Statement on the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

  • Statement

Today we mark 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, as we join our Japanese friends to remember those who tragically lost their lives.

The Australian Government pays its respects to the Government and people of Japan, the first responders, and those who lost loved ones in this disaster.

In the decade since the disaster, Japan has shown great determination to recover as a nation and rebuild the disaster-affected regions.

The people of these regions have shown great resilience and have generously shared their lessons on disaster recovery and preparedness with others around the world.

Throughout this difficult time, Australia has been at Japan’s side as a friend and partner. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, Australia deployed a 72-person Urban Search and Rescue Team, as well as Defence assets to work alongside Japanese authorities. Australian companies have also made lasting contributions to rebuilding the affected communities in the years since 2011.

The partnerships formed during the response to this disaster led to friendships between Australian and Japanese people which endure to this day.

When Australians faced our own challenges during the bushfires in 2019-2020, Japan extended a helping hand by deploying members of the Self Defence Force to help with the recovery effort.

Through these challenges, the Special Strategic Partnership between Australia and Japan has been further strengthened. We are committed to contributing to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific, including in responding to the challenges presented by COVID-19. 

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