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U.S. Embassy’s deputy chief of mission visits Ofunato, Rikuzentakata, hailing “robust reconstruction”

  • June 1, 2019
  • Tokai Shimpo , p. 1
  • JMH Translation

On May 31, Joseph M. Young, deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy in Japan, visited Ofunato and Rikuzentakata and examined their efforts for reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake. He hailed the progress in the reconstruction of the cities eight years after the disaster by saying, “I was happy to observe the robust reconstruction taking place.”


DCM Young previously held several key posts, such as chief of the embassy’s political-military unit, deputy foreign policy advisor for the U.S. Pacific Command and director for Japanese affairs at the U.S. Department of State. He assumed the current post in August 2017.


He is visiting Iwate Prefecture to attend the opening ceremony of the “2019 Sanriku Disaster Risk Reduction and Reconstruction Project,” which is being held in various cities and towns along the prefecture’s Sanriku coast from June 1. He is visiting Ofunato and Rikuzentakata, as the cities are active in promoting friendship exchanges with the U.S.


At the Rikuzentakata City Hall, DCM Young met with Rikuzentakata Mayor Futoshi Toba; Municipal Assembly Speaker Akihiko Ito; Saeki Suga, director of the city office; Kiyoshi Murakami, advisor of the city office; and several others. The city presented him a locally brewed sake during the gift-exchange ceremony.


Mayor Toba referred to the signing of a sister-city relationship with Crescent City in the U.S. in April 2018 and noted, “We are very grateful for the continued friendship with Crescent City and hope this friendship will continue for a long time.”


DCM Young was pleased to see the steady progress in the reconstruction of the city and said, “We hope the friendship between Rikuzentakata and the U.S. will further deepen.”


After this, he toured the city and left for Ofunato.

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