New Komeito officials onsite, propose aid initiatives for victims

March 20 , 2011

Yamaguchi inspects fishing trawlers beached by tsunami in Asahi City, Chiba, on Mar. 19Yamaguchi inspects fishing trawlers beached by tsunami in Asahi City, Chiba, on Mar. 19

March 20: Chief Representative Natsuo Yamaguchi and Secretary General Yoshihisa Inoue traveled through several prefectures that were among the most severely hit by the mega-quake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on March 11.

On March 19, Yamaguchi visited temporary shelters in Ibaragi and Chiba prefectures, speaking with refugees and offering encouragement. He promised them that New Komeito would do everything in its power to address their every concern and need.

Inoue speaks with survivor of a tsunami and fire that gutted Kesenuma City, MiyagiMeanwhile, Inoue traveled to two cities and a town in Miyagi prefecture that were devastated by a giant tsunami. He listed the construction of provisional housing and the need to secure appropriate shelters for refugees until the facilities were built as top priorities.

The major political parties had agreed on a 72-hour moratorium of Diet member visits out of consideration for the burden such visits would cause local authorities. New Komeito monitored developments closely and decided to dispatch officials to the stricken region only after it was ascertained that their presence would not prove a hindrance to the disaster relief effort.

However, because Inoue was elected from the proportional representation bloc of the Tohoku region, which bore the brunt of the temblor and tsunami, he was onsite by the morning of March 13.