helping.

Minasan, doomo arigatou gozaimasu--everyone, thank you very much.

(House of Representatives - March 16, 2011)

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