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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 January 14 - 20  > Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake marks 20th anniversary
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2015 January 14 - 20 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake marks 20th anniversary

January 18, 2015
On January 17, the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake which claimed 6,434 lives, various memorial events took place in Kobe City. Representatives of the Japanese Communist Party attended these events, renewing their resolve not to allow the memories of the disaster to fade away.

At Suwayama Park giving a sweeping view over the whole city, about 180 people gathered in the early morning and offered a one-minute silent prayer for the dead at 5:46 a.m., the exact time the quake occurred. Muneta Eiko, 80, living in Kobe, said, “My four-year-old granddaughter happened to be at my house that day and was killed. I want to apologize to her for being unable to save her life.”

The Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake Hyogo Congress for Rescue and Restoration held a memorial service in the city with more than 350 citizens participating. JCP Secretariat Head Yamashita Yoshiki delivered a speech, stressing that survivors’ and their supporters’ tenacious efforts moved the government and led to the enactment of the Disaster-Victim Relief Law in 1998. He pledged to continue working hard to support victims, making good use of the JCP’s enhanced power in the Diet.

The JCP Hyogo Prefectural Committee issued a statement, pointing to the fact that many victims are still suffering as they have been under pressure from authorities to leave local government-rented housing units or to repay the disaster aid funds they borrowed following the disaster.

JCP Chair Shii Kazuo and Lower House member Horiuchi Terufumi from Hyogo offered flowers at another ceremony hosted by the prefecture.

Past related article:
> 1995 quake victims in Itami can continue living in public housing [January 26, 2013]
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