Embassy visit for Norfolk GCSE students researching earthquake and tsunami recovery

Daisuke Tsuchiya responds to questions from students of East Norfolk Sixth Form College

On 20 March, a group of 19 students from East Norfolk Sixth Form College visited the embassy to put questions to a representative about how Japan has been coping since the Great East Japan Earthquake a year ago. Daisuke Tsuchiya, 1st Secretary and Deputy Director of the Japan Information and Cultural Centre, responded to the students questions and provided them with background information on the reconstruction process.

The GCSE English students, who have been researching the effects of the disaster following a suggestion by student Jalal Almadfai, requested a visit to the embassy to learn more about the impact the disaster has had and how the country is recovering. Under the guidance of their teacher, David Jacques, they have also been involved in raising money for charities supporting orphans of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Their questions ranged from those concerning the level of international support Japan received in the aftermath, to what was being done to support the many children who have lost parents and family members.

The students asked a number of questions regarding
reconstruction activities being carried out in Japan

Responding to the more personal question of what his initial reaction had been upon hearing the news of the earthquake and tsunami, Daisuke Tsuchiya commented candidly that he felt humbled at how powerful nature could be and that he could have never imagined the scale of the damage. Speaking about the reconstruction process itself, he described how, despite the many challenges that still remain, Japan has seen significant progress being made in many areas of its recovery.

As well as including the session as part of their oral assignments, the students were able to go away with a greater understanding of the situation in Japan. "I have learned through our work on the tsunami and from the visit to the embassy that helping lives really makes a difference in your life," concluded Jalal Almadfai. "The officials at the embassy were so welcoming and friendly. We learned so much from them - they took us seriously and really listened," said Luis Barbosa and Miguel Dos-Reis.