Qatar's Ambassador to Japan Hassan bin Mohamed Rafi al-Emadi participated in the opening ceremony of Onagawa Elementary and Junior High School in Onagawa City, Miyagi Prefecture.
It is one of the projects funded by the Qatar Friendship Fund (QFF), which is affiliated with Qatar Fund for Development, to reconstruct the areas that witnessed widespread damage due to the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011.
The ambassador was accompanied by members of the embassy, Minister Plenipotentiary Abdullah bin Jassim al-Ziyara and Second Secretary at the embassy Rashid bin Mubarak al-Khater. They were received by Onagawa Mayor Yoshiaki Suda, director of the city's education sector and a number of senior Onagawa government officials.
Speaking on the occasion, participants from the Japanese side expressed their thanks and appreciation for the role of Qatar in supporting the reconstruction efforts in the affected areas.
The mayor of Onagawa appreciated the initiative of Qatar to stand with the Japanese people during the crisis and the kind humanitarian gesture of contributing to the reconstruction efforts in the areas affected by disasters. He said these areas are gradually returning to normal, thanks to the contributions and achievements of Qatar Friendship Fund.
Yoshiaki Suda said the school is of great importance to the residents of Onagawa and the surrounding areas, as 90% of the schools were destroyed by the disaster and many of them have not been rebuilt, he said. He pointed out that the school is a good model for the reconstruction process and will contribute positively to create an effective and constructive society in these areas.
He stated that Onagawa school will have a good return in terms of consolidating the strong partnership between Qatar and Onagawa, stressing that it will be keen to activate communication channels between students in Qatar and Onagawa to raise generations that work in bridging communication, cooperation and understanding between Japan and Qatar in the future.
For its part, the Qatari embassy provided gifts, including stationery, school supplies and souvenirs to all the 300 male and female students of the school.
Qatar Friendship Fund in Japan contributed $10mn to the school project. It was built using a high degree of advanced technologies as a pioneering institution working to provide a high-quality educational environment. The school has a special wing for Qatar that includes posters and brochures introducing Qatari heritage and culture.
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