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CFAS Remembers Great Tohoku Earthquake Victims


03/10/17 12:00 AM

by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Geoffrey Barham


SASEBO, Japan (Mar. 10, 2017) – Commander, U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo community members gathered to commemorate the 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake victims on the event’s sixth anniversary, March 10, 2017.


Members stood at attention while Lt. j.g. Erich Weiss gave a speech in remembrance of the victims and their families. Following the speech, members including CFAS Commanding Officer Capt. Matthew Ovios and Japanese locals laid flowers down at the base of the Japanese flag. When the final flowers were laid, members observed a moment of silence and pledge continued friendship and support to the people of Japan.


"On March 11th 2011 over 15,000 Japanese citizens lost their lives as a result of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and subsequent tsunami,” said Ovios. “Today we set aside time to remember those lost souls and to express our deep condolences. These were our neighbors and friends. Just as we did during Operation Tomodachi, CFAS will continue to stand side by side with our Japanese friends in times of crisis."


The disaster, which is also called the Great East Japan Earthquake, began with an underwater megathrust earthquake whose epicenter was 70 kilometers east of the Tohoku region’s Oshika Peninsula and 30 kilometers underwater. The largest earthquake to hit Japan, it triggered tsunami waves that reached up to 133 feet high and travelled as far as 10 kilometers inland.  


According to Japan’s National Police Agency the earthquake and tsunami resulted in 15,884 deaths, 6, 147 injuries and 2,636 people missing across 20 prefectures.




CFAS enables 13 forward-deployed naval forces and 26 tenant commands across 11 geographic locations, supporting a community of 7,000 Sailors, civilians, and family members. It has received awards for Safety, Environmental, Zumwalt Lodging, Golden Anchor, Food Service, and the 2016 Region Japan Installation of the Year.