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Major Construction, Quiet Developments Will Change Tōhoku IslandRobert D. Eldridge

On a beautiful but chilly morning at the end of March 2017, a major engineering project was taking place in northeastern Miyagi Prefecture. But despite the ambitious scale of this operation, it attracted little national or international attention. The site was the Ōshima Strait, separating the island of Ōshima and a peninsula leading out from the city of Kesennuma on the mainland. Workers were …
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A New Shopping Center for a Tsunami-Struck TownKikuchi Masanori

The Miyagi Prefecture town of Minamisanriku was devastated by the March 11, 2011, tsunami. Nearly six years on, a permanent shopping center is finally in place, and hopes are high that this will accelerate the community’s recovery. But considerable challenges remain.
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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.
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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.
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Big in Beijing: Two Japanese Creative Workers Creating a Stir in ChinaKobayashi Sayuri

Although government-level relations between Japan and China remain tense, growing numbers of Japanese people have put down roots in China and are flourishing at the forefront of their fields. Beijing-based writer Kobayashi Sayuri talks to two of them about the challenges they have faced.
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A Late Spring in Tōhoku (Part 2)Kikuchi Masanori

The coastal areas of northeast Japan devastated by the March 2011 tsunami still face the enormous task of rebuilding housing and infrastructure. Journalist Kikuchi Masanori traveled to the region to report on the current state of the recovery effort.
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A Late Spring in Tōhoku (Part 1)Kikuchi Masanori

Two years have passed since the earthquake and tsunami that devastated coastal Tōhoku, but for many of the victims, the healing has barely begun. Revisiting the communities he reported on in the spring and summer of 2011, Kikuchi Masanori encounters a mixture of optimism and bitterness as the region slowly rebuilds.
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Disaster, Alienation, and the Ties That BindOgoura Kazuo

A year has passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster. The rebuilding process has taught us many lessons. Just as the skeleton-like foundations of whole towns were cruelly exposed by the onslaught of the tsunami, the recovery process has brought several aspects of society into clear view for the first time. The absence of serious looting after the disaster, for example, and the enthus…
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