Honoring someone for his good deed is of course a wonderful thing to do and Japan has taken a good step in saying thank you to South Africa for their help during the 2011 earthquake that rocked their land.
South Africa may be engrossed in diverse upheavals that may make the world term the country a violent one but when it comes to helping other countries, granting reliefs and peaceful settlement of dispute, you can bet South Africa takes a leading role.
The Japanese Ambassador to South Africa‚ Mr. Shigeyuki Hiroki‚ will on Friday and Monday respectively, be presenting a certificates of appreciation to the team members at functions in Pretoria and Cape Town.
March 11, 2011 will remain remarkable to the Japanese who were rocked with an unprecedented earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0.
The earthquake which took place 231 miles northeast of Tokyo at a depth of 15.2 miles happened to be the fourth-largest earthquake on record (since 1900) and the largest to hit Japan.
The earthquake caused a tsunami with 30-foot waves that damaged several nuclear reactors in the area. It also had more than 18‚000 people killed and more than 400‚000 others displaced.
Having received this information, the South African government sent out a 45-member Urban Search and Rescue Team‚ consisting of firefighters‚ medics‚ disaster response specialists and seven members of the press‚ to Miyagi prefecture in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.
Miyagi happened to be the area that was most affected by the earthquake leading to about 9‚630 lives lost and 83‚000 houses totally destroyed.
“The SA team served literally tirelessly in such a difficult situation trying to save lives. The whole nation is grateful for their professionalism‚ respect and friendship‚ demonstrated and expressed to the victims of the disaster‚” the embassy said.
Japan relies on nuclear power, and many of the country’s nuclear reactors remain closed because of stricter seismic safety standards since the earthquake.
Amazingly, Five years after the 2011 earthquake, people’s daily lives are gradually getting back to normal as about 230,000 people who lost their homes are still living in temporary housing
“Residents in the region are well aware of the fact that today’s reconstruction is founded on the help of many people from around the world‚ including South Africa.
The embassy said issuing these certificates to the country that helped them was an act of saying thank you.
“The presentation of certificates is to reiterate the gratefulness of the Japanese Government and people.”