Leaders of disaster-stricken Japanese communities visit Australia

Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

5 October 2012

Leaders of two Japanese communities profoundly affected by last year's disaster will visit Australia, including flood-damaged Grantham in Queensland, TOMORROW (6 October).

The two leaders are Minami Sanriku Mayor Jin Sato and Iitate Village Council Chair Chohei Sato. The visit is funded by the Australia-Japan Foundation.

Minami Sanriku was devastated by the tsunami which swept through the town on 11 March. An Australian Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team was despatched to Minami Sanriku on 13 March and Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited the town in April 2011. Iitate Village in Fukushima was evacuated due to its proximity to the stricken nuclear power plant.

In Grantham, the leaders will meet the Mayor and families relocated following Grantham's decision to move some neighbourhoods to higher ground.

During their visit to Australia, the community leaders will also: