Recovery

AKB48 members continue to bring smiles to disaster-hit areas...
AKB48 members perform at a concert in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, on March 11, the fourth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. (Naoko Kawamura)
Four years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, the number of entertainers visiting the devastated areas is declining.
Meet the 12-year-old Fukushima girl who is braving it alone at...
Teacher Satomi Senzaki comforts Chika Akimoto after the graduation ceremony at Kawauchi Elementary School in Kawauchi, Fukushima Prefecture, on March 23. (Yosuke Fukudome)
KAWAUCHI, Fukushima Prefecture--For the past three years, all Chika Akimoto wanted to do was to hang out with kids of her age at school.
Train service resumes on final stretch of JR line in disaster-hit...
A train leaves Onagawa Station in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture, on the JR Ishinomaki Line for the first time in four years, on March 21. (Yosuke Fukudome)
ONAGAWA, Miyagi Prefecture--After a four-year wait, trains are up and running the full length of the restored JR Ishinomaki Line, which was ravaged by the 2011 earthquake and...
FOUR YEARS AFTER: Fukushima city offers last look in effort to...
An unclaimed notebook found in the aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake is on display at the Recycle Plaza in Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture. (Wataru Sekita)
MINAMI-SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture--For the final time, unclaimed photographs, notebooks and other items salvaged from the detritus of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and...
FOUR YEARS AFTER: Japan prays for Tohoku disaster victims
Shinji Seo, center, visits the memorial for his daughter, Kanae, along with his wife and son in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, on March 11. (Yasuhiro Sugimoto)
Members of the Seo family on March 11 made the familiar trek along the coast of Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, to a plot where a stone monument, figurines, flowers and even a white ...
FOUR YEARS AFTER: Project gathers happy photos to cheer...
A pair of children and their mother jump for photographer Katsuhiro Ichikawa at Tokyo's Haneda Airport as part of the "Tohoku Smile Project" organized by photographer Katsuhiro Ichikawa. (Louis Templado)
Hirotaka Abe brought his 3-year-old daughter, Rian, to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to see off her mother on a flight to Fukuoka.
FOUR YEARS AFTER: Population shrinks by 92,000 in 39 disaster-hit...
The devastation from the 2011 tsunami is evident in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture, in December 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
The population of 39 municipalities ravaged in the 2011 disaster shrank by 92,000, or 6.7 percent, over four years, a rate more than eight times faster than Japan’s overall...
FOUR YEARS AFTER: Raw voices from Fukushima's aftermath heard in...
Ichie Watanabe speaks to the audience gathered at the "Fukushima no koe wo kiko!" (I'll hear Fukushima's voice) event in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward on March 3. (Louis Templado)
Essayist Ichie Watanabe has heard dozens of life stories from people impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear accident that followed, but she has done more than...
FOUR YEARS AFTER: Tsunami survivor who could not save mother finds ...
Sayaka Sugawara (Photo by Masahiko Takai)
It was still morning, but Sayaka Sugawara already felt it was “a special day that I will remember forever.”
FOUR YEARS AFTER: Many schools still not rebuilt due to rising...
Students of Unosumai Elementary School in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, attend classes in prefabricated school buildings as reconstruction of school buildings are delayed. (Eiichiro Suganuma)
For students who entered Unosumai Elementary School in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, after the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, they will attend classes in prefabricated...
FOUR YEARS AFTER: More than 60% of evacuees still stuck in...
Temporary housing units constructed in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Sixty-one percent of those made homeless by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster are still living in temporary housing, an Asahi Shimbun survey shows.
FOUR YEARS AFTER: 80% of Fukushima municipalities expect full...
The Asahi Shimbun
Hampered by radiation contamination, about 80 percent of disaster-hit municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture will need until at least fiscal 2021 to completely restore their...
OLYMPICS/ Runners to carry 2020 torch through quake-ravaged Tohoku
The last runners of the 1964 Olympic torch relay are seen in Fukushima on Sept. 30, 1964. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
The Olympic flame will burn brightly throughout the Tohoku region when the torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Games travels through areas that were devastated by the 2011 Great...
Tsunami-hit Kamaishi to host games in Rugby World Cup
Residents in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, celebrate the announcement of the city's selection as a venue for the 2019 Rugby World Cup on March 2. (Takaharu Yagi)
The tsunami-ravaged city of Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, was named as one of 12 sites that will host matches for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Persevering Miyagi, Iwate students graduate from temporary school...
Underclass students at the city-run Joshi Shogyo (all-girls commercial) high school in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, hand bouquets of flowers to graduating seniors on March 1. (Yosuke Fukudome)
In the three years that students attended a temporary school in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, the landscape outside ...
Young craftsmen carve reconstruction minister's new seal from...
The reconstruction minister's new seal made from the "miracle pine tree" of Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, is displayed in Tokyo on Feb. 28 (Nobuyoshi Nakamura)
When a reconstruction minister gives his official stamp of approval, it will be forever linked to the "miracle pine tree" that survived the March 2011 deadly tsunami and became ...
'Miracle pine' gets new life as luxury pen
A Montblanc fountain pen made from branches of the "miracle pine tree" in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, which withstood the deadly tsunami on March 11, 2011 (Naoaki Terasawa)
RIKUZENTAKATA, Iwate Prefecture--A memorial pen made from branches of the “miracle pine tree” that survived the 2011 tsunami was displayed on Feb. 25 with a whopping price...
Teacher's 50-year hobby key to studying nature in pre-disaster...
One of the samples gathered by Nobuo Sakurai. Fukushima University currently stores it along with a memo written by him. (Yu Kotsubo)
FUKUSHIMA--For half a century, Nobuo Sakurai has indulged in his hobby of wandering around eastern Fukushima Prefecture to observe nature and gather samples.
Prince William to tour disaster-stricken areas in Japan, then go...
Britain's Prince William in New York on Dec. 9, 2014 (AP Photo/ Pool)
LONDON--Britain's Prince William will visit Japan this month and tour Fukushima Prefecture and other areas devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, the Royal...
Fukushima choir finds audience in Hungary by singing in Hungarian...
Miyako Furiya, right, and a director of Hungary’s state-run TV broadcaster in August 2014 (Provided by the Fukushima Kodaly Choir)
FUKUSHIMA--A choir that takes inspiration from the Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly has found fame in his native land with the release of a documentary featuring the members...