10 Months After 84 Died or Disappeared at Ōgawa Elementary Following Tōhoku Earthquake, School Takes Responsibility for Emergency Response Failure, Apologizes

Ishinomaki BOE ApologyPrincipal Teruyuki Kashiwaba and Chief of Municipal Education Sakai bow their heads in apology at a noon press conference in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. Photo by Naoki Maeda.

Ishinomaki Elementary Escape Route
This graph shows the path the students and teachers took to high ground following the tsunami. They moved west, directly approaching a river and dike. There was a mountain south of their school.

10 Months After 84 Died or Disappeared at Ōgawa Elementary Following Tōhoku Earthquake, School Takes Responsibility for Emergency Response Failure, Apologizes
Yomiuri Shimbun: 84人が死亡・不明の大川小、責任認め謝罪
January 23, 2012

After holding another investigation into the response to the Great Tōhoku Earthquake at Ōgawa Elementary School (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture), where 74 children and 10 staff went dead or missing after March 11’s earthquake and tsunami, the Ishinomaki Board of Education held its first meeting with parents on the issue in 7 months yesterday, and for the first time, it acknowledged problems with its disaster response instructions and apologized.

The roiling discontent of parents who lost their children for the school’s failure to take responsibility and insufficient explanation of what happened lead the municipal board of education to declare at a press conference after its last meeting with the parents that it would gather those with knowledge of the events and conduct another investigation.

This was the third meeting between parents and the board; the other two were in April and June. Today’s conference was held at another elementary school, and about 80 parents and guardians participated. This was the first of the conferences to be open to the press.

The chief of municipal education, Naohiko Sakai, apologized to parents in his opening statement: “We sincerely regret that children suffered at a school we managed. We should have done the utmost to ensure their safety, and we should have taught crisis response measures in the event of a tsunami.” Ōgawa Principal Teruyuki Kashiwaba then apologized as well: “This was the consequence of my incompetence as principal. We had not prepared a manual, and we did not teach our staff crisis response measures. No matter how much I apologize, I cannot be forgiven, but I will continue to apologize from the bottom of my heart.”







(2012年1月23日07時16分 読売新聞)

Explore posts in the same categories: Education, Japan, Translations

Tags: ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: