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Big quake hit northeastern region of Japan


A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 hit rural areas that include southern Iwate Prefecture and northern Miyagi Prefectures, a northeastern region of Japan, at around 8:43 a.m. on June 14.


As of June 17, 10 people are confirmed, 266 injured, and 12 still missing. 333 are living in evacuation shelters.


The Japanese Communist Party soon established a task force, headed by JCP Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi, which began activities in cooperation with local JCP assembly members.


JCP House of Representatives Takahashi Chizuko arrived in Oshu City, one of the most devastated areas of Iwate Prefecture, and visited evacuees at the shelters to encourage them and hear their stories.


The JCP district committee secretary, Sanmaiyama Mitsuhiro, headed straight to Ichinoseki City, another heavily affected city in Iwate, and listened to residents explain the extent of damage.


On the following day, Takahashi visited the Oshu City Government Office and encouraged Mayor Aihara Masaaki, saying, gIn addition to the central government relief, the JCP together with its city assembly membersf group will also provide every possible relief.h The mayor replied, gThank you. We appreciate your support.h


At the Ichinoseki City Government Office, Takahashi met Mayor Asai Tobei and the local fire chief to hear how the evacuation is going in isolated villages and the prospects for recovery from the damage caused by landsides.


Takahashi also visited a shelter established at an elementary school and met victims rescued by helicopters from a village where a road was cut off due to landslides, and listened to their requests.                - Akahata, June 15&16, 2008


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