• Jiji


A memorial ceremony was held Sunday for the victims of a major mudslide that occurred in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, 100 days ago.

A total of 79 participants, including bereaved families, Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu, Atami Mayor Sakae Saito and senior officials of the Atami Municipal Government, offered silent prayers for the victims. The number of participants was restricted to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The ceremony was held in the city’s Izusan district, where the mudslide caused extensive damage.

“Although restoration will take time, we’ll pass down our experiences and the lessons we learned down the generations and take back the historic Izusan district,” the mayor said in an address at the ceremony.

After the ceremony, people from the general public laid flowers for the victims.

“Although I can’t help but to feel sad, I know I have to stop crying and move on,” said Koichi Tanaka, 72, who lost his 70-year-old wife in the mudslide. “I feel that my wife asked me to look after our grandchildren. I want to let them know that she was a good grandma.”

The mudslide occurred in the morning on July 3, killing 26 people, with one person still missing. The Shizuoka Prefectural Police Department has been continuing its search operations.

As of Monday, people of 98 households, mainly those whose houses were damaged by the mudslide, lived in temporary homes or public housing for disaster victims.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.