The Bulgarian parliamentary delegation headed by the National Assembly President Tsetska Tsacheva visited one of the regions in Japan most strongly affected by the earthquake back in March 2011.In the town of Higashi Matsushima the Bulgarian parliamentarians held talks with representatives of the local authorities as well as school children and had a meeting at the local university ‘Tohogu Gakuin’. They visited on the spot the municipal areas hit by the tsunami and witnessed the reconstruction activities in connection with the catastrophic natural disaster.
Japan, the country going through a heavy suffering with an impressive resilience and morale, is overcoming the aftermaths of the destructive calamity resounding one single message: Revival. This could be seen at the entrance of the city hall where a slogan reads: “Let us join our strength and morale’. For 1000 years there has been no such disaster, we were helpless before nature, said at the meeting with the Bulgarian delegation the Mayor of Higashi Matsushima, Hideo Abe. 1071 persons have lost their lives to the disaster, 49 are still considered missing, more than 3200 families have been affected by the natural calamity. Japan is extremely grateful for the solidarity and support as well as for the readiness of the Bulgarian party to activate the exchanges with the regions hit by the disaster.
The National Assembly President Tsetska Tsacheva and the accompanying parliamentary delegation visited ‘Naruse’ Secondary School and conversed with school children and teachers. The Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament handed air tickets for Bulgaria to 16 Japanese children and 4 accompanying persons who will visit our country at the end of May at the invitation of the Bulgarian state. The invitation, initiated by the Embassy of Bulgaria in Tokyo, has been extended by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry. The students, selected through an essay writing competition on Bulgaria, will visit the town of Belogradchik and the capital city of Sofia and will take part in the rose picking in the Rose Valley town of Kazanlak. Tsetska Tsacheva invited the Japanese children to be special guests of the Bulgarian Parliament during their stay in Bulgaria. In front of the Community Culture House the Bulgarian parliamentarians together with their Japanese hosts planted 20 Bulgarian roses symbolizing the friendship and hope for fast recovery of the affected region.
At the meeting with the Rectorship of the local university ‘Tohogu Gakuin’ it became known that very soon an Agreement for Cooperation and Exchange of Students is to be signed with the ‘St. Clement of Okhrid’ Sofia University which received high appreciation by both parties as a solid fundament for future academic exchanges, fruitful cooperation and joint projects of high scientific value and applicability. With its network of schools and agreements signed ‘Tohoku’ University is about to become one of the main centers of the region with a capacity to carry out studies on the damages and losses incurred by the disaster.
Today the Bulgarian delegation will visit the town of Hiroshima where the program foresees sightseeing of the ‘Heiwa Kinen Koen’ Memorial Complex, the symbol of the city-victim of the atomic bomb. Tsetska Tsacheva will lay a wreath at the memorial and have a meeting with the Mayor of Hiroshima, Kadzumi Matsui.