Japanese hold event to thank Taiwan for post-earthquake support

12/30/2014 02:30 PM
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Taipei, Dec. 20 (CNA) A four-day event is being held in Taipei to show Japan's gratitude for the assistance and donations contributed by Taiwan following a powerful earthquake and tsunami in 2011, as well as to promote tourism in northeastern Japan.

The event, which runs through Dec. 22 at the Taipei Expo Park, has been organized by a group of Japanese living in Taipei who are mainly from six prefectures in northeastern Japan -- Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, which were the hardest hit area in the natural disaster, and Aomori, Akita, Yamagata.

A large certificate of appreciation is posted at the venue to get the message of thanks across.

"Everyone in Taiwan offered tremendous support and assistance in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake on March 11, 2011, which has greatly contributed to the recovery of Japan's six northeastern prefectures," it said. "We express our sincerest gratitude to you."

Visitors to the event, meanwhile, have the opportunity to learn more about local culture and taste signature foods from northeastern Japan.

In addition, traditional dances, concerts, percussion shows and performances featuring shamisen -- a Japanese traditional three-stringed instrument -- are also being staged over the four days to showcase the cultural diversity of the six prefectures.

There are also placards introducing natural scenes and cultural activities, such as temple festivals, in an effort to spark interest in visiting the areas.

To encourage more participation, the event has lucky draws offering free round-trip tickets to Japan.

The event is the latest in a series of activities held by the Japanese over the past three years to thank Taiwan and its people for the US$260 million in relief and reconstruction aid following the disaster, the most of any country in the world.

Nearly 20,000 people lost their lives in a deadly tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9 earthquake off the coast of northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011.

(By Elaine Hou)ENDITEM/ls

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