Auckland Sends Condolence Messages to Japan

( The Mayor has announced that condolence messages have been sent to Auckland Council’s Japanese sister cities in the wake of Friday’s destructive earthquake and tsunami.

Auckland Council has relationships with Fukuoka, Shinagawa, Tomioka, Kakogawa, Utsunomiya, Furudono and Hara-mura.

Tomioka appears to be the area worst affected, being only 10 kilometres away from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Two Aucklanders were teaching in Tomioka as part of the JET programme (Japan Exchange and Teaching).

The council has had confirmation that they are both safe but shaken, and they are now in a town 100km away.

The council supports the programme, which is led by the Consulate-General of Japan in Auckland. At least one teacher from Auckland is based in Tomioka annually as part of the programme.

The friendship relationship between Auckland and Tomioka was originally signed in 1983 by One Tree Hill Borough Council. Following local government amalgamation in 1989, the newly formed Auckland City Council retained the link with Tomioka. The current focus of the relationship is on education.

Cr Arthur Anae attended the annual Japan Day in Auckland yesterday, on behalf of the Mayor.

He expressed his condolences on behalf of the Mayor to the people of Japan and the Japanese community in New Zealand.

Members of Auckland Council’s Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel also attended Japan Day and conveyed their thoughts to the leaders and members of the local Japanese community.

Interim Chair Amail Habib says this is an extremely sad moment for the entire world.

“We hope that you will remain steadfast amidst all the challenges of coping with such tragedy. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We want you to know that that we are thinking of you through this tough and difficult time.”

“We pray that God gives you the strength and courage to remain strong during this time of extreme stress. We stand side by side with you in support and you will remain in our prayers through this time of tragedy.”

Media Release 14 March 2011 from Auckland City Council.