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6 Mar 2012

Commemoration of the Great East Japan Earthquake

<div id="agrandir" style="cursor:hand;font-size:10px;color:grey;/*margin-top:-1em;*/" onclick="popup.open('http://www.mri.gouv.qc.ca/PDF/actualites/Vice_consul_500.jpg')">Click to enlarge</div> <span style="font-size:10px;color:grey;/*margin-top:-1em;*/"> Takanari Kakuda, Acting Consul General of Japan in Montréal, and Maryse Gaudreault, MNA for Hull, and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of International Relations <i>(Photos: Consulate General of Japan in Montréal)</i></span>

Takanari Kakuda, Acting Consul General of Japan in Montréal, today commemorated the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. Maryse Gaudreault, MNA for Hull, and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of International Relations, attended the ceremony as the representative of the Government of Québec.

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to be with you this evening to honour the memory of the missing and the victims of these disasters,” said Ms. Gaudreault.

She continued by mentioning the many expressions of sympathy by Quebecers for the people of Japan, including the motion of solidarity and compassion that was unanimously adopted by the National Assembly in the presence of His Excellency Ambassador Ishikawa.

Fund-raising activities and spontaneous actions

Various fund-raising activities, some organized by recognized official organizations, were organized. For example, the Canadian Red Cross raised $48 million for the cause, $2 million of which came from Québec, while OXFAM-Québec joined forces with Humanitarian Coalition, a Canadian organization, to raise $675,000.

The MNA for Hull also mentioned the solidarity of Quebecers: “What was the most impressive was the spontaneous actions of civil society and the artistic community. They mobilized quickly throughout Québec to organize benefits that raised $2 million is just 3 months.”

Tangible financial support from Québec

More recently, the Québec Government Office in Tokyo, in collaboration with the Ministère des Relations internationales du Québec, made a donation to NADIA, which was founded by Quebecer Christine Lavoie-Gagnon. This organization is working in the field with hundreds of volunteers to support the reconstruction efforts of inhabitants of the regions affected bythe disaster.

Japan, a major partner

The Government of Québec did not hesitate in its desire to continue to develop its relations with Japan. Worthy of mention is the trip by the Premier, accompanied by the Minister of International Relations, the first mission by a Canadian politician to the archipelago after the tragic events. Mr. Charest wanted to go to Japan as soon as possible. Pierre Corbeil, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, is currently in Japan with a business delegation to participate in FOODEX, the International Food and Beverage Exhibition.

Québec is determined to continue developing its relations with Japan.
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