NHK reported online that Ambassador Kennedy visited the Kumamoto City International Center on Friday and presented a letter of appreciation to the operator of the center for helping American and other foreign citizens in the region who were affected by the earthquakes last month. The Ambassador also handed a letter of gratitude to Sara Brown, an American working as an assistant language teacher in the city of Kikuchi in Kumamoto Prefecture, who helped confirm the safety of 200 American and other citizens via social media and other means. On the same day, Kumamoto Mayor Onishi accompanied the Ambassador on a visit to Kumamoto Castle, which incurred serious damage from the earthquakes. The Ambassador was quoted as saying that she hopes the castle will be restored as the people of Kumamoto reconstruct their lives and that the United States will do whatever necessary to support that effort.
Sankei’s western Japan edition, Mainichi’s Kyushu edition, and Kumamoto Nichinichi Shimbun also reported on the Ambassador’s visit to Kumamoto, adding that she met with Kumamoto Governor Kabashima. Sankei quoted the governor as telling reporters after the meeting that Ambassador Kennedy’s message that the U.S. is a friend of Kumamoto is a great encouragement to its people.