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Great East Japan Earthquake
Japan Bill Eyes Reconstruction Footholds in Fukushima (News)

Tokyo, Feb. 10 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government at a cabinet meeting on Friday adopted a bill to set up reconstruction footholds in the no-go zone heavily contaminated by the March 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture. The bill would give priority to decontamination work and infrastructure development at the footholds, with costs shouldered by the central government. The governmen…

Most Fish Types Recover in 2–3 Years in Tsunami-Hit Bay (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 17 (Jiji Press)—Most types of fish and shellfish recovered in two to three years in a northeastern Japan bay washed by the March 2011 tsunami following a 9.0-magnutide earthquake, a five-year underwater survey has found. Such early recovery was confirmed in most locations in Mōne Bay in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, showed the study led by Masuda Reiji, Kyoto University associate pr…

One Man and His Cats in Fukushima (Photos)Ota Yasusuke (Photographs)

Matsumura Naoto has been looking after all kinds of abandoned animals in Fukushima since residents evacuated following the disaster of March 11, 2011. In 2013, he adopted two kittens that have become his constant companions. Photographer Ota Yasusuke captures their everyday antics in a series of lively images.

Supporting Children’s Entitlement to Family-Based Care

Doi Kanae opened Human Rights Watch’s first office in Asia seven years ago. Today she is actively engaged in drawing attention to the plight of children who are institutionalized because they are unable to live with their parents and promoting their right to receive family-based care.

The Five-Year Struggle of a Fukushima Dairy-Farming CoupleYamada Toshihiro

On December 3, 2015, Sanpei Toshinori (60) and his wife Keiko (57), dairy farmers living in Motomiya, Fukushima Prefecture, watched as the 49 cows in their barn were sold off. About 50 other dairy farmers had come for the sale, which started shortly after 10 a.m. A group of experts including farming cooperative representatives and a veterinarian had set prices for the cows in advance. Referring to…

British Expat: “Don’t Forget Ishinomaki!”

No single municipality suffered more from the March 2011 tsunami than Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, where the disaster claimed 3,500 lives and destroyed 20,000 buildings. British citizen and longtime Ishinomaki resident Richard Halberstadt, a passionate advocate for his adopted city, spoke with us about his 23-year relationship with the town and shared his perspective on the long and arduous road to reconstruction.

Rehousing in Tōhoku: The Two Faces of ReconstructionKikuchi Masanori

The pace of recovery in the five years since the Tōhoku tsunami has varied by sector and locale. Big urban centers like Sendai have fared relatively well, and many local industries are making a comeback. Yet some 60,000 tsunami survivors—many of them elderly—remain in housing purgatory, especially in the region's smaller communities. Journalist Kikuchi Masanori continues his series on post-disaster recovery with a report on the reconstruction gap in Miyagi Prefecture.

The Fukushima Cleanup Will Take GenerationsTakahashi Hideki

Five years after the Tōhoku tsunami triggered the second-worst nuclear accident in history, the cleanup team at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has yet to stem the buildup of contaminated water at the site or determine the precise location of much of the reactor fuel. Veteran journalist Takahashi Hideki, who has reported extensively on the Fukushima accident, visited the site recently to report on the progress of decommissioning and the monumental obstacles that stand in the way of true recovery.

The State of Recovery in Tōhoku’s Disaster-Stricken Areas

A look at current data on rebuilding efforts in Tōhoku and radiation monitoring and decontamination efforts in Fukushima Prefecture shows the extent of recovery five years after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Flushed with Ambition: Sanitation Initiatives for Health and Well-BeingKatō Atsushi

Japan has become known as the land of high-tech toilets, but the country has also been making efforts to improve its “toilet environment” as a way of boosting health and well-being. Here a long-time advocate of improvements takes a look at the array of sanitation-related activities now underway.

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