The People of Japan
by the Honorable Ichiro Fujisaki
Japanese Ambassador to the United States
Doctor of Humane Letters
After the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck their country on March 11, 2011, the people of Japan have exhibited extraordinary courage, grace, patience, and selflessness—inspiring people in every country of the world.
The dimensions of the disaster are immense: an area of destroyed homes and communities stretching more than 250 miles along the nation’s northeastern coast; thousands of citizens dead, injured, or missing; shortages of basic necessities and electrical power; and the ongoing efforts to stabilize the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
In the face of these unprecedented challenges, the Japanese people have met want with generosity, and mortal danger with fortitude. They have taken the rationing of food, water, and electricity in stride, as part of the price to be paid for getting their country back on its feet.
The Northeastern community is especially inspired by the reaction of Japan’s young men and women who work to find meaning in the crisis by volunteering to help rebuild the homes and lives of those who have lost nearly everything.
In honoring the people of Japan, we honor all their acts of heroism, fortitude, and sacrifice, today and in the weeks and months to come.