Recovery

Locomotive makes first run in 42 years to help Tohoku pick up steam
The SL Ginga steam locomotive train crosses the Miyamorigawa bridge in Tono, Iwate Prefecture, on April 12. (Kengo Hiyoshi)
HANAMAKI, Iwate Prefecture--A steam locomotive built in 1940 came out of retirement after 42 years on April 12, aiming to prop up local tourism and heighten interest in...
Chefs create gourmet canned food to help tsunami-hit cities
Kiyomi Mikuni holds up his creation in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. (Takashi Kamiguri)
Chefs in Tokyo’s Marunouchi business district have developed “the ultimate canned foods” using ingredients from the disaster-stricken Sanriku region in northeastern Japan.
Elementary school welcomes back students after lifting of...
Students at Furumichi Elementary School in Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, are welcomed by many local residents on April 7 at their entrance ceremony. (Yosuke Fukudome)
TAMURA, Fukushima Prefecture--Days after an evacuation order was lifted for the first time around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, students attended the...
Beloved Sanriku Railway making full comeback, despite fears for...
The first train in the morning on Sanriku Railway Co.’s South Rias Line leaves Kamaishi Station in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, on April 5. (Yosuke Fukudome)
KAMAISHI, Iwate Prefecture--A local railway operator here that won the hearts and minds of the nation with its tireless efforts to rebound from the earthquake and tsunami...
Fukushima evacuation order lifted for the first time
A farmer harvests rice on his farm in the Miyakoji district of Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, in October 2013 for the first time since the onset of the Fukushima nuclear crisis. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
TAMURA, Fukushima Prefecture--The central government for the first time lifted an evacuation order around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, affecting 360 people, or 0....
Artist, folklorist use power of art to tackle issues in post-quake ...
Participants of the "Futo no Ie" (house of envelope) workshop, held in August 2013 on the sidelines of the Yappeshi Festival,  draw illustrations on envelopes and exchange works. A special edition of the festival was also held at the "Making is Living" exhibition in Tokyo. (Provided by artist Emiko Tsutsumi)
An artist and a folklorist are taking different approaches but with the same goal of using art to deal with social issues left in the aftermath of the Tohoku disaster three...
THREE YEARS AFTER: Anti-nuclear idol Fujinami frustrated by waning ...
Cocoro Fujinami (Photo by Noriyuki Kaneta)
Stardom is often fleeting for aspiring idols, but for Cocoro Fujinami, the fading interest she has seen is particularly frustrating.
THREE YEARS AFTER: Photographer restores 750,000 pictures thought...
Munemasa Takahashi (Photo by Kazuo Yamamoto)
Munemasa Takahashi has restored and returned 340,000 photos that were washed away by the 2011 tsunami to their rightful and grateful owners.
POINT OF VIEW: Don't let disaster-stricken Tohoku region remain as ...
A couple offers prayers to pay tribute to victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, the third anniversary of the disaster, in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. (Ryo Ikeda)
March 11 marked the third anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami disaster that triggered Japan’s worst nuclear accident.
THREE YEARS AFTER: Asahi poll shows 3/11 survivors believe...
A middle-aged woman walks across a rusted railway track that connects the stations of Miyako and Kamaishi on the JR Yamada Line in Iwate Prefecture on March 10. Service has yet to resume between the two stations three years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. (Shigetaka Kodama)
Three years after the magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami that ravaged northeastern Japan, a large majority of survivors surveyed by The Asahi Shimbun believe the disaster is...
THREE YEARS AFTER: Abe promises opening of expressway through...
Plastic bags filled with contaminated soil near toll booths on the Joban-Tomioka Interchange in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, in March 2013 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to fully open the Joban Expressway by the 2015 Golden Week holidays in an effort to promote tourism in areas devastated by the earthquake and...
THREE YEARS AFTER: Businesses in disaster-hit areas relying on...
A Chinese trainee, center, sorts out "mekabu," the sprouts of "wakame" seaweed, at a factory in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, in February. (Yosuke Fukudome)
ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi Prefecture--In areas recovering from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, businesses struggling to secure workers are increasingly turning to foreign trainees.
THREE YEARS AFTER: Post-disaster reconstruction hurt by 2020 Tokyo ...
The Asahi Shimbun
About 60 percent of leaders of municipalities heavily damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami fear that preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will hamper...
Students send handmade incense sticks for 3/11 service in Kamaishi
Students at Sakai Technical High School pack incense sticks they made into a paulownia box at Okuno Seimeido in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture. (Masayuki Shiraishi)
SAKAI, Osaka Prefecture--Using bark from the official tree of Kamaishi, night students at Sakai Technical High School have made “senko” incense sticks, to be used at the...
Dazaifu shrine offers famed apricot trees to quake-damaged...
Young Japanese apricot trees at Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine in Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture, that have been given to Fukushima High School are in bloom. (Tadao Okubo)
DAZAIFU, Fukuoka Prefecture--A storied shrine has given five symbolic Japanese apricot trees to a high school in Fukushima Prefecture that was seriously damaged during the...
Fukushima dental group to study baby teeth for radiation exposure
Children play in a sandbox in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, in January 2012. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
FUKUSHIMA--The prefectural dental association has started a five-year study to measure radiation levels in baby teeth to better determine the health effects of the 2011...
Local residents say ballooning public works budget not going where ...
Plans call for the construction of a taller coastal levee in Miyagi Prefecture in this section of the city of Kesennuma's Koizumi district. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
The Abe administration has massively increased budgetary outlays for public works projects as part of recovery efforts from the Great East Japan Earthquake, but some residents...
Buddhist statue carved from tsunami-struck pine trees
Buddhist statue sculptor Seizan Watanabe carves Ayumi Kannon. (Provided by Seizan Watanabe)
RIKUZENTAKATA, Iwate Prefecture--About 7,000 people across Japan created a Buddhist statue from trees of a forest that was flattened by the 2011 tsunami.
Town in shadow of stricken nuclear plant to set up base for...
An artist's rendering of the base for recovery, which will be constructed in the southern part of Okuma town, Fukushima Prefecture (Provided by the Okuma town government)
OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture--The southern part of this ghost town that co-hosts the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is to be turned into a base for recovery...
Calendar shows beauty, cultural heritage of Fukushima through...
January: The Nanoka-do Hadaka Mairi festival in Yanaizu. (Photo by Janine Al-Aseer)
KORIYAMA, Fukushima Prefecture--English teacher Ryan McDonald says that Fukushima Prefecture is beautiful, but nobody back home in the United States believes him.