School principal Kashiba Teruyuki has admitted for the first time he was responsible for the deaths of 74 elementary school students and 10 teachers that occurred on March 11, 2011, when tsunami waves hit the Okawa primary school, about 350 kilometers north of Tokyo.
In one of the most tragic events surrounding last year’s natural disaster 84 people were killed due to problems related to school evacuation and poor guidance by the school’s officials.
The officials have admitted now for the first time since the disaster the mistakes that were made and apologized at a meeting with more than 80 parents of the victims. They promised that new safety measures would be enforced.
“I should be blamed because I was inadequate as principal,” Teruyuki said. “I should have prepared an adequate disaster manual and raised awareness among teachers about the level of danger.”
Teruyuki was not at the school at the moment of the disaster. “I know I am beyond forgiveness no matter how much I apologize. But I’m determined to continue apologizing,” he said.