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Your Royal Highness, your excellencies ambassadors, ladies and gentlemen.
Today I speak on behalf of the Danish government.
But I have to tell you that I also come as a father, as a husband and as a friend of Japan.
I reverently pay sincere tribute to the souls of the many victims of last year’s devastating disasters.
And I wish to express my heartfelt sympathy for those still suffering from the aftermath of the catastrophes.
Japan is the only country having experienced nuclear devastation in times of war and peace.
You have truly been tried and tormented.
Although it is still difficult to know all of the consequences of last year’s catastrophes − the consequences for agriculture, the fishing industry and the health of your people −there is no doubt of the impressive strength and courage of the Japanese people in a time of crisis.
We look with great admiration on the immense efforts to rebuild your country during the last year.
The city Higashi-Matsushima stands as a h3 symbol of your struggle.
A once peaceful city, where people woke up as any other day, where children walked to school as any other day and parents went off to work as any other day.
Suddenly disaster struck!
And a few minutes after nearly 2000 people had died or gone missing, houses were wrecked and lives torn apart.
More than half of the city was completely destroyed and everyone had lost a loved one.I can only begin to imagine the nature of your sorrow and distress.
His Royal Highness the Crown Prince visited the city last summer and tightened the bonds and the friendship between our two countries.
Denmark and the city of Higashi-Matsushima have created a foundation called the Higashi-Matsushima Denmark Friendship Children’s Fund to assist children in the area.
After visiting Denmark, Higashi-Matsushima has decided to rebuild the city to a low carbon future.
Denmark has a long history and experience of detaching ourselves from fossil fuels, and however humble and small our contribution might seem, we are happy and honored to take part in the green development of Japan.
Your strength, will and effort clearly show how seeds of hope can blossom even on the barest ground.
Fukushima marked an energy U-turn.
It reminded us all of how vulnerable we are and how essential security and sustainability is.
As I see it there is no question that renewable energy can be harnessed for the good of mankind.
The only question is whether there is the collective will to do so.
The story of Higashi-Matsushima clearly shows there is.
To all the men and women who have worked so heroically to save the lives of others in the crucial hours and days of the disasters,
To all the men, women and children who are now courageously rebuilding the great nation of Japan,
To all these I send my sincerest thoughts on behalf of the Danish government and the Danish people.
You will overcome this and build a h3er future.
As you say in Japan:
Keizoku wa chikara nari:
Perseverance is power.
You have shown the power of struggle, the will to keep going and the determination to create a better future.
You truly lead by example.