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NewsNews 2011

Urgent message from MANA Center Director

-Regarding the Great Tohoku-Kanto earthquake in Japan-

18 Mar, 2011

Masakazu Aono
Center Director
International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA)
National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)

Dear friends all over the world,

On behalf of all the members of MANA, I am sending you an urgent message regarding the Great Tohoku-Kanto earthquake that hit Japan on March 11th, 2011.

The earthquake, one of the largest on record, had a magnitude of 9.0. Actually, a series of huge tsunamis generated by the earthquake brought much greater damage.

First of all, we express our sincere condolences to the victims of the disaster. We also send heartfelt words of encouragement to the refugees, who are facing great difficulties in shelters throughout the region. Furthermore, we express our utmost respect to those people who are working so hard, in a spirit of self-sacrifice, to help Japan to recover from this unprecedented disaster.

After this disaster happened, lots of friends of MANA, from various countries, kindly sent us messages of sympathy. We appreciate those warm messages very much. MANA was shaken considerably by the earthquake, but fortunately none of us was hurt; since Tsukuba is located far from the coast, we didn’t suffer from the effects of the tsunami. Various research facilities at MANA were damaged to some extent, but the damage is repairable.

Further, a problem has occurred at a nuclear power plant located on the coast of Fukushima prefecture, due to the impact of the unexpectedly large tsunami that followed the earthquake. Three nuclear reactors that were working at the time were successfully stopped, but the systems needed to cool the nuclear fuel were damaged. Many people from the relevant electric power company, the Self-Defense Force, the National Police Agency and the fire authorities are doing their very best to overcome the difficulties presented there. Certain explosions occurred at the power plant a few days ago; however, they were simple gas (hydrogen) explosions outside the nuclear reactors. At present, the radioactivity around the power plant is a little high, but in Tsukuba it is low enough on average.

Finally, I would like to ask all of our friends everywhere to give your warm support to MANA.

With my very best regards,

Masakazu Aono


One month after the Quake. Sakura in full blossom at MANA. The construction of the new building is under way. The message on a construction fence reads: "Ganbaro, Nippon!" or "Hang in there, Japan!"

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