Mr Ambassador of France,Mr Ministers,Ladies and Gentlemen Members of Parliament,Mr Governor,Mr Mayor,Mr President of the Franco-Japanese Society of Fukushima,Ladies and Gentlemen Ambassadors,Ladies and Gentlemen,Dear Friends,

Solidarity is untimely - like disasters. It never has a
its own time, it escapes the endless ballet of opportunities,
it is still dormant. It is simply the mark of friendship.

I can’t tell you how emotional I feel being
among you tonight, here in this beautiful region of Tohoku, alongside
Fukushima Prefecture, whose courage in the face of
filled the world with admiration.

4 months ago, almost to the day, on March 11, 2011, Japan was
struck down by the release of natural elements. The whole world
witnessed, stunned, the images of the tsunami that swept the coast of Tohoku.
Then, like a new twist of fate, came the invisible threat emanating
Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. We have all experienced this with you. The
March 11th, we all became Japanese.

After the stupor came the time of meditation. My thoughts go here
all victims, the dead and the disappeared, and their families.
They also go to all those who had to leave suddenly the earth where they
lived, often for generations. I wish to express to them
today my sympathy and deep respect.

Time for meditation but also time for reconstruction and hope.
So many times in the history of Japan the catfish of the ancient
legends have awakened, so many times the earth has rumbled, but so many times also
the Japanese people were able to cope. In 1923, the «poet-ambassador» Paul
Claudel had witnessed the terrible earthquake in Kanto. He had
describes the horror of seeing the great earth move as suddenly filled
of a monstrous and autonomous life." But he was also struck by the
ability of the Japanese people to overcome difficulties and rebuild
the future.

Today, France, in celebrating its National Day in Koriyama, expresses
its solidarity and confidence in the reconstruction of Japan. The
the French Republic is “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”. It is this
fraternity that brings us here, to renew the Franco-Japanese friendship. For,
I am sure, just as Japan will emerge stronger and more fraternal
the ordeal, this long history of friendship between our two countries will open
one of its most beautiful pages in the months and years to come.

In the history of this friendship, our cultural relations occupy a place
already very rich in all fields, we can
intensify. Tomorrow I will go to the University of Tohoku, where a
Department of French Language and Literature. In
2012, Japan will be in the spotlight at the Book Fair. In
the field of cinema, which is so dear to our two countries, leads are offered
to develop Franco-Japanese co-productions and our
training of our professionals. On the land
of contemporary art, here too, our already close collaborations in terms
support for creation can be very fruitful.

Finally, in the digital age, the rules of the game for copyright and
financing of creation are being redefined, on a scale
The President of the Republic has asked me to organize, in the
G8 and G20 Presidency, a summit on these
issues, which are crucial for the future of our cultural policies. It is
will be held in Avignon on November 17 and 18. Here too, the
participation of Japan in this joint reflection seems to me essential, because
it is only together that we can act on the mapping of

In the name of our deep friendship, I wish you an excellent
14 July.

Ganbare Nippon! (“Cheer up, Japan!”)