Watanabe to Davos: Japan on mend


Japan is gradually recovering from the March 11 catastrophe, largely because of the strong bonds people formed in the aftermath of the twin disasters, actor Ken Watanabe told the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday.

“The sea, which was so beautiful and had given us much fortune, swallowed up lives and swept away everything,” Watanabe told the annual WEF meeting in Switzerland. “What was left were survivors with nothing to call their own.

“However, people did things — they helped each other, supported each other. . . . This happened regardless of generation, profession, or rank. This is the culture of ‘kizuna,’ or bond, which we had in all of us,” said Watanabe, the first Japanese actor invited to speak at the Davos forum.

These strong bonds were “a ray of hope found in the bare land left by the tsunami, (and Japan) is slowly healing its wounds . . . finding strength from kizuna,” he added.