UN Chief Honors Japan’s Quake Victims Before Anniversary

Posted March 6th, 2012 at 2:10 am (UTC-5)
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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday praised the resilience of the survivors of Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami, just days before the one-year anniversary of the disaster.

Mr. Ban made his comments during a commemoration concert at the U.N. General Assembly, where traditional and contemporary Japanese musicians and dancers performed at an event titled, “Overcoming the Disaster: Gratitude from Japan to the World.”

“They have come here to show their commitment to victims of natural disasters around the world. Let us draw inspiration from tonight's performance to conquer tomorrow's challenges.”

Mr. Ban said the world should use the disaster to become stronger and more resilient. He said the U.N. remains committed to helping Japan recover, and will continue pressing for global progress on nuclear safety and security.

The magnitude 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami that struck northeast Japan on March 11, 2011 killed more than 15,000 people. One year later, more than 3,000 people are still missing.

The disaster also caused major damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant, leading to the world's worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl accident in Ukraine. More than 340,000 people who were evacuated from the disaster zone are still unable to return.