Dignitaries to get Fukushima dolls

Kyodo

The Finance Ministry will give attendees of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank joint annual meetings in Tokyo next month small traditional dolls from Fukushima, which was hit hard by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters, government officials said Wednesday.

The dolls to be given to the international meetings’ attendees, including central bank chiefs and finance ministers, are around 4-cm-high and right themselves when knocked over. It is hoped the dolls will remind people of the disaster victims’ efforts for recovery.

The attendees will each receive a set of three dolls — a tumble doll made with traditional Japanese paper from Fukushima Prefecture, as well as dolls made with Nambu iron from Iwate Prefecture and zelkova wood from Miyagi Prefecture. Both Iwate and Miyagi were also severely damaged by the disasters.

Around 12,000 people are expected to attend the annual meetings from Oct. 9 to 14. On the sidelines of the events, a special meeting on disaster prevention and development issues will be held Oct. 9 and 10 in Sendai.

For ministers and representatives of international organizations attending the special meeting, the government plans to give Naruko Kokeshi dolls, a specialty item of Miyagi Prefecture, in accordance with a proposal from Finance Minister Jun Azumi, a native of Ishinomaki.