2024 began auspiciously for Japan.

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake rattled the Noto Peninsula and triggered tsunami alerts that blanketed the country’s western coast. While the death toll continues to climb — and our thoughts and prayers go out to all victims of this tragedy — it is small compared to those following a temblor of that size.

The limited impact of this disaster reflects well on the country and, so far, on the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. We have learned from past incidents and mistakes and must continue to do so. Earthquakes will continue to be a part of daily life in Japan. We must all strive to mitigate their impact.