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    Japan Grateful to Russian Rescuers for Tsunami-Recovery Operation

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    The Japanese Embassy in Moscow held Friday a reception for the Russian Emergencies Ministry rescuers who participated in the search and rescue operations in the northeast of the country five years ago.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck Japan, which was followed by a massive tsunami. About 16,000 people were killed and over 2,500 people are still on the missing after the natural disasters.

    "Every nation has a commemorative date impossible to forget. For the Japaneses, this date is March 11, 2011, the day when there was a strong earthquake in eastern Japan. I invited you to thank you for your urgent comprehensive assistance, as well as the warmth and care that you have shown five years ago," Toyohisa Kozuki, the Japanese ambassador to Russia said addressing the rescuers.

    He added that the response of the Russian government to the Japanese tragedy "was one of the fastest, Russian rescuers urgently arrived at the disaster site and immediately started rescue operations."

    "No less important was the spiritual support of many ordinary Russians that brought flowers to the Japanese embassy in the memory of the earthquake's victims, sent warm letters and participated in fund raising," the ambassador recalled.

    Earlier in the day, at 2:46 p.m. local time (06:46 GMT), the exact moment that the earthquake struck Japan five years ago, millions of the Japanese citizens observed the moment of silence, commemorating the victims of the disaster. The ceremony in the country's capital of Tokyo that commemorated the victims of the disaster was attended by Japanese Emperor Akihito, as well as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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