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Goin’ Japanesque!

5 Years From The Great East Japan Earthquake; We Shall Never Forget

It is almost five years since the Great East Japan Earthquake (2011 Tohoku Earthquake), an unprecedented catastrophe that hit Japan on March 11th 2011. For those people who were living in Japan when it occurred, there shouldn’t be very many of you who wouldn’t recall where they were and what they were doing on that day and time. The situation that the entire nation of Japan faced was extraordinary and filled with fear and anxiety. Top photo shows scenes from the incident: Sources

Now, almost 5 years have passed since the incident. It’s already been five years, or, it’s only been five years. It’s difficult to say which the appropriate expression is. Even today, there are some places that appear to be unchanged- as if time had stopped running its course since the day of the incident, and areas that are still designated as evacuation zones. The reality is that recovery is slow.

Areas that were particularly hard hit; the 3 prefectures hit by the tsunami, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima have people who evacuated out of the prefecture reaching numbers of over 50,000. This includes those people who have settled in the destinations they have evacuated to (mainly the Kanto region) with no intentions of returning, but one still cannot help but be surprised at the sheer number.

Great-East-Japan-Earthquake2
Current Situation (2015-2016), http://blogos.com/

Moreover, making recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake more difficult is undoubtedly the issues surrounding the nuclear power plants. There are piles of black bags marked with the letters “遮蔽”(shahei: meaning radiation shielding). They contain contaminated soil that has been removed from the area. The total number of bags reaches up to over 5 million. No decision has been made as to where the contaminated soil should be taken, nor is there visibility on when that decision will be made. It is a sight that conveys the dangers and risks of radiation.

 

Such situations of the afflicted regions are difficult for those not living in the region to see. The situation remains that the reality is not fully conveyed to outsiders. This is because in Tokyo, people are able to live normal lives and life goes on as if the disaster never even happened. 

March has come again, and memorial services and moments of silent prayers have been held throughout the nation. This event must be passed down to the future generations as a memory and experience that must never be forgotten. We would like to express our condolences for those lost in the Great East Japan Earthquake and at the same time, would like to share the message with those from other countries as well.

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