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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Heroes of Fukushima

Prince of Asturias Award for Concord 2011

Words of thanks by Toyohiko Tomioka:

Your Majesty,

Your Highnesses,

Distinguished Authorities,

Dear Laureates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour for us to receive this illustrious award, the 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, in the presence of so many guests, first and foremost Her Majesty the Queen and Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Asturias.

We express our deepest gratitude for the heartfelt aid and support that has come from the Kingdom of Spain as well as from other countries around the world, after the great earthquake of March 11th in eastern Japan. Moreover, as a Japanese citizen, my heart and soul go out to all those around the world who suffered anxiety and concern following the incident at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant 1.

Since the accident, we have been evacuating the people, as well as cooling the reactor containment buildings and carrying out clean-up activities.

As head of cooling operations, I personally was first on site to weigh up all the options and to take the difficult decisions that had to be made.

We realise that the 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Concord has not been conferred solely on those of us who are here today, but also on all those who are still working on site.

On the occasion of the presentation of this Award, I would like to express my firm resolution to continue the fight to ensure the safety of the Japanese people.

I conclude these words of gratitude in the hope that the bonds of friendship between Spain and Japan become even stronger, as well as wishing for the happiness of all those who honour us today with their presence at this solemn event.

Viva España! (Long Live Spain!)

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