Japan Marks 8th Anniversary of March 2011 Disaster

Politics Society

Tokyo, March 11 (Jiji Press)--Japan marked the eighth anniversary on Monday of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, offering prayers for the victims of the catastrophe and renewing resolve to accelerate disaster reconstruction.

The Japanese government hosted a memorial ceremony at the National Theatre in Tokyo, which was attended by Prince Akishino, his wife, Princess Kiko, the heads of the three branches of government, bereaved families of disaster victims and others.

The participants offered a minute of silence for the victims at 2:46 p.m. (5:46 a.m. GMT), the exact time when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hard hit northeastern Japan coastal areas eight years ago, triggering a huge tsunami.

"Steady progress has been made on reconstruction efforts in disaster areas," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in his speech at the ceremony.

He said that efforts to remove evacuation orders have been promoted in areas designated as evacuation zones due to contamination by radioactive substances from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which suffered a triple meltdown accident.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press