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Great East Japan Earthquake
Japan’s Restless Volcanoes

Japan is home to 10% of the world's active volcanoes, and a surge in small-scale volcanic activity has had the nation on edge in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. We talked to Nakada Setsuya, one of Japan’s leading volcanologists, about the recent spate of eruptions and its implications.

Rebuilding OnagawaKikuchi Masanori

Onagawa has recovered relatively quickly from the 2011 tsunami, despite being one of the hardest-hit communities. Journalist Kikuchi Masanori returns to the town to interview Mayor Suda Yoshiaki for the second time and see what has changed in the two years since they last talked.

A Tōhoku Town Returns to LifeKikuchi Masanori

Onagawa was hit hard by the tsunami from the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. But four years later, it is starting to recover, with the fishing industry in particular making a rapid comeback. Journalist Kikuchi Masanori goes back to the town he has visited repeatedly since the year of the disaster for an update on its progress.

I Am FukushimaKainuma Hiroshi

People are all too prone to attribute Fukushima Prefecture’s post-3/11 problems to a uniquely “Fukushima” set of circumstances. But on closer observation we find that some of Fukushima’s most serious problems stem from issues that are nationwide in scope. Addressing these problems effectively will hinge on approaching them from a national perspective.

Earthquake Orphans’ Hard Road to Emotional HealingHayashida Yoshiji

Over 1,700 children were orphaned by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Sustained efforts to lend them a sympathetic ear, along with support from the community and society, will be crucial in healing their emotional scars.

Timeline for March 2015

The nation remembers the Great East Japan Earthquake, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Tokyo, and the Hokuriku Shinkansen service goes into operation. These are the major Japanese stories of March 2015.

Contaminated Water Prevents Decommissioning: No Fundamental Solution in Sight

March 11, 2015, marked the fourth anniversary of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The government and the plant’s operator are focusing on removing radioactive substances, halting the influx of groundwater into the buildings, and preventing leakage of radiation into the sea. But a full four years later, none of these tasks has been completed. With no solution in sight for the problem of contaminated water, the dismantling of the reactors will inevitably be delayed.

After the Tsunami: Rescuing Relics of Rikuzentakata’s History and CultureKumagai Masaru

The city of Rikuzentakata lost almost a tenth of its population to the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. The city’s lone surviving museum curator tells of the struggle to rescue the cultural properties that are a key part of the city’s identity.

Addressing Natural Disaster Risks: The Need for Greater Self-RelianceKatada Toshitaka

When the city of Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, was hit by a tremendous tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, almost all of its 3,000 elementary and junior high school pupils survived. They were quick to flee thanks in part to the disaster-preparedness training by Katada Toshitaka, who here calls for greater self-reliance in the face of the growing risks from natural disasters.

Japan’s Quiet NGO Revolution: Toward a Cross-Sector Model of Foreign AidŌnishi Kensuke

Japanese nongovernmental organizations have taken off in the past two decades, and their overseas humanitarian efforts are quietly changing the face of Japanese foreign aid. Ōnishi Kensuke, founder of one of Japan’s largest NGOs and author of key domestic and regional initiatives for cross-sector collaboration, discusses the progress of this movement and his sweeping vision for the future.

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