Great East Japan Earthquake

Students to organize training camp to help foreigners prepare for...
Members of “The Serendipity” student volunteer group at the Japan Red Cross Toyota College of Nursing teach Brazilian children how to create a makeshift mask at a disaster-education seminar in Toyota in early July. (Takunori Yasuda)
TOYOTA, Aichi Prefecture--Volunteers from a nursing college in Toyota, home to one of the largest concentrations of immigrant workers in Japan, are organizing a special...
INSIGHT: Women in Tohoku village refused to play host to nuclear...
The seawall lies collapsed in the Aketo district of Tanohata, Iwate Prefecture, in July, more than four years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. (Toshihide Ueda)
TANOHATA, Iwate Prefecture--A sandy beach filling a gap in the cliffs and a badly damaged seawall came into view soon after I embarked on a sightseeing ship along the coastal...
2011 quake likely failed to push Japan to meeting target of...
The Asahi Shimbun
Even after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, only an estimated 82 percent of homes in Japan were deemed quake resistant in 2013, a 3-percentage point increase over ...
INSIGHT: Physical sense helps preserve memories of 2011 triple...
“Frottage” artist Masao Okabe traces the inscriptions of a stone monument for farmland development in Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefeture, in June. (Toshihide Ueda)
MINAMI-SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture--A salty smell struck my nose as I descended from my car. The Pacific Ocean loomed about 4 kilometers ahead as I looked toward the east from...
Fukushima high school evacuee to share experiences at United...
Ayumi Kikuchi, left, practices the speech she will give at a United Nations event with her English teacher, Fumi Arimura, in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on July 23. She attends the relocated Futaba High School, now operating in the city of Iwaki. (Takuro Negishi)
IWAKI, Fukushima Prefecture--A high school student who thought she was only temporarily fleeing her home during the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and remains an evacuee to...
Tsunami-surviving ‘dragon tree’ beheaded, but will roar once...
Local residents bow to the "dragon pine tree," which survived the 2011 disaster, before felling the tree on July 29 in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture. (Takeshi Aose)
KESENNUMA, Miyagi Prefecture--The city government here will spend 24 million yen ($194,000) to preserve a tree shaped like a dragon that survived the 2011 tsunami but was...
Tsunami survivors open new town on Miyagi farmland
The town of Tamaura-Nishi is born in Iwanuma, Miyagi Prefecture, on July 19. (Provided by Takeki Izumi, assistant professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University)
IWANUMA, Miyagi Prefecture--They prayed for their lost loved ones, reminisced about their agony and despair and thanked the people who came to their rescue. And then, more than ...
Emperor and empress visit Fukushima, console evacuees
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko listen to a peach farmer in Koori town, Fukushima Prefecture, on July 16. (Pool)
FUKUSHIMA--Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on July 16 offered words of encouragement to six people who were evacuated from their hometowns after the March 2011 earthquake...
Estimates to ensure nuclear plant safety soar past 2 trillion yen...
A crane moves an iodine filter to an underground venting facility during upgrading work at the No. 2 reactor of the Shimane nuclear power plant in Matsue in April. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan’s 11 utilities plan to spend at least 2.4 trillion yen ($19.69 billion) to improve the safety of their nuclear plants, 1.5 times higher than an estimate made 18 months...
Okazaki's Red Salamander disaster vehicle hopefully not coming to...
The Red Salamander all-terrain vehicle moves through water in a drill. (Provided by the Okazaki city fire defense headquarters)
OKAZAKI, Aichi Prefecture--At the Okazaki city fire defense headquarters here, the Red Salamander is patiently engaged in preparations.
Cauldron lit at 1964 Tokyo Olympics inspires again in battered...
Koji Murofushi lights the Olympic cauldron on June 27 at a park in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. (Sayuri Ide)
ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi Prefecture--A proud symbol of Japan's revival after World War II is now offering hope to a region still trying to pick itself up from the 2011 Great East...
Prince Fumihito, Princess Kiko to celebrate 25 years of support,...
Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko attend a news conference on Nov. 25, 2014, before Fumihito’s 49th birthday. (Pool)
Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko will celebrate their silver wedding anniversary on June 29, marking 25 years of close ties and expanded activities with the public, including...
'Diva of temporary housing facilities' to perform landmark 400th...
Singer Hikaru Okuno performs at a meeting hall of a temporary housing facility in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, on June 9. (Yosuke Fukudome)
RIKUZENTAKATA, Iwate Prefecture--Hikaru Okuno may be from distant Osaka Prefecture, but she's about to give her 400th performance for evacuees in the disaster-stricken Tohoku...
Tsunami-stricken Miyako rebuilds by combining disaster education,...
Yuki Matsumoto, president of the Nagisatei Taro-an hotel, and his mother, Miya. The hotel opened June 1 on a hill in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture. (Yosuke Fukudome)
MIYAKO, Iwate Prefecture--In a special room next to the lobby of the Nagisatei Taro-an hotel, guests can gain a sense of shock, horror and utter helplessness.
In Miyagi, residents now commuting like in pre-disaster times
A train travels the section of track between Tona and Nobiru stations in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, on the JR Senseki Line, which resumed full operation on May 30. (Yosuke Fukudome)
ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi Prefecture--After a more than four-year wait, the tsunami-hit JR Senseki Line in Miyagi Prefecture resumed full operation on May 30, and local residents were ...
PHOTO: Purple flowers returning to tsunami-stricken Miyagi beach
Purple sea bell flowers blossom on a 150-meter stretch of Nobiru beach in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, on May 23. (Yosuke Fukudome)
HIGASHI-MATSUSHIMA, Miyagi Prefecture--Purple sea bells are making a comeback on Nobiru beach here after the 2011 tsunami wiped out nearly all of the flowering bindweeds.
After spontaneous remark, gifts from Germany lift spirits of...
Nobuyo Tada and her husband, Degenhard von Twickel, watch children play on a swing donated from Germany to an interim elementary school in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, on April 22. (Yoshitaka Ito)
AIZU-WAKAMATSU, Fukushima Prefecture--Nobuyo Tada beamed at the sights and sounds of disaster-affected pupils swinging on playground equipment here, the result of a...
POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: Time to relearn the...
Genichiro Takahashi (Photo by Makoto Kaku)
After the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, the university where I was teaching at the time canceled the graduation ceremony that was scheduled for...
Gutted tsunami-hit structure to be preserved as memorial
The tsunami-wrecked disaster management center building in Minami-Sanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, will be preserved as a memorial. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
MINAMI-SANRIKU, Miyagi Prefecture--The skeletal steel frame of a building that stands as a symbol of the devastation caused by the 2011 tsunami disaster is to be preserved as a ...
Website shares photos, memories of evacuated Fukushima town
A blackboard from Futaba Junior High School contains goodbye messages from graduating students that were written in 2011. (Provided by University of Tsukuba)
TSUKUBA, Ibaraki Prefecture--Once home to more than 6,000 people, the northeastern coastal town of Futaba today remains completely evacuated following the nuclear accident...