Record torrential rains have continued to fall in the whole region of western Japan including Fukuoka Prefecture since July 6. The Meteorological Agency has continuously announced through mass media its forecasts of torrential rains, and issued warnings to be on high alert for possible disasters, underlining the urgency by using such expressions as ‘torrential rains which we have never experienced in the past’, and ‘extremely dangerous phenomena’. The Agency has also urged local residents in the disaster areas to take necessary measures to prevent damage and evacuate quickly in case of emergency.
For the sake of Fukuoka Prefecture where I was brought up, and as a representative of my electoral district located in Fukuoka Prefecture, I will make every effort with my strained mind for the restoration of disaster areas in Fukuoka Prefecture.
On July 5, ceremonies were held at Haki, Asakura City and in Toho Village, Fukuoka Prefecture to mourn for the victims of torrential rain disasters occurred in northern Kyushu a year before. I was feeling that these ceremonies have given me a pause on the way toward the restoration of the disaster areas in Fukuoka Prefecture. However, immediately after the ceremonies, torrential rain disasters occurred in Fukuoka Prefecture. As a result, on July 7, I visited five cities, two towns and one village which I am formally in charge of. In each visit, I met with a mayor or a chief and other responsible officers who were faced with difficulties caused by the disasters. They explained to me the situation of their concerned disaster areas, and I offered to assist them in promoting the restoration of their disaster areas. I was impressed by their systematic organizations and responsible management to restore the disaster areas. I would like to express my gratitude to them for their sincere efforts.
On the other hand, according to the frequently updated TV news reports, the damages caused by torrential rains are extended to the whole area of western Japan, and particularly, prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama, Gifu, and all prefectures in Shikoku Island are severely damaged. The death toll and the missing are reported to exceed 100 people. There is no way to stop natural disaster, but it is possible to minimize the damage. Our experiences of the disaster and the lessons we learn from it will enable us to cope with the next disaster. With regard to the recent abnormal weather, I keenly feel the need to hasten the research on such global issues as the earth warming.