WASHINGTON — Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) issued the following statement on March 9:

“One year ago a horrific earthquake and tsunami devastated northeastern Japan, triggering a nuclear disaster and sending a nation into chaos. As we mark the one-year anniversary of this catastrophic event, Irene (Hirano Inouye) and I urge all Americans to honor the memory of the 16,000 victims who lost their lives and the 3,000 more who remain missing.

“We must never forget the heart shattering images of devastation, the families that were torn apart, and the communities that were destroyed. But we must also not forget the unprecedented outpouring of international relief that followed the March 11, 2011 tragedy.

“The U.S. military, civilians, and businesses gave generously to support the recovery, which continues today. All across northeastern Japan, a resilient, hard-working people are rebuilding their cities and putting their lives back together.

“I will continue to do all I can in the Congress of the United States to maintain and expand relations between the U.S. and Japan. Irene, through her work as president of the U.S.-Japan Council, continues to work through the Tomodachi public-private partnership to help the people of Japan rebuild while further strengthening the cultural and economic ties between our countries.

“The efforts in support of Japan, by all Americans, are a reminder that the partnership between our two nations is unbreakable and continues, stronger than ever before.”

Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who was born in Fukushima, also marked the anniversary:

“Today, Hawaii and our nation join with our friends in Japan in remembrance of all the victims of last year’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

“While this disaster took so much, it did not take the resolve, the courage or the ‘gaman’ or strength of the Japanese people. We in Hawaii and across the U.S. will continue to help them rebuild: from our donations to the launch of the Tomodachi Initiative that will use educational exchanges with students to deepen the friendship between our countries.

“It’s this investment in the future that will help heal the wounds of March 11, 2011.”

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