November 1, 2011, in response to a question from Councillor Chiaki Takahashi during the Plenary Session of the House of Councillors
"The spirit of caring about others amidst great difficulties is noble Japanese ethos worthy of pride at a global level. I believe that the earnestness, compassion, and true fortitude of the people of the disaster-stricken areas also demonstrated to the world the virtues of the Japanese people and left an impression upon them. Through the people of the affected areas, the local municipalities, the volunteers who have gathered from all over the world, and the entire Japanese people nurturing to a great size the buds of hope emerging in the disaster-stricken areas, it goes beyond the reconstruction of the affected areas, to also become the strength to create a new Japan."
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