12 March 2017
The Fukushima prefectural government hosted candle-lighting events at six venues in five cities on March 11 on the sixth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing nuclear accident to remember victims of the disaster and pledge efforts for hometown reconstruction. The events were organized in the cities of Fukushima, Koriyama, Aizuwakamatsu, Shirakawa and Minamisoma.
In Fukushima city, a total of about 2,700 candles were put in place at two venues -- the Machinaka Hiroba square and a plaza in front of the east exit of JR Fukushima Station. Citizens wrote words on candle holders reflecting their thoughts, such as “reconstruction,” “ties” and “Cheer up, Fukushima.” Come dusk, the candlelight blanketed the landscape in a pale glow.
At a lighting ceremony held at Machinaka Hiroba, Fukushima Deputy Gov. Masaaki Suzuki said, “I wrote ‘step by step’ on the candle cup. Although we face a long, tough path ahead, we want to achieve reconstruction by all means.” He then lit the candle together with student volunteers from Fukushima University and Kobe Shinwa Women’s University in Hyogo Prefecture.
PHOTO:Candle light flickers at Machinaka Hiroba in Fukushima city as participants pray for early reconstruction.