On the Road to Recovery: The People of America and Kumamoto Join Together is a beautiful clip that encourages the people of Kumamoto to be positive during recovery efforts.

April 16th, 2017 marks the one-year anniversary since the mainshock of a series of earthquakes that devastated parts of Kumamoto, Japan. In anticipation of the anniversary, the U.S. Embassy Tokyo & Consulates in Japan posted an upbeat video message of support last week for a speedy recovery to the region, which included showcasing some highlights of Kumamoto for the rest of the world to see.

Furthermore, this video features the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific-Asia providing a cover version of “Kumamoto Surprise!,” an earlier song composed by Bombo Fujii. Check out the full video below:

The video opens with several shots of U.S. Marine Corps Japan and U.S. Air Force Japan servicemembers, along with American civilians living in Kumamoto all lending their words of encouragement. Ikuo Kabashima, the current governor of Kumamoto Prefecture, even makes a special appearance at 0:43, as do various prefectural mascots, local people, Mount Aso (the largest active volcano in Japan), and Sakitsu Village in Amakusa (a town historically linked to Christian missionaries).

▼ You can even meet some members of the Kumamoto Volters, the prefecture’s professional basketball team!

Across the Pacific in the U.S., we also have glimpses of some students in the state of Montana (which holds a sister prefecture/state relationship Kumamoto Prefecture), and in San Antonio, Texas (which is a sister city of Kumamoto City) singing along.

The video’s climax arrives with the grand entrance of the bear, the myth, the legend himself–Kumamon! The beloved mascot goes on to lead a special dance in front of Kumamoto Castle.

While there’s no substitute for the hard work required for ongoing recovery efforts, hopefully this video puts a smile on the face of at least one weary resident of Kumamoto. The world is thinking of you, Kumamoto–stay strong!

Source, images: YouTube/U.S. Embassy Tokyo & Consulates in Japan