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March 14, 2016
Reception to Welcome Ambassador Koji Tomita and marking 5 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake

On March 14th, 2016, a reception to welcome Ambassador Koji Tomita and to mark 5 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake was held at the Ambassador's Residence.
About 130 distinguished guests were gathered at the reception. Among them were former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs H.E. Amb. Nissim Ben Shitrit, who was the Israeli Ambassador to Japan at the time of the Earthquake; Maj. Gen. Rami Ben Efraim, who was then military attaché to Japan and was dispatched to Miniami-sanriku Town in Miyagi Prefecture as a member of the Israeli Medical Team; members of IsraAID and ZAKA, which were among the NGOs who worked to help and support in the stricken area.
There were as well guests from various arenas of Israel such as the government, business and culture, and also from local Japanese community amd from diplomatic corps.

At the start of the ceremony, Ambassador Tomita expressed his strong will to exploit the momentum for strengthening the
Japan-Israel bilateral relationship to the fullest extent, following the exchange of visits by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Prime Minister Abe. He also expressed his great appreciation for the exceedingly warm support from both the official and private sectors to rescue and to reconstruct in the aftermath of the Earthquake.
Following his address, H.E. Tomita was the recipient of the sincere welcoming remarks by H.E. Amb. Mark Sofer, Deputy Director General to Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign Ministry. Following these remarks, Maj. Gen. Ben Efraim addressed the guests, recounting his experience of the medical aid efforts in Japan. And then, Mr. Shachar Zahavi, Founding Director of IsraAID, introduced the organization's activities in Japan, which are still going on. Photos and a movie provided by Minamisanriku Town, where the Israeli Medical Team was based, were also on display to tell the audience the current situation of the reconstruction.

Greetings by Ambassador Tomita (from right) Amb. Sofer, Deputy Director General, MFA;
Amb. Tomita; Mr. & Mrs. Sheffer, Honorary Consul General of Japan at Jerusalem; Mr. Zahavi, Founding Director, IsraAID
A ZAKA member and Ambassador Tomita Panel photos from Minamisanriku Town,
showing the reconstructive efforts after the Earthquake