Chair Ana Tostões, DOCOMOMO International,Barcelona, SpainAnd, the DOCOMOMO International community worldwide
April 4, 2011
Dear Ms. Chair and all of you friends and supporters of the DOCOMOMO International community worldwide:We would like first to express our heartfelt gratitude for all your sympathies, condolences and support messages extended to us in Japan concerning the massive devastations caused by the 3.11.2011 Northeastern Japan Great Earthquake and Tsunami.
Fortunately, DOCOMOMO JAPAN, headquartered in Tokyo, has survived the quake as most of Tokyo, while we were well shaken, nevertheless, had received very little real damage. This earthquake of Magnitude 9.0 and the Tsunamis that followed defied even our heightened state of natural disaster preparedness, for, unlike the previous large earthquakes in our collective memory in history that mostly affected a rather singular and limited area (city), this one exceeded our predictions as not only by being so enormous but also by its overwhelming linear length of approximately 600km long which covered almost the whole northeastern Pacific coast, thus affected the entire region so vast in area. The results were apocalyptical as you must have seen the repeated images on TV. The relief efforts are underway in huge scale, and we too pledge our best for the cause, but the full recovery of the region will take years. The stricken region boasted a collection of buildings and structures with architectural distinction including some that were listed in the DOCOMOMO JAPAN selections. Details of the status of those are uncertain at this time. We will make our effort to gather the related information.
As for the damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant caused by the Tsunamis is another matter that requires a close attention. As of this writing, frantic and heroic efforts are continuing to contain the damaged reactors. The experts analyzed the situation we currently face to be critical and worse than the case of Three Mile Island in 1979 but not nearly as bad as it was in the case of Chernobyl disaster in 1986, that eventually it will be contained. While the cases of the radioactive contamination are detected in the environment, they are limited to the immediate neighborhood of the power plant site. Therefore, despite some media reports to the contrary, as Tokyo is some 230km south-west of the site, there is no real threat of any kind to those in Tokyo area at this time. But certainly we will need to keep our monitoring.
DOCOMOMO JAPAN will maintain our activity despite the disaster and shall select additional set of buildings to be listed in our register this year. In coming September, the UIA is planning the international convention in Tokyo. We are planning to hold symposiums and an exhibition of our 150 selections in the UIA event.
Words are inadequate to express, but once again, we would like to tender our deepest appreciation for all your concerns and goodwill extended to us in Japan. Thank you, Arigato.
Hiroyuki SuzukiPresident,DOCOMOMO Japan
Kenji WatanabeSecretaryDOCOMOMO Japan