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Statement on the One-Year Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck on March 11. Tragically, for so many, that fateful day has brought a year filled with an unfathomable sense of emptiness and pain due to the loss of those dearest and loved; the loss of homes, schools, and livelihoods; and the loss felt by those compelled to evacuate due to the nuclear power station disaster and profound devastation. As we remember the victims and the tragic turn of events which began on this day, on behalf of the Waseda University community, I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to all who were lost, and my sincere condolences to all whose lives have been changed forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

On the heels of this unprecedented calamity, Waseda University set into motion its recovery aid initiatives by establishing the "Office for Aiding Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake," drawing upon the resources of the entire University. These initiatives key in on three policy areas: (I) Educational aid for students affected by the disaster, including tuition-waiving schemes; (II) Aid for the affected regions, centering on volunteer activities and disaster aid funds; and (III) Recovery aid, encompassing disaster-related research activities.

As a result of our endeavors, during the past year, over 200 students have been recognized as recipients of scholarships and tuition waivers; another 2,000 of our students have served as disaster and reconstruction volunteers; and the "Center for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake" spearheads a broad research undertaking comprised of 3 projects on 7 themes. On an individual level, a tremendous number of our students, faculty, and staff have, on their own initiative, donated their time and energy in disaster aid-related activities. Some of their work has been documented in a series of books entitled, "Shinsai-go ni kangaeru* (In the aftermath: reflecting on 3.11)."

Waseda University has, and will always be a contributor to the advancement of not only Japanese society, but the global community as a whole. With the massive reconstruction effort underway, we stand committed to applying our resources to rebuild for a better future.

Kaoru Kamata
Waseda University