Emperor Akihito

Pre-Recorded Speech to the Nation on Disaster Relief Efforts and Hope

delivered 16 March 2011


Windows Media Video Stream

Audio AR-XE mp3 of Address

Plug-in required for flash audio


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

The 9.0 earthquake that struck the Tohoku-Pacific region was an extraordinarily large earthquake. I have been deeply hurt by the miserable situation in the affected areas. The number of deaths from earthquakes and tsunamis has increased day by day, and we do not know yet how many victims we will eventually have. I pray for the survival of as many people as possible.

I am also deeply concerned about the situation at the nuclear power plant, as no one can predict what will happen next. It is my deepest hope that, by the effort of all those people concerned, the current situation can be prevented from becoming any worse.

Currently, a nationwide rescue operation is taking place. However, under the severely cold weather, many evacuees have been placed in an unavoidable situation where they are subject to extreme suffering, due to the lack of food, drinking water, fuel, and so on. I truly hope that by making the greatest effort possible to rescue the victims promptly we can improve their lives as much as possible. And, hopefully, these efforts we will be able to encourage the victims and offer them hope, as they try to recover.

More than anything, I am deeply impressed by the courageousness of people who have survived the disaster, encouraging themselves as victims, and trying to live for tomorrow. We have people working for our nation and local self-governing bodies, such as self-defense forces, police, fire fighters, and the Japan Coast Guard, rescuers from other countries, and people who belong to various relief organizations in Japan. These people have been working day and night to move the rescue operation forward despite the fact that they are under the dangerous situation of aftershocks. I am deeply grateful for these relief efforts, and I would like to show my appreciation for their efforts.

I have received telegrams of sympathy from heads of state around the world, one after another, whose words indicate that their nations’ hearts and deep emotions are with the victims of this disaster. I will convey this message to people in the affected areas.

I have been informed that there are many people abroad discussing how calm the Japanese have remained -- helping one another, and showing disciplined conduct, even though they are in deep grief. I hope from the bottom of my heart that we can continue working together, helping and being considerate of one another to overcome this unfortunate period.

I believe it is important that we all share to the fullest extent, and in as many ways as possible, the burden of these forthcoming days of suffering. I pray for the victims to never give up their hopes, to take care of themselves, and to live through tomorrow onwards. Also, I sincerely pray for every single person in Japan to continue thinking of the affected areas, having one’s heart with the victims, and watching over the recovery process in various regions.

Japanese Text Transcript





そして何にも増して、この大災害を生き抜き、被災者としての自らを励ましつつ、これからの日々を生きようとしている人々の雄々しさに深く胸を打たれています。自衛隊、警察、消防、海上保安庁をはじめとする国や地方自治体の人々、諸外国からの救援のために来日した人々。 国内のさまざまな救援組織に属する人々が、余震の続く危険な状況の中で、日夜、救援活動を進めている努力に感謝し、その労を深くねぎらいたく思います。




Book/CDs by Michael E. Eidenmuller, Published by McGraw-Hill (2008)

Research Note: English translation by Dr. Naomi Kagawa

Audio Note: AR-XE = American Rhetoric Extreme Enhancement

Copyright Status: Text, Audio, Image = Uncertain.

Top 100 American Speeches

Online Speech Bank

Movie Speeches

© Copyright 2001-Present. 
American Rhetoric.