NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES – About 700 Americans and Japanese offered prayers Sunday at memorial events in New York and Los Angeles ahead of Saturday’s anniversary of the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
At a church in downtown Manhattan, around 400 people observed a moment of silence requested by Japan’s consul general in New York, Reiichiro Takahashi.
Attending the ceremony from the disaster-struck town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, was 28-year-old Takeshi Matsunaga, who has been promoting traditional local pottery.
“I want to keep my hometown by passing down to the next generation the culture that has been cherished and protected in my region,” said Matsunaga, who was forced to relocate his family’s kiln following the reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
A choir sang a Japanese song, and a call was issued to support the victims of the powerful earthquakes in and around Kumamoto Prefecture last April.