One year after a devastating off-shore earthquake and resultant tsunami struck the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant on the east coast of Japan, on March 11, 2011, scientists and researchers are still learning about the full impact of the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986.

fukushimaOn Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10, the Consul General of Japan in Boston, the Honorable Takeshi Hikihara, will visit campus for “Smith Remembers Fukushima,” a series of talks and panels analyzing the disaster. The symposium events are free and open to the public and will take place in Graham Auditorium, Hillyer Hall. View the schedule (pdf).

Hikihara will open the symposium on March 9 with a discussion, “Japan Faces the Future: Overcoming the Devastation of 3/11,” about the current situation in Japan following the Great East Japan Earthquake along the northeastern coast, beginning at 4 p.m. in. He will provide details on the ongoing recovery process, discuss the current realities in the aftermath of the earthquake, and explain future prospects for the rebuilding of Japan.

Hikihara will give opening remarks at 9 a.m. on March 10 to introduce two roundtable discussions with Smith faculty: “The View from Kyoto” and “The View from Smith.”

Hikihara has served Consul General of Japan in Boston since January 2011. He served as Secretary-General for the 2010 Japan APEC Meeting in Yokohama, and in that capacity was responsible for hosting a yearlong series of conferences for heads of state and ministers from the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. In his 29-year career, Hikihara has served in the Prime Minister’s office and in the embassies of Senegal, South Korea, Russia, and in the Japanese mission at the OECD in France.

“Smith Remembers Fukushima” is sponsored by the Global Studies Center and the Program in East Asian Studies. View the symposium schedule.