New Adults Share Hope In Quake - Hit Town

New adults share hope in quake-hit town

Young men and women in northeastern Japan have talked about their hopes for rebuilding towns that were devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Many local governments in those areas held Coming of Age ceremonies on Sunday, one day before the national holiday to celebrate the occasion.

About 180 people who are turning 20 this year took part in a ceremony in Shichigahama in Miyagi Prefecture. They were elementary school students when the disaster struck the town, killing more than 70 people.

Kenta Aoki and Mako Endo gave a speech on behalf of the new adults. They said they will never forget the date of the disaster -- March 11, 2011.

They said they will always cherish their lives because they survived the disaster. They added that they want to make use of their experiences and to return the kindness they received from the people of the town and their supporters.

Some of the new adults had to live in makeshift housing after the disaster. Others took classes in a prefab building when they were at junior high school.

One woman said some people around her age died in the tragedy and she remembered them during the ceremony.