Japan marks the saddest anniversary of the tsunami, which has killed 18,000 people. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011, led to one of the worst nuclear disasters ever, Japan Times reported.
A state-sponsored memorial ceremony was to be held in Tokyo in the afternoon, attended by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Prince Akishino, the younger son of Emperor Akihito, and disaster survivors. A moment of silence was to be observed at 2:46 p.m., the time when the massive quake struck.
The seventh anniversary of the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami was marked throughout the country, after March 11, 2011, around 73,000 people have yet to return to their hometowns in the aftermath of the triple disaster. One of the terrifying consequences of a tsunami was disabling of Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant on the Pacific coast. Thee of its reactors melted down and caused hydrogen explosions that saw the release of radioactive materials after the earthquake.
Japan PM about the decontamination and reconstruction
Decontamination and other efforts are underway to enable people who lived near the disaster-struck nuclear plant to return to their hometowns.
Helping to lead that effort is former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, who emerged as a strong opponent of atomic power generation after retiring from politics. The current PM Shinzo Abe on Saturday expressed his government’s determination to accelerate reconstruction efforts in Fukushima Prefecture during a visit there.
Head of Japan’s government noted that evacuation advisories have been lifted in most parts of Fukushima, excluding areas heavily contaminated with the radioactive fallout from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear accident.
“Still, many people are being forced to live tough lives as evacuees. We’ll speed up the reconstruction.”
PM Abe told reporters in the village of Katsurao after his visiting Fukushima to take a firsthand look at progress in reconstruction work ahead Sunday’s anniversary.