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Sen. Inouye's wife felt quake's violent jolt in Tokyo

By Richard Borreca

LAST UPDATED: 5:17 a.m. HST, Mar 11, 2011


Irene Inouye, wife of Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, was visiting Tokyo and felt the violent shaking from the earthquake that devastated Japan Friday.

"I was on an escalator and it was pretty strong when it struck," Inouye said, adding that she didn't see extensive damage in the city. 

Inouye told the Star-Advertiser that she was accompanying two Hawaii residents, Val Iwashita and Gary Oda, on a Japan-America Leadership delegation trip.

The quake did shut down train travel across Tokyo and also shut the airports, Inouye said. "So it was congested because everything stopped," she said.

As soon as the tremors stopped, Inouye said she called her husband to let him know she was safe.

"We are very concerned about the fatalities," Inouye said.

But, she noted that Japan is accustomed to earthquakes and designs its buildings to withstand the shaking.

"Although it was rather jolting and there were many aftershocks, it is remarkable that the buildings in Tokyo suffered only minimal damage," Inouye said.

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