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Message and gratitude from Japan

Dear IFLA friends and colleagues :

We Japanese are on the process of going through an immensely severe trial of life.

Destroyed by nature and now, radiation leaks, we have experienced an event that may only occur once in a thousand years.

Over twenty thousand sacred lives were taken, along with several hundred thousand houses, numerous villages, and communities being wiped out in a single moment.

We can only express our deepest condolences to the victims and pray for the quickest recovery from depth of our hearts for those who survive and are yet living under the fear of radioactive pollution and numerous aftershocks, as well as all the other enormous losses such as seawater-soaked farmlands.

We would like to thank the world again for all the incredible support and kindness shown through donation of relief supplies, technical advice, on-hand experts and financial support.

It is an immeasurable comfort to have this warm heart connection from the world, and has encouraged us towards the overwhelming task of reconstruction.

Fortunately, through a spirit of cooperation and mutual help, the Japanese people have successfully overcome tough times in the history, and will do so again.

It is truly moving to see the selfless discipline with which people are queueing up for supplies and water, for long periods, without complaint, or looting goods.

Such a disaster is also a severe reminder that we human-beings cannot ignore nature, and have perhaps put too much confidence in technology and expansion. We just have focused on economic growth, speed, efficiency, centrism, and profit first.

As we begin the reconstruction, we must work on the reformation of national land, shifting axis of values: from unlimited growth to adequate scale, growth to stability, arregro to andante, efficiency to sustainability, centralization to dispersion, profit first to wellness first, over-confidence in technology to respect and learning from nature as well as history.

One of the most important concerns is that each living space should be independent and self-sufficient units in the composition.

We landscape architects have a mission to lead the national land reform planning.

Such a mission is not just for us but it is a subject where we should be exchanging ideas with fellow landscape architects from all over the world, where we are hoping to gather the wisdom developed in different countries and environment.

Let's take this harsh reality positively as an opportunity to discuss for the future, and step forward together.



March 2011  under the Pink Cherry Blossoms

Fumiaki Takano,            Chairman IFLA Japan

Hiko Mitani,      Delegate of IFLA Japan,

                        Vice-Chairman IFLA Japan

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