Japan: Marking the anniversary of a tragedy

©REUTERS/Kyodo Kyodo

Exactly five years ago, on 11 March 2011, a violent earthquake struck eastern Japan. The tsunami that ensued devastated the inland up to 10km and put the Fukushima nuclear power plant at risk, forcing it out of action. The result was a humanitarian and environmental crisis. 

The National Police Agency of Japan put the total death toll at 15,894 people, while 2,561 are still missing. 

Japan is still absorbing the enormity of the disaster, both physically in rebuilding, and emotionally.

"Many people are still leading uncomfortable lives in the affected areas", Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during his 11 March memorial address in 2016. "We commit ourselves to providing care for their minds and bodies, forming new local communities and supporting industrial development of the affected areas."

Ceremonies are being held in Japan and abroad to mark the event.

©OECD Observer March 2016

Read also:

Brian Keeley, “Fukushima’s lessons in recovery”, in OECD Observer No 290-291, Q1-Q2 2012, oe.cd/UV

Motohide Yoshikawa, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan to the OECD, “Japan: Remembering and rebuilding”, in OECD Observer No 290-291, Q1-Q2 2012, oe.cd/UW




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