As we enter the fifth year after the disaster I offer my prayers to those who lost their lives and also extend my condolences to people who lost loved ones.
I also want to extend my deep and profound gratitude to those throughout Japan and from many countries around the world who offered kinds words of support, goods, and funds to help with our recovery efforts.
Here in Rikuzentakata we are continuing our rebuilding, reconstruction, and recovery efforts by creating buildable land for residents in the hills nearby. We are also raising the land of the area that was our central commercial district before the disaster to create buildable land here for local businesses. In the future we will have a seawall that will include the replanting of the Takata Matsubara, the 70,000 pine tree grove that was lost in the disaster.
This fiscal year is the second year of expanding our reconstruction plan and as such, we consider it a year to challenge ourselves. As we move forward with our recovery and reconstruction efforts, we are recreating the city into one that is resilient and that can withstand future disasters that may occur. We also want to make our city a joyful and happy place for our residents to live.
We are focusing on a specific plan to create a resilient, happy, and joyful city. Rikuzentakata will be a city focused on intentional inclusion where people of all walks of life and all kinds of special needs will be welcome. We will recreate our city into one where the elderly, those with special mental and emotional and physical needs can live in comfort, foreigners and children alike can live easily, and women needing pre-, and post-natal care can find the help they need. Our goal is complete inclusion—a city where everyone is happy and smiling—residents and visitors alike.
We thank you for your continued support and look forward to seeing you in our city.
Rikuzentakata Mayor Futoshi Toba