KUMAMOTO, Japan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A goal of the bid for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo was for the event to be a signal of Japan’s recovery after the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
The untimely spread of COVID-19, however, delayed the Olympics a year and forced competitions to be held without spectators. This meant all of the post-earthquake progress in Japan, meant to be unveiled to foreign visitors during the Olympics, went largely unnoticed by the world.
In 2016, Kumamoto was struck by a series of earthquakes. Dubbed the Kumamoto Earthquakes, the two strongest tremors measured magnitudes of 6.2 and 7.0. Kumamoto, too, was looking forward to the Olympics as a measure of recovery from its own disaster.
But as in eastern Japan, COVID-19 prevented foreign visitors from coming to see the progress for themselves. As an alternative, we would like to show you in our website some of what Kumamoto has accomplished in the past five years.
Earthquake Recovery, Kumamoto 5 years later
Recovery in Mt. Aso, Active Volcano and Caldera Area
Mt. Aso, one of Japan’s premier tourist areas, greatly suffered from the earthquake. Five years later, recovery efforts have resulted in an even more robust infrastructure and the reopening of many sightseeing spots. If the pandemic was not an issue, Mt. Aso area would be in perfect shape to welcome back throngs of visitors.
Rebuilding Kumamoto Castle, the Symbol of Kumamoto
Kumamoto Castle, which was built in 1607, is the symbol of Kumamoto and the heart and soul of Kumamoto’s people. The earthquakes toppled buildings, smashed roof tiles, and reduced stone walls to rubble. Now, reconstruction on the castle continues. An elevated walkway has been completed to offer access to the interior of the castle, and the castle keeps are now open to the public.
Popular Manga and Anime “One Piece” Lends a Hand for Reconstruction
Original story arc of One Peace “Hinokuni Recovery” was created to support Kumamoto. In it, each of the characters (Luffy and the 9 members of the Straw Hat Pirates) use their powers to help Kumamoto. Bronze statues of each characters are in the process of being unveiled through Kumamoto Prefecture.
Please check our website for details.