Kennedy in Fukushima for first time as envoy, visits nuclear plant

U.S. envoy Kennedy visits DAIICHI — U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy (C) and her son Jack Schlossberg (R) wearing protective suits and masks are briefed during their visit to the central control room for the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in the town of Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on May 14. The plant was devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. pool photo by Sankei Shimbun/Kyodo News

U.S. envoy Kennedy visits DAIICHI — U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy (C) and her son Jack Schlossberg (R) wearing protective suits and masks are briefed during their visit to the central control room for the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in the town of Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on May 14. The plant was devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. pool photo by Sankei Shimbun/Kyodo News

FUKUSHIMA, Japan — U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy visited Fukushima Prefecture on May 14 for the first time since she assumed her post last November and toured the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

“We are committed to providing support as long as it is necessary,” Kennedy said in a statement released after her visit to the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant, which suffered a severe nuclear meltdown after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Clad in protective gear and mask, Kennedy toured the plant to see the situation firsthand at a time when Japan and the United States are cooperating in decommissioning and cleaning up the troubled power plant.

“I was struck that more than three years after the tragic events of March 11, 2011, the destructive force of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the resulting tsunami are still visible,” she said.

Before coming to Fukushima, Kennedy visited neighboring Miyagi Prefecture, another northeastern area hit hard by the quake and tsunami, accompanied by her 21-year-old son, John Schlossberg. During her stay in Miyagi from May 13, she interacted with local senior high school students and saw how locals are rebuilding their lives.

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