Spirit of Hope and Rebuilding at the Tidal Basin

Yayoi with Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki
Yayoi is visiting us from Japan.  She was in NYC when the deadly earthquake and Tsunami struck Honshu.  Sadly, Yayoi's parents still live in Fukushima, just 18 miles from the Daiichi power plants.
The plant was old with inadequate safety features.  When the natural disaster hit, the electricity supply was hampered, knocking out the cooling system.  Nuclear power needs coolant.  And without coolant, the reactor quickly heats up and is susceptible to failure.

A couple of days later, the plant exploded, spewing radiation into the atmosphere.  The radiation has spread south over Tokyo and northeast over the Pacific Ocean.

Today, Yayoi and I attended the National Cherry Blossom Festival "Stand for Japan".  We were deeply honored to attend and show our unyielding support for our partnership with one our greatest ally.

"Everything started on what I call 3/11 — earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incident — and we are still struggling," he said. "This is a very tough fight, but the consolation is people around the world are trying to be with us," said Ambassador Fujisaki.

After the ceremony, the Ambassador and a crowd of several hundred walked around the Tidal Basin with glow sticks in hand, waiving support for  one of America's closest Tomodachi, Japan.

I love Japan -- it's culture, it's language, it's people. Living in DC, I don't get the opportunity to meet a lot of Japanese.  That is why I am truly proud and elated that every year, my hometown showcases the largest festival celebrating the Japanese  culture and the biggest Japanese street festival in the world.

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