The people of the tsunami hit Miyagi region in Japan are urging their counterparts in Christchurch to stay strong in the face of on-going difficulties with the quake rebuild.
Prime Minister John Key has visited some of the worst affected areas of the Miyagi prefecture, near Sendai, where an estimated 16,000 people died from the tsunami in March 2011.
Eighteen months on from that devastating wave the town is returning, with the people surfing at the local beach.
Since the tsunami, 22,000 temporary homes have been built in the province, with houses also made warmer during the winter.
However, a local government official, Hosi Kazuyuki, says people are not happy with the pace of the recovery and would like things to move faster.
He also acknowledced what its like for the people of Christchurch saying they needed to stay strong and they were all in the same boat together.
John Key says there is much New Zealand and Japan can learn from each other when it comes to natural disaster, particularly around building standards.
His trip to Japan is to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Those ties look to be stronger than ever given that when the quakes hit both countries stepped up to help each other in their times of need.
Those bonds that were formed over the tsunami and Christchurch earthquake where 28 Japanese people died, were marked today with a special ceremony attended by John Key and the Mayor of Schichigama beach.