It is already one month since an earthquake of unprecedented scale and tsunami hit the north eastern part of Japan off the Pacific Ocean on 11 March, causing catastrophic devastation. Thirteen thousand precious lives were lost, and fourteen thousand people are still missing. About one hundred and fifty thousand people are obliged to spend difficult days and nights, living in evacuation shelters, many of them having lost their homes. Several coastal cities were completely demolished. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, damaged by the tsunami, continues to be a source of concern, and the residents within a 30km radius are being evacuated. While this unprecedented crisis still continues, I deeply appreciate the heartfelt condolences and sympathy expressed by so many people, as well as the heart-warming encouragement and support extended by the Ethiopian Government and the African Union. As Prime Minister Kan expressed in appreciation, the Japanese people have strengthened their belief that ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed.’ Japan has the experience of a relatively fast recovery from the devastation of the war and has overcome various natural disasters in the past. We will work hard to overcome this tragedy as well.