You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

World

  • Hamas tunnel threat at center of war with Israel
    A network of tunnels Palestinian militants have dug from Gaza to Israel – dubbed “lower Gaza” by the Israeli military – is taking center stage in the latest war between Hamas and Israel.
  • Towering worry: Small holes cause big jitters
    For the developers of the world’s sixth tallest building near Seoul, a mysteriously shrinking lake and the appearance of small sinkholes in residential neighborhoods couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time.
  • Israel hits 30 Gaza homes, kills senior militant
    Israeli aircraft struck 30 houses in the Gaza Strip early Friday, killing a leader of the militant Islamic Jihad group and two of his sons, while ground troops and Hamas gunmen fought intense battles in the north and center of the
Advertisement
Associated Press
Employees of a nursing home Tsutomu Sato, 34, left, and Yoko Katayam 30, toss bouquets of flowers into the sea in remembrance of the 36 people who died in the home during the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Minamisoma Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Tuesday, March 11 2014. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Japan marks 3rd anniversary of tsunami disasters

Associated Press
A woman prays for the victims of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Tuesday, March 11 2014. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
Associated Press
Yuko Suzuki, left, and Akemi Watanabe toss bouquets of flowers into the sea for victims of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Minamisoma, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Tuesday, March 11 2014. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
Associated Press
Mourners pray after offering flowers during an unveiling ceremony of a cenotaph in Soma, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

– Japan is marking the third anniversary of a devastating earthquake and tsunami that left nearly 19,000 people dead or missing, turned coastal communities into wasteland and triggered a nuclear crisis.

In Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Emperor Akihito will speak at a memorial service Tuesday to mourn for the victims, marking the moment the magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck.

Japan has struggled to rebuild tsunami-hit communities and to clean up radiation from the meltdowns of Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Reconstruction plans are finally taking shape, but shortages of skilled workers and materials are delaying the work. Abe has vowed to boost the rebuilding.

The triple disasters of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear known as 3.11 killed 15,884 people and left 2,636 unaccounted for on its northern coast, as of the end of last month. The country has earmarked 25 trillion yen ($250 billion) for reconstruction through March 2016. Nearly 270,000 people are unable to go home, many of them from Fukushima, due to radioactive contamination.

In northern Japan, some tsunami survivors held their own memorial events for their loved ones earlier Tuesday.

In the town of Minamisanriku, local residents gathered in front of what used to be the town's disaster prevention center, where dozens of town employees died in the tsunami. The residents prayed in front of a small table filled with flowers, a Buddha statue and incense.

A vast stretch of the town's coastal area remains deserted, except for a few structures that survived. A total of 619 people died and 217 went missing in the town of 17,666.

Advertisement