On today’s memorial day, and of course also three years after it is a sad occasion, my thoughts are going out to Japan.
Being Swiss, and feeling a close bond towards all things connected with Japan, I feel I still have a lot of things I can learn from the people living in the land of the rising sun, and I will assure you one time after another that the Japanese after the three-fold desaster of 11th March 2011 did everything to master all difficulties they encountered with braveness, confidence and dedication.
Of course it is not possible to directly transport any local impressions by words, fotographies or letters to other people abroad. To swim in the ocean, and to look at pictures of the seaside is not the same thing. Even if the picture is nice enough, a lot of the context remains remote, all that is left to do is to imagine what it could be.
After disaster struck, during the months I walked through Japan, when I came face to face with the local people, I noticed the way they looked, the way they acted, facing the daily life problems after this terrible day.
It is very important for me to receive my notions directly, from the people living right on the spot in Japan, not from politicians, analysts or media. Directly for me means by direct communication, and not necessarily asking detailed questions. Especially for Japan it is true that silence there transports more meaning than a mass of words.
For me, the reminiscences of what I saw and noted then, when I walked through Japan, are still very much on my mind. I have been deeply moved by the spirit of helping each other, this esprit de corps I have met in such a way for the first time in my life, and for which it is difficult to find words.
Yoshi, Markus and me started a campaign from Eschenberg Tower in Winterthur to commemorate the anniversary, and we will be in our thoughts with the people in Japan.
Please have a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uV-4Aci27vE to see our video message for Japan
We wish Japan, and especially the Tohoku region, all the best, the strength necessary to rebuild and all confidence for a better future.
With our best wishes from Winterthur