“I have been in touch with the mayor of our sister city and have learned that everything is getting back to normal,” Mayor Kelly said.
Halifax was twinned with the northern Japanese city of Hakodate in 1982, some 14 years before amalgamation. Hakodate is a community of 290,000, situated 680 kms northeast of Tokyo.
It was not affected by last Friday’s severe earthquake but was on the receiving end of the subsequent tsunami which twice inundated its port area. Nearly 350 buildings were flooded and more than 560 automobiles were damaged. There were no reports of any loss of life.
Mayor Kelly said he was told by Mayor Masanori Nishio that Hakodate had no immediate need of outside assistance and was, in fact, providing relief personnel and medical supplies of its own to other parts of Japan.
“Mayor Nishio asked me to extend his thanks to the residents of HRM for their kind support expressed in this time of difficulty,” Mayor Kelly said.
Both mayors are suggesting residents of HRM who still wish to offer assistance to the Japanese people should contact their local branch of the Red Cross and other relief agencies.
Mayor Kelly visited Hakodate in 2008 and, last July, hosted his Japanese counterpart at City Hall, along with members of the Hakodate Chamber of Commerce.