• Kyodo


An 18-year-old high school student who plans to attend a special U.N. session in New York told reporters in Tokyo that she hopes to convey her desire to rebuild her quake- and tsunami-hit community, which was devastated by the March 2011 disasters.

“Reconstruction has just begun,” Honoka Miura, a resident of Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, said Monday before her speech at the U.N. on Wednesday. “We, the young people, should get (rebuilding) done.”

Miura, who made it to high ground and watched as the tsunami engulfed her coastal home, stayed in an evacuation center for nearly two months.

As a student volunteer, she spoke to her local government last June, proposing measures to help revive the area. These measures included setting up a cafe in a public hall to help people connect. Her activities led to the U.N. invitation, via a Tokyo-based nonprofit organization, for her to deliver a speech during the special session.

At the session, where Crown Prince Naruhito will deliver the keynote speech, Miura will also share her experiences during the tsunami.

While in the evacuation center, Miura said she had taken care of younger children and felt that older ones like herself should make more efforts to encourage the younger ones to smile.

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