Japan Marks 10th Anniversary of March 2011 Disaster


Tokyo, March 11 (Jiji Press)--Japan on Thursday marked the 10th anniversary of a huge earthquake and tsunami that claimed numerous lives and led to the country's worst nuclear accident, with mourners pledging not to let the lessons of the disaster fade.

A Japanese government-sponsored memorial ceremony took place at the National Theatre in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, attended by about 210 people, among them Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako, the country's legislative, administrative and judicial heads including Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and representatives of the victims' bereaved families.

The participants offered silent prayers for the victims at 2:46 p.m. (5:46 a.m. GMT), the exact time when the 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit mainly the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan, including Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, a decade ago.

The ceremony, held for the first time in two years, marked the last state-sponsored memorial event for the tragedy. Last year's ceremony was canceled due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"Reconstruction in affected areas is steadily progressing," Suga said in a speech, noting that the government's evacuation order related to the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was lifted in parts of the "difficult-to-return" zones. An unprecedented triple meltdown occurred at the TEPCO plant in Fukushima after the facility was knocked out by the March 11 quake and tsunami.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press