Australia's Ambassador to Japan, Bruce Miller, this week opened a new playground for kindergarten children at Iitatemura School in Iino, Fukushima Prefecture.
The Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF) funded the playground as part of its Reconstruction Initiative. AJF Board Member, Ms Melanie Brock, attended the opening on behalf of the Board.
The children who will use the playground were evacuated to Iino from the village of Iitate due to radiation concerns following the 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
The AJF Chair, Mr Murray McLean OAM, said the Foundation was honoured to be able to help fund the playground.
"I am very pleased that these young Japanese children will be able to enjoy the new equipment whilst attending their new school over the coming years," he said.
"The playground provides important support for the children of a community facing long-term displacement from their homes."
The AJF's Reconstruction Initiative is aimed at assisting Japanese communities to recover from the disaster. Under the Initiative, the AJF recently funded a visit to the Gold Coast by 24 children from the tsunami-devastated town of Minami Sanriku. The AJF is also funding a mobile-library service to communities in Fukushima Prefecture.
Further information is available at http://ajf.australia.or.jp/en/news/20120418_fukushima_playground.php